Tag Archives: London

Horizon: Defeating Cancer, BBC Two, review

imageTerry Ramsey reviews the latest episode of BBC Two’s Horizon series, which explores ways of defeating cancer and the patients receiving the treatments.

As far as I am aware, there is no award for Best Cancer Hospital in the World but if there were, the Royal Marsden in London would be a contender. Horizon: Defeating Cancer (BBC Two) was a fascinating documentary that started off looking like it would simply be an account of the hospital’s treatment of three patients, Ray, Phil and Rosemary. But it was that and so much more, as it opened up the complex science behind the latest cancer treatments, as well as highlighting what they mean to people on the receiving end. “I am over the moon,” said Ray on hearing his treatment had worked. Phil’s wife was likewise delighted at her husband’s all-clear. “We have got a few more years to do caravanning then, haven’t we?” she said.

Time to buy property in America

imageAmerican property prices are finally on the way back up. Move now to bag the best bargains, says Graham Norwood

Say it softly. But after years of misery, it looks as if the housing market across the pond is at long last making a comeback. If you’ve ever dreamt of owning a Florida holiday villa, or a chic Sex and the City-style New York apartment, it might be wise to buy it soon.

The latest figures show the first green shoots for the wider economy and a housing recovery. In the past six months, 1.9 million American jobs have been created, and unemployment is down from 10.4 per cent to 8.3 per cent. Economic growth is running at an annual 2.8 per cent. The car industry, often seen as a good barometer, is booming – General Motors sold 640,000 more vehicles last year than in 2010.

This is beginning to translate into optimism in the housing market. One builder, MDC Holdings, has reported a 32 per cent rise in orders for new houses. Another, Beazer Homes, predicts more orders in 2012 than in 2011.

Art market news: Serge Lifar’s estate sold for 7.3 million

iamageBuyers were on a high at the Geneva sale of dancer Serge Lifar’s estate.

Buyers were on a high at the Geneva sale last week of dancer Serge Lifar’s estate. The sale was estimated to fetch 1.5 million Swiss Francs (£1 million), but realised 7.3 million SFr. Top lot was a set of 48 drawings by Jean Cocteau for his book Opium, which sold for 912,000 SFr – nearly 10 times the estimate – to Paris book dealer Jean-Claude Vrain. The Musée des lettres et manuscrits de Paris was extremely active, spending nearly 1 million SFr on autographed manuscripts and drawings by Cocteau and his friend Raymond Radiguet. One of the most extraordinary results was the 430,000 SFr paid for two inscribed photographs of Lifar with Coco Chanel, and a letter from Chanel. The estimate was 300 SFr.

Happiness is a shed of one’s own

imageFrancine Raymond explores the joys of a haven at the bottom of the garden

Home improvement? Life improvement is perhaps a more fitting description for garden sheds. From Wendy house to tree house, from tool shed to allotment hideaway, it seems that throughout our lives we all need a space of our own at the bottom of the garden.

Eco-improving period property

imageSarah Lonsdale tests the latest ‘eco’ products and sorts the fads from the finds. This week: eco-improving period homes

It’s all very well eco-improving architecturally uninteresting homes. With apologies to residents of bungalows and houses built in the Seventies and Eighties, these often uninspiring boxes don’t look any worse – and usually look better – for extra cladding, new windows and altered rooflines.

But the vast majority of our housing stock is older, and considerably more beautiful. How do you eco-improve a period home in a conservation area without annoying the neighbours, falling foul of planners or desecrating a lovely streetscape? Yet rising fuel bills and concern for the environment are inspiring home owners to take the plunge with historic buildings in sensitive locations.

Radiohead announce UK shows

imageRadiohead to play in London and Manchester with tickets on sale from Friday.

Radiohead have announced that they will play their first UK shows in four years this October.

The band, currently touring the United States, will play two nights at the O2 Arena in south east London and one night at the Manchester Arena.

Tickets go on general sale on Friday and the band have announced a series of measures to stop them being sold on by touts, including limiting the number of tickets that can be bought and insisting that the payment card holder shows photo ID to get into the gig.

London in your lunch break: free National Gallery tour

imageAn hour-long guided tour of the National Gallery is about as culturally rich as a London lunch break can get – and it doesn’t cost a penny.

Take your lunch break at . . .

The National Gallery, on one of its wonderfully enlightening – and completely free – guided tours. Meet at the Sainsbury Wing (see below for times), where a guide will take you to three or four of the gallery’s most prized displays, giving a 15-minute cultural, technical and social backdrop to each.

Wonderland: Granny’s Moving In, BBC Two, review

imageMichael Deacon on the unforgettable Wonderland film about the blackly comic wretchedness of ageing.

Philip Larkin was terrified of dying. Then again, he was also terrified of living to old age. I think that’s probably what you call a lose-lose situation. As it turned out, he died at only 63, so he at least escaped the latter of those two fates.

At 50 he’d written “The Old Fools”, about what he imagined it must be like to start losing your mind; the poem is empathetic, appalled, and chilling. “Perhaps being old is having lighted rooms/ Inside your head, and people in them, acting./ People you know, yet can’t quite name… That is where [the old] live:/ Not here and now, but where all happened once./ That is why they give/ An air of baffled absence, trying to be there/ Yet being here…”

When Guernica Came to Town

imageIn 1938, one of Picasso’s most famous paintings was rolled up and taken to places previously untouched by art – even car showrooms

Every day, 11,000 people make the trip to the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid to see Picasso’s Guernica. The invisible infra-red wire around the painting is hyper-vigilant — the tiniest of leans (and I speak from experience) has alarms ringing, and guards to their feet, within seconds. Understandable, but a pity since all but the most eagle-eyed will miss the clues to an extraordinary story.

Over its 75-year history, it has been rolled and unrolled, stretched, nailed up, pulled down, driven, shipped and flown, all in the service of a cause. Creases and cracks mark its surface; its four corners are littered with puncture marks tracing the life it’s led.

Travellers ‘fleeced’ by hotel Wi-Fi charges

imageAround two thirds of hotels worldwide are still charging guests for Wi-Fi access – with rates as high as £8.50 per hour and £20 per day – research by Telegraph Travel has shown.

With a large number of bars, cafés, and even branches of McDonald’s and Starbucks now offering free Wi-Fi to customers, hotels are facing growing criticism over the high charges that many continue to impose.

Telegraph Travel analysed Wi-Fi charges at more than 30 different hotel chains, and at dozens of individual hotels, to uncover those that levy the highest fees and those that offer the service free of charge.

Out of more than 70 different hotel groups and individual properties contacted in the survey, just 24 do not impose Wi-Fi charges.

Luxury hotels in London were the worst offenders, with several charging £20 for 24-hour Wi-Fi access. These included Grosvenor House and the Firmdale Hotels group – which owns six upmarket properties in London, such as The Haymarket and Number Sixteen. At The Dorchester, the only option is a charge of £19.50 per day.

W Hotel charges guests at its Leicester Square property £5.95 an hour or £17 a day, while its Istanbul, Barcelona and Hong Kong hotels charge €15 (£12.50), €19 (£16) and HK$115 (£9.50) per day respectively, although free access is available in some public areas.

Hotels in the Holiday Inn chain charge guests up to £15 a day in Britain and up to €24 (£20) a day in Europe, although in the majority of its hotels in the United States, Wi-Fi access is complimentary.

The highest hourly rate uncovered was €10 (£8.50), a charge imposed by several Marriott hotels, including the A C Hotel in Florence and the J W Marriott in Cannes.

Towards the lower end of the market, Travelodge charges guests £5 an hour or £10 a day, while guests at Barceló Hotels must pay £6.50 an hour, or £15 a day.

TalkTalk, the internet service provider, estimated that the cost to a business, such as a hotel, of providing broadband, would range from £10 a month for a small property to £300 a month for a 100-room property, or £700 a month for a larger, 300-room property.

At the 195-room Dorchester, for example, where room rates start at around £300 a night, the monthly cost of providing Wi-Fi to the entire hotel is likely to be covered by two bookings, or around 30 people purchasing a day’s Wi-Fi access.

Not all of the capital’s luxury hotels levy such high charges. The Maybourne Group, which owns Claridge’s, The Connaught and The Berkeley, doesn’t charge for Wi-Fi access, and neither does 45 Park Lane, nor The Halkin, The Metropolitan or One Aldwych.

Among hotel chains offering free Wi-Fi are Best Western, Malmaison, De Vere, Radisson Edwardian, and Brittania. Premier Inns charge guests just £3 a day, and offer them 30 minutes’ free daily access.

A number of other hotels have adopted a dual policy, where guests can log on to a slower network free of charge or pay extra for high-speed access. The Langham, where the high-speed access costs £20 per day, and the Sofitel chain, where it costs £15, are two examples.

The falling cost of broadband services in recent years has highlighted the issue of high hotel charges for Wi-Fi access; travellers now increasingly expect the service to be including in their room rate.

At last year’s Abta Travel Convention, David Rowan, the editor of Wired UK, the technology magazine, called for travellers to boycott hotels that charge for Wi-Fi.

Sarah Lonsdale: How to be green and stay sane

imageThis week: how happy are eco home owners?

Are Britons falling in love with eco homes? It’s something everyone involved with housing wants to know. Increasingly stiff building regulations coming into force over the next few years mean developers face ruin unless buyers are attracted to highly insulated homes full of eco-tech like solar panels and heat recovery ventilation.

Until now, the signs weren’t good: homebuyer surveys found stubborn resistance to the design and concept of eco homes, despite promises of vastly lower fuel bills. But that is starting to change, according to a report published last month, which surveyed occupants of eco homes built within the past three years, and older homes.

Britain pledges jobs, protection

imageBritain is promising to help create more than 10 000 jobs and protect dozens of communities from crime as it increases its development commitment to the Caribbean over the next four years, the United Kingdom Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has said.

Mitchell has ended a brief visit to several Caribbean countries and according to a statement from the British High Commission in Barbados, London is promising Jamaica that UK assistance will target 50 of the most volatile inner-city areas.

Hall of Fame, Watts Gallery, review


GF Watts’s penetrating portraits amounted to a panorama of Victorian society, says Richard Dorment .

It’s like an artistic form of multiple-personality disorder: the minute you think you have a handle on the work of the Victorian painter GF Watts, you find you didn’t know it at all. The painter of myths and allegories we saw in the Tate Gallery’s Symbolist exhibition is unrecognisable as the portrait painter we discovered at the National Portrait Gallery a few years later.

Grow your own spirit of community

How to maximise your fruit and veg and share the surplus with friends and family.

Iwas recently chatting to a friend who also rears his own meat about the great advantages of the “nose to tail” eating of our animals – using up every scrap in different and delicious ways – and it got me thinking that we certainly do not always do that with our fruit and veg.

A glut of fresh vegetables from the garden can get on top of you, leading to wastage. We spend time selecting the best varieties, sowing them, tending them, but are not always efficient about using them.

Frieze Art Fair in America: Armory fights British invasion

imageFrieze Week stands a good chance of replacing the Armory Show as America’s biggest art fair when it arrives in New York. Colin Gleadell reports.

Which is the greatest contemporary art fair in America? Is it the Armory Show, the biggest home-grown fair in New York? Is it Art Basel/Miami Beach, the American off-shoot of Europe’s mighty Art Basel, which launched in Florida in 2002? Or will it be Frieze, the London fair, now 10 years old and another foreign brand? Frieze’s announcement that it will launch its first New York edition in May has been sending shivers down the backbones of its competitors.


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From hairdresser to property enthusiast: a new style that turns heads

imageA hairdresser with a flair for renovation tells Zoe Dare Hall about doing up homes from rural England to Tuscany

As the founder of the Mahogany hairdressing chain, which has counted Samantha Cameron, Cheryl Cole and Greta Scaachi as clients, Richard Thompson has made some striking statements with his curling tongs.

But in the past 15 years, as his hair business has grown to include branches in London, Oxford, Bath and Manchester, Thompson has found another outlet for his creativity: property renovations. These have proven equally popular with celebrities, and include a penthouse in an old Highbury match factory, which Richard sold to the Alan Davies, the comedian, and a Georgian house in Hampstead that was bought by the singer David Gray.

Galanthophiles unite: in love with snowdrops

imageSnowdrops were love at first sight for Val Bourne, who was transfixed by their elegant pearl-drop flowers and soon on her way to becoming a collector.

In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote about the primrose path of dalliance leading to a dissolute, if somewhat pleasant excess. However, my road to ruin has been lined by the snowdrop. It all began innocently enough 18 years ago when I read about a honey-scented snowdrop called ‘S. Arnott’. It was large and elegant, like the pearl-drop earring in the famous 17th-century painting by Vermeer, and I made up my mind to buy one. Then serendipity (a series of agreeable coincidences) took over. Within a year I was a serious galanthophile trapped under the spell.

Home renovations: restoring heritage properties

imageRestoring a heritage building requires unwavering faith, but the results can be heavenly. Genevieve Fox meets two visionary homeowners who’ve taken on the renovation challenge and won.

It breaks the heart to see them. Hidden away in city centres, standing in the middle of the countryside, or lurking in dark woods, wrecks are out there, wanting someone to love them. They come in hundreds of different forms: abandoned follies, ruined churches or deserted lighthouses. But they all have one thing in common: potential.

Martin Simpson, June Tabor

imageMartin Simpson, June Tabor and Dick Gaughan, Kings Place, London, review
Three titans of modern folk – Martin Simpson, June Tabor and Dick Gaughan – on one stage makes for a memorable concert.

There was bound to be some banter. June Tabor had swept the boards at the BBC folk awards and come down to London the following evening (Thursday 9th February) to be part of Martin Simpson’s Purpose + Grace events at Kings Place.

21 Tips Your Pack for a Trip

image1. Security and Keeping Details Safe

Scan your passport, passport photos and paper tickets (if not the e type) in. Store this (in an email for e.g.) in your web based email account. You can also store the details of your emergency ‘lost card’ telephone numbers in your web based email account so you know who to contact if your credit card or ATM card is lost or stolen. This way, even if you lose everything, you have immediate access your all important information. You can even email the details page of your passport to the embassy or consulate when applying for a new one.

The romance of a railway home

imageFor one couple renovating a train station was a labour of love, finds Jake Wallis Simons.

It all started in Victorian times. “One of my forebears was the stationmaster of King’s Cross Station,” says Anna Gudge. “It was a prestige job in those days. He used to wear a top hat and tails, and roll out the red carpet for the Queen. He became a big part of family folklore.”

Happiness is a shed of one’s own

imageFrancine Raymond explores the joys of a haven at the bottom of the garden

Home improvement? Life improvement is perhaps a more fitting description for garden sheds. From Wendy house to tree house, from tool shed to allotment hideaway, it seems that throughout our lives we all need a space of our own at the bottom of the garden.

Anyone would think it was the panacea for all human ills. Literature with titles such as A Shed of One’s Own: Midlife Without the Crisis, Shed Men, and Shedworking: the Alternative Workplace Revolution leaves you in little doubt.

Going, going, gone for a song

imageThe salerooms are booming and new records are being set – no wonder Lord Coleridge was aggrieved that his Tudor chain of office was sold for a fraction of its worth.

Two years ago, a couple from Pinner found a Chinese vase in a dusty recess of their parents’ house and took it to an auctioneer in Ruislip. Everyone was astounded when it was knocked down for £53 million. It was, as headline writers noted at the time, the ultimate cash in the attic.

Instant winter colour: hot gardening pots

imageSimple winter containers are a great way to brighten the gloom, says Ed Cumming.

Much of the country is recovering from snow, and gardens are drab and brown. It’s the perfect time to spruce things up with some instant winter colour. A few well-chosen containers can tide things over until spring. Though many garden centres offer pre-planted versions, nothing beats making your own from scratch. A pot, some evergreen foliage and a couple of trays of colourful bulbs or bedding plants are all you need.

Art sales: records and surprises in London


Art sales: records and surprises in London
Colin Gleadell reports on the latest goings on in the art market, including a Valentine-themed sale and a contemporary homage to Alghiero Boetti.
The Impressionist and Modern art sales in London last week saw an impressive £278 million change hands – one of the highest totals for a winter series of such sales in London. While it was generally Henry Moore’s week, with £33 million of sales, there were also strong prices for Impressionist paintings.

Picasso and Modern British Art, Tate Britain, review

imageRichard Dorment wavers between exultance and despair at the Tate Britain’s exhibition about Picasso’s influence on British art.

When Tate Britain announced plans for an exhibition about Picasso’s influence on British artists such as Duncan Grant and Graham Sutherland, my snorts of disbelief could be heard in Sidcup. Recent exhibitions have pitted him against Titian, Rembrandt, Velázquez, Goya, Delacroix, and Matisse. To hang important works by him in a show full of his British imitators would be an act of cruelty.

Chelsea Flower Show: Telegraph garden designer Sarah Price

imageElizabeth Grice meets Sarah Price, the young designer carrying Telegraph hopes for success at Chelsea this year.

If you were pressed to associate Sarah Price with a flower it would probably be the autumn crocus: a mauve, reticent cup of colour that spears through the earth with a startling lack of warning when everything around is beginning to die back.

Snow: fresh travel chaos looms as Britain hit by ‘freezing rain’ weather

imageA blanket of snow will spread across the Home Counties on Thursday night amid warnings of fresh travel chaos and freezing rain.

Forecasters warned up to four inches of snow will hit most of the south as two weather systems collide, with temperatures struggling to remain above freezing.

The Met Office issued a rare “freezing rain” warning for most of northern England and southern Scotland, prompting fears of more havoc on the country’s fragile transport networks.

Homes in search of a character

imageYour house is in the perfect location, but it’s as ugly as sin. Fear not. A growing number of people are turning to cosmetic surgery to rejuvenate their homes

You love your house, your street, your neighbourhood. The schools are first-rate. Transport links are excellent. In short, everything’s pretty much perfect. There’s just one problem: there’s no des in your res. Your house is a carbuncle. You would sooner reverse through the front door than look at it.

MITIE CEO named National Business Awards ‘Leader of the Year’

imageMITIE is delighted that its chief executive Ruby McGregor-Smith was named Orange Leader of the Year on Tuesday night , at the National Business Awards in partnership with Orange, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Ruby was honoured with the evening’s highest accolade for her outstanding achievement and effective leadership, growing a successful FTSE 250 company and nurturing a dedicated and engaged workforce.

Edinburgh – The 10 best northern cities to buy property

imageFive years ago the towns and cities of northern England and Scotland symbolised the UK’s bullet-proof housing market. Prices were going up almost as quickly as new flats were being built. That has all changed now, of course. The days of endless price increases are over.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing, however. These areas contain some of the most spacious properties in the country. Large gardens are the norm not the exception, and a decent family house is the price of a Mayfair garage. After the Government this week confirmed plans for a new high-speed railway line linking London and Birmingham, the distance between north and south is set to shrink even further.

21 Tips Your Pack for a Trip

image1. Security and Keeping Details Safe

Scan your passport, passport photos and paper tickets (if not the e type) in. Store this (in an email for e.g.) in your web based email account. You can also store the details of your emergency ‘lost card’ telephone numbers in your web based email account so you know who to contact if your credit card or ATM card is lost or stolen. This way, even if you lose everything, you have immediate access your all important information. You can even email the details page of your passport to the embassy or consulate when applying for a new one.Also consider writing your home and destination address (and mobile number if you have one) on a self-adhesive sticky label to stick INSIDE your luggage in a visible place. If your luggage is lost and the baggage label has come off, at least the airline can still figure out whose luggage it is.

The Sweeney stays loyal to Ford

imageFilm remake of the 70s TV show uses the new, high-performance Ford Focus ST hatchback.

A film remake of The Sweeney will feature the new ST version of the Ford Focus

Flying Squad detectives Jack Regan and George Carter (Ray Winstone and Ben Drew taking on the roles made famous by John Thaw and Dennis Waterman) will drive the hot-hatchback as they give chase to London’s criminals.

The ST features a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine developing 247bhp. The black cars used in the filming should be rather more rapid and responsive than the cars used in the original 1970s television show. Ford’s strong link with the series saw Regan, Carter and their Flying Squad colleagues using a string of Granadas, Consuls and Cortinas as they cleaned up the mean streets of London.

Fasten your seat belts. Chelsea’s finest garden is about to take off

imageBryony Gordon visits Diarmuid Gavin’s much-talked about Irish Sky Garden.
Honestly. Anyone would think there was an ash cloud hanging over the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. I had been hoping to go up in the air in Diarmuid Gavin’s much-talked about Irish Sky Garden, but when I get there I am told that for the time being all flights are grounded. Chaos! Dismay! A sea of disappointed faces stare glumly at the flower show’s star attraction: on previous days Gavin had treated Chelsea Flower Show-goers to some pantomime cheers from the pod in the sky (and, fittingly, Christopher Biggins has been for a “flight”).

Lowry dominates British sales landscape

imageWill the Tate Britain finally give Lowry the exhibition he so richly deserves, asks Colin Gleadell.

Paintings and drawings by L S Lowry dominated last week’s sales of Modern British art. Of the 485 lots offered, only 33 were by Lowry, but they contributed precisely half of the total £40 million generated by the sales. As whispers begin to circulate that Tate Britain is finally to give Lowry the exhibition he so richly deserves, 14 works from the collection of the late Lord Forte at Christie’s sold for more than £18 million, with a painting of Piccadilly Circus equalling the record for Lowry at £5.6 million. Forte bought most of his Lowrys in the 1960s and 1970s, but added this to his collection in 1983 when the swashbuckling art dealer Roy Miles persuaded him he should have it because he had launched his first “milk bar” within a stone’s throw in Regent Street. Lord Forte, as he became in 1982, also owned the Café Royale in Regent Street, and the Criterion building and Lillywhite’s, from where Lowry’s view may have been painted.

Slow Moving Millie: ‘Morrissey said it was delightful’

imageNeil McCormick meets Amelia Warner, the singer behind the John Lewis commercial.

Amelia Warner is the voice of the Christmas ad that is dividing the nation. You must know the one I am talking about. The new TV campaign for the John Lewis department store chain features a cute child waiting impatiently for Christmas, while Warner’s dreamy version of the Smiths’ Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want plays in the background. So far, so mawkish.

Only it turns out he’s waiting to give his parents a present because, of course, ’tis better to give than to receive (as long as you are giving something from John Lewis, presumably).

Richard Green: Mayfair’s new temple to modern art

As Richard Green expands his London gallery empire, Colin Gleadell looks back at his remarkable rise to the top.


Tuesday sees the official opening of one of the most talked about art galleries in London. Bang next to Sotheby’s, above which it rises by a single, graceful story, the new Richard Green gallery looks as though it has been there for ever. That’s due to the skill of Young Architect of the Year contender George Saumarez Smith, who has effectively rebuilt two previously unremarkable buildings as one, and cloaked it with a magnificent neo-classical façade replete with a Hellenistic-style frieze that spans the width of the building.

Radio 4 protected in BBC cuts


The BBC is to protect high-quality output such as news, drama and Radio 4 from its forthcoming cuts programme by seeking heavy savings from mass-market services such as BBC Two and Radio 1, the corporation will announce this week.

Mark Thompson, the Director-General, will on Thursday reveal the contents of his Delivering Quality First strategy, which will see the corporation announce cuts of around £700 million to the £3.5 billion it currently spends each year.

The savings are necessary after the BBC agreed to freeze the licence fee for six years, and take on the funding of the World Service from the Foreign Office.

Half of the cuts, some £350 million, will come from productivity and efficiency savings, with executives warning that rank and file BBC staff face a “painful” few months. Around 2,500 jobs will be cut from the corporation’s 17,000 employees, with back-office areas such as human resources, marketing and legal departments hardest hit.

Frank Stella interview: the bigger picture

imageFrank Stella has been at the forefront of abstract art for half a century. Ahead of an extensive retrospective in Britain, he talks about his work

If you are looking for clues to the character of Frank Stella, the Formula One racing car parked inside his vast studio in upstate New York is a giveaway. ‘Ferrari gave that to me,’ the American abstract artist tells me nonchalantly, hooking a Cuban cigar from an ashtray beside him. ‘It did race, but it doesn’t have a motor now, so it’s just for show.’

Stella has been probing the limits of painting for more than five decades. His love of fast cars, though, dates from the mid-1970s, when BMW gave him one in exchange for decorating a racing model that competed at Le Mans. Six years later, in 1982, he was arrested for hurtling at 105mph along a highway in New York State. But the supercar inside his studio in Rock Tavern is testament not only to the artist’s love of speed. Once driven by Michael Schumacher, it also represents the competitive streak that has blazed through Stella’s life.

Take tennis. When he was younger – before, he says, his hip and knees ‘gave way’ – he used to play for hours, several times a week. After a while, though, his friends stopped playing with him. The gallery director Lawrence Rubin, who gave Stella his second solo show, in Paris in 1961, once said, ‘He doesn’t play for the fun of playing. He plays to win. And that’s the way he plays art.’

Ford Madox Brown, Manchester Art Gallery, review

imageA new show captures the brilliance of Ford Madox Brown, says Richard Dorment

Ford Madox Brown is the odd man out among the Pre-Raphaelites. Born in 1821 to English parents in Calais, he learnt to paint in the academies at Antwerp, Ghent and Paris. But from the beginning Brown was a paid-up member of the awkward squad. He rejected the academic systems and conventions he’d been taught at these institutions in favour of the archaic purity of line he found in the work of the German Nazarene painters, and although he shared the ideals of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, he never felt the need to became a member.

Older homeowners sell up to start renting

imageEquity-rich, older home owners are selling up and renting to release cash for retirement or the next generation.

The smart money is with the older home owner these days. Generations who have lived through successive housing booms are equity rich and in a position to downsize and help the young by releasing capital. They have more choice than ever before. Older people can join the growing ranks of more involved grandparents, or move to rented accommodation, or spread their wings and travel. Whichever way – the decisions of the old impact on the young.

40 years of Queen: Brian May interview

imageAs a lavish new history of one of the world’s greatest rock bands is published, Queen’s guitarist Brian May grants a rare interview to tell Peter Stanford about his fight with depression, and the long shadow cast by Freddie Mercury’s death

‘It’s like looking through a family album,” Brian May muses softly as he turns the pages of 40 Years of Queen, the sumptuously illustrated new history of the legendary rock band. “But where’s Freddie on this one?” he puzzles, coming to double page photograph, taken from the back of the stage in a stadium in Ireland in the summer of 1986.

Queen Elizabeth Hall: Sixty years of growing vegetables

imageThe Queen Elizabeth Hall rooftop garden proves you can grow your own vegetables anywhere .

Pick a fine September afternoon, wend your way along the Thames riverbank, past the entertainers, the beach huts and funfair, and climb the winding stairway to the roof garden on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall. There, up above the concrete geometry, you’ll find a sheltered suntrap with stunning views, and somewhere lush, green and growing. Take off your shoes and walk on the lawn, watch the insects dipping into the 100-variety-strong wild-flower meadow, admire the container-grown allotments and sip an English Garden cocktail (made with elderflower, gin and lemonade).

Overseas property: Jade Jagger’s Ibiza villa for sale

imageJade Jagger’s chic Ibiza haven is on the market, a five-bedroom villa near the sleepy town of San Joan in the north of the island.

Put the names Jagger and Ibiza together and it sounds like a rather wild and unrestful combination.

Not so, according to Jade Jagger, eldest daughter of Sir Mick and owner of a tranquil five-bedroom villa (which she is selling) near the sleepy town of San Joan.

“The north of Ibiza, where I live, is completely different from the south, where that whole dance and club scene is based,” says Jade. “In fact, I first came to the island 10 years ago because I was looking for a place to bring up my children.

National Gallery announces first major photography exhibition


The National Gallery have announced their 2012 exhibitions programme, with a photography retrospective among the blockbuster shows.

Will photographers ever truly rank among art history’s great masters? If that old debate has not yet been put to bed, it can be now.

Among the National Gallery’s three major paying exhibitions for next year are shows which will focus on Turner, Titian and photography respectively.

‘Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present’, which is slated to open in October, will showcase “exceptional examples” of early and contemporary photography in a display which will span 150 years of the medium.

From PJ Harvey to Keith Richards: who deserves an award?


Are there just too many award ceremonies?

There were two in London last night, with some guests apparently bustling between both red carpets.

In the Grosvenor Hotel Ballroom, PJ Harvey was the deserving winner of the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize, an edgy yet esteemed artist being justifiably celebrated for creating a substantial career best work of poetry and power. Meanwhile over at the Royal Opera House, Model Lara Stone was being hailed as Woman Of The Year by GQ magazine for (as far as I can see) getting her kit off in fashion shoots for glossy magazines.

My space: Tom Kay, entrepreneur

imageWest Country property special: Entrepreneur Tom Kay shows us round his home in St Agnes in Cornwall.

Ten years ago I was working in London as a chartered surveyor. I realised it wasn’t the life I wanted, so I packed it all in and fled to St Agnes in Cornwall. I grew up in Norfolk, near the sea, and studied marine biology; I always loved the outdoor life, and I think the water called me back.

This is the HQ of my eco-friendly outdoor clothing company, Finisterre. We’re based on the site of an old tin mine, 100 metres from a cliff top in St Agnes, overlooking the beach. The views are spectacular. The location is important for what we do. The winds come in right off the Atlantic, so when it’s windy and rainy, it’s extreme: rain hammers down on the tin roof – it keeps you aware of the power of the elements.

Is Damien Hirst trying to influence the art market?

imageDespite his huge wealth, Damien Hirst is still obsessed with making his paintings pay.There is an old joke that the clue to contemporary art is in the name: it is a con, and it is temporary. Even those inured to the industry’s excesses, however, might have been surprised by a report at the weekend about Damien Hirst. Not apparently content with his £215 million fortune, the original Young British Artist has allegedly taken to “bullying” auction houses into refusing to sell prints individually, insisting that they should be sold only as a complete package.

The work in question was In a Spin, the Action of the World on Things, a 4ft by 3ft box covered in one of Hirst’s iconic spin paintings, which are created by a machine pouring paint on to a canvas. Inside each box (Hirst made 68 of them) are 23 signed prints of spin images.

Rothko in Britain: a timeline



A new show at the Whitechapel Gallery celebrates a landmark exhibition which would seal a special bond between the American painter Mark Rothko and his British contemporaries.


• Rothko sailed to Britain – he never flew – for a holiday with his wife and daughter Kate. It was his third time in Europe.

• He stayed with his close friend and painter William Scott – whom he had met in New York in 1953 – and his family in their cottage in Somerset.

• At lunch with British abstract painters Peter Lanyon and Terry Frost, Rothko expressed his frustration with his work being misunderstood. He said: “You think my paintings are calm, like windows in some cathedral? You should look again. I’m the most violent of all the American painters. Behind those colours there hides the final cataclysm.”

Oxford landmark 4 Folly Bridge for sale

imageMax Davidson studies the options for the buyers of 4 Folly Bridge – an Oxford landmark that is for sale.

Student lodgers, anyone? Whoever buys 4 Folly Bridge, a castellated property on an island in the heart of Oxford, will first have to decide what to do with the lodgers. There are seven of them, inhabiting four separate floors, and compared with Oxford students of old, they are living in the lap of luxury.

They have televisions, microwaves, fridge-freezers, washing-machines and proper non-creaking beds. And I only counted one spider in the entire house, which must be an Oxford first.

The students are studying at the Oxford Business School, which currently owns the property, and it is quite possible that the new owner will also see its buy-to-let potential. It is already licensed by the council as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and brings in about £52,000 rental income a year, or 5 per cent of its capital value.

The British Design Awards

Vote for your favourites in this year’s competition, and you could win a £5,000 spree in John Lewis .


As the world stumbles from one economic crisis to another, the effects are felt far and wide. Over the course of the past year some of our favourite shops and designers have been faced with the incredibly difficult task of simply staying in business. Not everyone has been successful, but some have truly flourished.

That’s why the Telegraph Magazine is proud to be working with Elle Decoration to bring you its British Design Awards. Now in their 10th year, the awards are a celebration of the very best of British design over the past 12 months, an acknowledgement of the design industry’s true innovators. These are the people, the shops and the brands whose innovation and creativity has ensured that their appeal to an increasingly demanding consumer has endured.

Newsreel: protest in motion

Alex Reuben’s new documentary Newsreel is a strikingly contemporary journey through the streets of a London.


Back in 2008, I wrote about a rather good documentary called Routes in which its English director Alex Reuben took a road trip from North Carolina to New Orleans to document the many and varied forms of music and dance that flourished in the Deep South.

It was a riveting journey, parts of it filmed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, that highlighted the role rhythm played in countless communities, but also the continued existence of rich folk cultures in which music was still a very real expression of both affirmation and defiance. “Someone,” I concluded my short review, “should undertake a similar journey through Britain.”

A house where the Beatles once drank

Ed Cumming visits Heroes of Alma: a house that was once a pub where The Beatles drank .


Most old boozers have a celebrity story or two. Corner any publican in a quiet minute and they’ll tell you about the time when Noel Gallagher came in, or the month George Best stayed. But few can have had as glittering a parade of punters through their doors as the Heroes of Alma, in St John’s Wood, north-west London.

Located in Alma Square, a mere lofted drive from Lord’s cricket ground, the pub was the local for Abbey Road, the world’s most famous recording studio. When the Beatles were recording there during the Sixties, the Heroes of Alma was where they would beat a retreat for a restorative pint or two.

London A Beautiful MegaCity

London is a beautiful city and capital of United Kingdom. It offers vast world of old and new culture.


The world visitors count it as multicultural city. The capital is known for offering vast cultural diversity, finance, trade, politics, and fashion to the world. London has become one of the most preferable places for family holidays, leisure vacations, and honeymoon recently.

Whatever the reason we count for travelling London, a trip to this beautiful city considered as life time experience by holidaymakers. Your London tour will be a successful as will get to view world class museums, and monuments, parks embedded with natural beauties, and above all magnificent royal palaces and extremely beautiful churches.

The vegetable garden in a bag

Bunny Guinness learns that a tarmac space can be turned into a successful vegetable garden.


The site of a well-tended vegetable garden burgeoning with assorted greens, purples and yellows always sends me weak at the knees. When I first clapped eyes on GreEn 16, a community garden in Newham, east London, I was more impressed than usual.

This garden is 13m by 35m and, despite being sited on tarmac, it is highly successful. It gets around the problem by using large one-ton builders’ bags. The 120 bags have been filled with compost and vegetables are crammed in tightly. By having tall plants (sunflowers, sweetcorn, beans) in the palette, the whole space comes across as productive and green and the builders’ bags are surprisingly unobtrusive.

What it means to travel green

The word ‘eco’ is bandied about so much, it’s difficult to tell what’s authentic and what’s not. So we’ve done the hard work for you, compiling a list of 75 outstanding green travel companies, selected by our team of experts


Nearly 40 years ago I took a three-day train ride from London to Istanbul, a bus from there to Bodrum, and ended up walking to the village of Gumusluk because there was no road. I spent the summer picking and eating peaches and fishing with the locals. Net result: minimum ecological damage, maximum cultural exchange, and a tad fewer octopuses in the Mediterranean. In today’s terms, this was as green as travel gets.

Now you can get to Gumusluk in a few hours and spend a month there without hearing a word of Turkish. The fish may come from Singapore, the hotels are owned by the British, the villas by the Dutch, and the yachts that call in are in the million-dollar bracket. The place has changed unimaginably in a generation and, as one of the village’s first tourists, I hold my hand up. Had I known then what I know now, should I have gone?

Racing David Coulthard

It was virtual versus reality in what was being billed as the world’s biggest race, but just how did David Coulthard get on?


So this is it, virtual versus reality in the world’s biggest race. In one corner David Coulthard, 13 times Formula One race winner and current commentary box sidekick to Martin Brundle. His weapon: a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. His task: to set the fastest lap possible around a “mystery” UK circuit in a 15-minute time slot.

His opponents are many and varied. In fact, with the race open to anybody around the world with a Playstation 3, a copy of Gran Turismo 5 and an internet connection, the scope is enormous. For my part, I’ll be joining six competition winners at Mercedes-Benz World in Surrey. Our job is to take on DC in real-time, setting the fastest lap we can manage in a virtual version of the SLS AMG, on a virtual version of the same track.

Ben Nicholson’s northern period serves up a Middlesbrough treat

The Northerner’s art supremo, Alan Sykes, inspects mima’s latest exhibition with a learned Cumbrian eye


Ben Nicholson one of the pioneers of modernist painting in the UK, is generally associated with London and the St Ives School which he and his friend Kit Wood effectively founded.

However, Nicholson spent a significant part of his early development living with his first wife Winifred Nicholson at a family farm of her’s right on Hadrian’s Wall, not far from Carlisle, where they were visited by many other artists from their circle, including Paul Nash, Ivon Hitchens and Jean Hugo.

Living the high life: homes in skyscrapers

Cities around the world are capitalising on people’s desire for a home in the sky. Graham Norwood looks at an elevating trend


Traditionally the British have seen towers as rather undesirable places to live. High-rise buildings are often associated with council housing or brutalistic modern architecture.

But that’s changing. More and more Britons are choosing to reach for the skies, and towers are getting ever taller to accommodate them.

The finishing touches are being put on The Heron, a 36-storey tower near Liverpool Street in the City of London. Meanwhile, in Vauxhall, south-west London, building is under way on The Tower at St George Wharf. At 49 storeys, it will be London’s tallest residential building when completed in 2013.

“Until recently, it was difficult to secure a mortgage on a flat in a building with more than six or seven storeys,” says Robert Bailey, who runs his eponymous buying agency for some of the world’s richest purchasers wanting homes in the capital.

For sale: Three of the best mill houses

We all want to live in an idyllic mill house, and here are three of the best country retreats.

imageDurnsford Mill, Mildenhall, Wiltshire

Riverside retreat £1.35m-1.75m

Looks Situated two miles east of Marlborough, this idyllic mill house, featured on the cover of The Field in 1963, dates back to 1778. Crammed with period features, all the principal rooms overlook the stunning gardens and the River Kennet, whose waters are famous for trout.

Sporting estates are the greatest prize

Every self-respecting billionaire should own their own country estate – it’s the ultimate prestige purchase, discovers Caroline McGhie.


It is one of the things we do best. Our sporting estates offer more romance, spectacular landscape and historical resonance than any in the world. The great salmon rivers of Scotland, the dancing chalk streams of Hampshire, the majestic hills of Leicestershire where the Quorn Hunt rides out, the woodlands and pastures of rural England teeming with pheasants – these are crucial ingredients in this highly specialised niche market. What new billionaire doesn’t dream of being monarch of the glen to his own Glenbogle?

TV review: Show Me The Funny and British Masters

Show Me The Funny? You get a lot more laughs from Karren, Nick and Lord Sugar


The first and last time I laughed during Show Me The Funny (ITV1) was when the world’s only half-Welsh, half-Spanish comedian introduced himself to his audience. “Buenas tardes. I am Ignacio Lopez,” he began. “Some of you may recognise me as the barman you slept with in Magaluf a couple of years ago.”

Miraculously, he channelled both halves of his noble heritage: Tom Jones’s understandably smug expression before being showered with knickers; and Antonio Banderas’s cross-species sexual braggadocio in Shrek. You remember, when he voiced Puss in Boots and propositioned Cameron Diaz’s princess.

Buy a modern home in the country

More and more people living in the countryside are opting for modern homes rather than pastoral pastiche.


You might think that very few people go for uncompromising modernity in the country, yet those who do can attract huge admiration. The Turvill family built Bavent House at Reydon, on the reed beds of Suffolk, in what you might call “fairy-tale-modern” style. Clad in zinc and iroko, the house is reminiscent of a beach hut, while the uneven roofline is like an ancient settlement or distant castle.

Departing from the vernacular still takes courage, though. “We had to defend ourselves, explain why we weren’t doing a pastiche country house, but now we feel we made the right decision,” says Lucy Turvill, a pharmaceutical consultant who moved into Bavent House almost a year ago with her husband Richard, who owns a laundry business, and their daughter Clear, 12. “The materials are just wonderful. The wood has faded to a soft colour and mimics the reed beds.”

Music wasn’t better in your day – but Lawrence Watson’s retrospective is still a must-see

imageOne of my favourite photographers is exhibiting in London for the next two weeks. You can see work by Lawrence Watson, who has photographed rock ‘n’ roll icons and pop culture for 25 years, in a sweet little gallery at the top of Kingly Court in Soho. I went to the launch party last night (and – scream! – was lucky enough to spot the elusive Islington Twins). There’s LL Cool J performing live in front of an enormous boombox, Grace Jones looking both terrifying and beautiful, Damon Albarn’s adorable puppy dog eyes, Isaac Hayes and his weird moobs, the famous picture of Pulp and the mannequins, Morrissey contemplating using a gun, and 25,000 more.

It’s the first time I’ve thought “that was popular culture then, and this is now.” The images depicting the rise of 90s hip hop, indie and rave culture seem to be from a different world. Just as pictures of Woodstock, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles defined the immediately previous wave of popular culture, now the parent to our modern scion is Liam’s snarl and Run DMC’s swagger. It brought home how much the music industry has changed in the last decade.

Tower Bridge: a towering boy’s toy

When it comes to courage and quick thinking, you have to hand it to Albert Gunton. In December 1952, the driver of the number 78 bus was trundling across Tower Bridge when he realised that it was being raised to allow a ship to pass on the Thames below.

imageFaced with the prospect of his double-decker toppling into the river, the terrified Albert hit the accelerator and shot across the widening gap between the bridge’s two halves before landing safely on the other side. This 3ft leap resulted in minor injuries for 12 of the 20 passengers, a £10 bravery award for Albert and, most likely, the dismissal of whoever forgot to give the warning signal.

It’s quite a story and I can only hope there will be no similar dramas as I prepare for a truly thrilling experience. To celebrate the completion of major restoration works on the bridge, the City of London Corporation is launching a competition with what anyone who ever owned a Meccano set will regard as a wonderful prize.

The winner gets to press the buttons which raise the bridge and, as I have been boasting endlessly to anyone who will listen, I have been invited to try this out for myself.

We need a Toulouse-Lautrec to record our sleazy, hedonistic times

You may not have heard of Jane Avril, but you’ve probably seen her. A dancer at the Moulin Rouge, she was Toulouse-Lautrec’s favourite model; her orange-red hair and long, gangly legs pop up all over the place in his posters and paintings.


There she is, dancing the can-can at the Jardin de Paris, in the audience at the Divan Japonais (pictured) – two other Paris nightclubs – or knocking back absinthe at the Moulin Rouge.

All these pictures and posters have been brought together at a revealing exhibition, which has just opened at the Courtauld Gallery on the Strand (until September 18). Toulouse-Lautrec has been much loved in Britain since his first show here in 1894 – his posters still adorn a million student bedrooms and high street bistro walls – but there hasn’t been a show of his pictures in London for 20 years.

Rome: the best readers’ tips

From restaurant advice to obscure museums, the best of our readers’ tips for Rome.
imageIn response to your call for tips for visitors to Rome: try Galleria Colonna an art gallery and palace off Piazza Venezia, away from the normal tourist trail; it opens only on Saturday mornings. A visit is like stepping back in time. The gallery is adorned with ornate framed paintings, gold and gilt furnishings, sculpted ceilings, frescoes, wall hangings and more. It’s privately owned and not widely advertised, but the lack of tourists and the quiet opulence make it seem like a privilege to visit.

For a memorable eating experience try lunch, perhaps on a Sunday when the sun is shining, at Cecilia Metella on the old Appian Way (Appia Antica), just out of the centre of Rome, opposite the Catacombs of San Sebastiano.

London’s rich sell as foreign money pours in

Britain’s rich and famous are moving out of central London’s most up-market districts and being replaced by wealthy overseas buyers, according to new research.

imageSavills, the estate agent, says £3.7bn of foreign money is pouring into the prime London housing market every year and especially into areas such as Mayfair, Kensington, Notting Hill and Chelsea.

The demand is leading to UK owners selling their homes and moving to outer London, creating a “champagne tower effect” with the distribution of wealth in the capital.

Savills’ report, called World in London and published on Friday, says British sellers of homes in central London have outnumbered British buyers by 30pc this year, compared with 5pc in 2008. Meanwhile, foreign buyers have outnumbered foreign sellers by 58pc in 2011, up from 23pc in 2008.

New heights for modern Czech art at landmark London sale

One sculpture of a man on a bicycle by Otakar Svec sold for seven times its higher estimate.

imagePrices for modern Czech art were going through the roof at Sotheby’s on Monday.

The auction of works from the Hascoe collection, which was previewed here last week, had doubled its £5 million pre-sale estimate mid way through the sale after landmark record prices were set for Frantisek Kupka (£1.5 million), Josef Capek (£565,250), Frantisek Foltyn (£433,250), and Bohumil Kubista (£397,250).

Short-Stay Trips to London city

imageLondon is a sprawling metropolis of the world’s most famous museums, monuments and historical buildings, a cultural capital with everything from bohemian districts to modern art enclaves. But with the exorbitant prices, most travellers don’t spend more than a few days in London.

Cruising on Seabourn Odyssey

Graham Boynton thought cruising wasn’t for him. That was until he took a trip with his family on Seabourn Odyssey from Istanbul to Athens.

There are some things in life that one should avoid confessing to when in serious company. For example, in the mid-Seventies it was social suicide to admit liking Abba’s music, as it is today with Sir Cliff Richard’s canon; equally, to claim a secret fondness for the novels of Barbara Cartland or the paintings of Vladimir Tretchikoff remains cultural death.

All aboard for the Telegraph Cruise Show

imageCruising is more popular than ever – and our travel show can help you find a trip that suits your tastes and budget.

If you are thinking of taking a cruise this year – and nearly 1.8 million Britons are likely to do so – then you should benefit from a trip to the The Telegraph Cruise Show, which takes place at Olympia in London this weekend.

BBC Radio 3’s decision to broadcast live concerts is music to my ears

imageThe news broke yesterday that BBC Radio 3 will start to broadcast “live” concerts again after a four-year hiatus. But not just a few celebrity events dotted here and there: no, every weekday evening for 46 weeks of the year we will be able to tune in to a happening event as it happens.

Great expectations?

imageBig artists often badmouth their arts institutions… but rarely have I heard criticism for the college praising them too much.

But this is exactly what was reported today. Artists, including Royal College of Art success story Gavin Turk and Chelsea School of Art graduate Fiona MacDonald, are criticising art colleges for a ‘celebrity culture’  that they say makes students think they can make it, regardless of the credit crunch.

Does the Royal College of Art suffer from a celebrity culture?

Dumfries House: a Sleeping Beauty brought back to life by the Prince of Wales

Saved by Prince Charles from the auctioneer’s hammer, Dumfries House – a time capsule of 18th-century furnishing – has been restored to its former glory Dumfries House has been portrayed as an 18th-century Sleeping Beauty.


Adam-designed and Chippendale-furnished, it remained untouched for 250 years, so the story goes, before being kissed by a prince and startled into trembling new life. Astoundingly, this fairy tale is largely true.

Until this gem of an estate was ‘saved for the nation’ in June 2007, few people even knew of its existence. Yet its contents, dating from the mid-1750s, when it was built by the 5th Earl of Dumfries, include at least 50 pieces by the great British furniture maker Thomas Chippendale – some specially made for the house – along with the finest surviving collection of carved Scottish rococo furniture.

Cultural city breaks: Great art, kept all to yourself

How do you avoid the ever-growing crowds that pack the big European museums? Nick Trend suggests some ways to make the experience more positive.

imageOn a packed London tube train I was contorting my neck, trying to see through the crowd and check which station we had arrived at. The experience reminded me of something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I remembered – it was visiting the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael rooms in the Vatican Museums.

The same feeling of half-suffocated, frustrated claustrophobia had overwhelmed me a few years ago as I shuffled along with the tide of tourists, waiting for a gap to open so that I could steal a glimpse of Raphael’s frescoes, or find an unencumbered vantage point from which to view Michelangelo’s ceiling. When God created Adam, he surely didn’t imagine quite so many of his progeny crammed into one place at the same time.

Dublin city break: an insider’s guide

In the latest of our series of destination guides, Geoff Wallis offers tips on how to make the most of Dublin as the city gears up for St Patrick’s Day.


Why go?

The Irish economy may be a bit of a dampener, but Dubliners will doubtless ensure that March 17 is marked in the usual fashion. In the city of black pints and polished prose, there is no party quite like the one for St Patrick’s Day.

If you can’t make it then (and accommodation will be filling up), there are plenty of excuses at any time of year for a parade of your own, whether you’re intent on exploring those famously numerous bars, the influence of the city on Joyce, Swift and Behan, or the chic stores of Grafton Street.

Travel advice: ‘We don’t want to change hotels’

Gill Charlton assists a couple offered ‘alternative’ accommodation; and advises on seeing the Yangtze river and hand luggage limits.


In January, my wife and I booked a package holiday with Flexibletrips to the Marina Luz Hotel in C’an Pastilla, Majorca, departing on September 6. The booking was made through our local Thomas Cook travel agency.

In early April we paid the outstanding balance for the holiday. It was not until April 30 that my wife received a call from Thomas Cook to say that “for contractual reasons” we could no longer stay at the Marina Luz Hotel.

We were offered an alternative, but we do not want to stay anywhere else. This was to be our 11th visit to the hotel, which is the reason we go to Majorca.

Business traveller’s diary

When burnout hits, even the most robust business traveller needs an emergency pitstop. Frequent flyer Max Levene shares tips on his favourite city for beating the blues, Chicago


There comes a moment in every frequent traveller’s year when tiredness, introspection and self-doubt sneak through one’s usually powerful armour.
Your humble diarist hit the tiredness wall at the end of last week.

The sun may have been shining outside the office, but inside I was suffering from a cold shiver. Could I cope with yet another trip to Heathrow the next day? Did I have the heart to produce yet another thought-filled PowerPoint presentation? Could I muster any excitement for yet another lonely hotel room (however beautiful the décor)? And was I in any fit mental state for yet another corporate dinner?

Jamie Breese’s Focus On David Hockney ceramic cat


A rare earthenware ceramic cat made by David Hockney sold at ­auction recently for a surprisingly high amount. Hockney – whose paintings sell for millions of pounds – was 18 when he made the piece, which was the star of the show.

Find Career In Catering Business


DEBBIE Baxter left school feeling like a complete failure.

“The teachers were constantly telling me I couldn’t get a job because I was so hopeless. The awful thing is, I really believed them,” she says.

Monkees swing back into town


The original boy band is attracting a new generation of believers, says Helen Brown .

In September 1965, the Hollywood Reporter ran a wanted ad for “Four Insane Boys: 17-21”. Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider – the Hollwood producing team who would later make Easy Rider – were seeking “rock and folk musicians” for “acting roles in TV series”.

The Veteran


Tobey Kebbell’s performance proves beyond doubt that he can carry a film. Rating: * *

Have we got mews for you?


The rear quarters, once just for servants and horses, are enjoying a revival by offering a taste of village life in the heart of London, says Graham Norwood

Lords and ladies might still rule in Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs, but in the property world the servants are taking their revenge. Mews houses – staff quarters and stables once owned by Britain’s grandest families – are back in fashion.

The chocolate-lovers’ good homes guide


High-end foodie shops are a sure sign of a buoyant property market, says Caroline McGhie

Who would have thought that chocolatiers and cake-bakers could be wealth indicators in an area? But if you think about it, those handmade truffles and macaroons can be bought only where disposable incomes are high. Even in these economically challenged times, though spending has been cut back on holidays it has increased on cupcakes. To seek out the most buoyant local property markets you could do worse than follow your sweet tooth.

A perfect classical house


The Pediment in Northamptonshire is a display of British classical style at its best, discovers Clive Aslet

The sun is shining, tea and Victoria sponge are on the terrace. A magnolia in full flower at the front of the house completes the scene. This is The Pediment, in the stone-built Northamptonshire village of Aynho, the remarkable home of John Jackson, the lawyer, businessman, author and countryside campaigner, and his wife, Rowena.

What to wear for the royal wedding


Treat it as a particularly nationalistic holiday and festoon yourself in union flags, just like everyone else What shall I wear to watch the royal wedding?

Martha, London

Well, Martha, nothing educates more than example so I shall tell you what I will be wearing: pyjamas, bed socks and a pair of toothpicks, holding up each of my eyelids. As you might have discerned, this is an outfit with a toothpick-prodded eye more on practicalities than aesthetics, and the practicality here is that certain editors are making certain writers watch the wedding even though these writers live in a different time zone and therefore will need to be awake and pretending to care about things like “succession” and “balding princes” at 4am. Not that I’ve ever been one to complain. Stoic – that’s what they’ve always said about me, and by “always” I mean “never”.

Republican art rules OK


The royal wedding will showcase Westminster Abbey, but it is under republics, not monarchies, that artists flourish the most The cultural heritage of the British monarchy is about to go on display all over the world as screens glow with the architectural and sculptural grandeur of Westminster Abbey. Founded in the 10th century, loaded with new marvels down the ages of which the most sublime is surely the chapel of Henry VII with its filigree fan vaulting, this royal abbey church is the best example anyone could ever adduce to support the contention that British culture is profoundly beholden to and involved in the regal tradition.

National Business Awards 2011 open to entries


The National Business Awards competition is backed by the Chancellor as it opens for entries in its tenth year

Chancellor George Osborne has backed the 2011 National Business Awards, which has opened for entries.

Mr Osborne said the awards, now in their tenth year, were a “perfect way to celebrate the best of British business,” and provided “success stories” that could inspire more people to start up and grow businesses.

National Business Awards winners announced


On a night of triumph for UK plc, the best British businesses gathered to celebrate excellence, innovation and ethics at the ninth annual National Business Awards in partnership with Orange at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

Opening the ceremony with a video message recorded before jetting off to the G20 Summit, Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated all of the finalists recognised by this year’s Awards saying they were an inspiration not only to the business community but those in government trying to support recovery.

Agency MCBD and upmarket food retailer Waitrose scoop Excellence in Marketing Award


On a night of triumph for UK plc, the best British businesses gathered to celebrate excellence, innovation and ethics at the ninth annual National Business Awards in partnership with Orange at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

Emerging triumphant against finalists including American Express, Camelot UK Lotteries, British Heart Foundation, Freesat and e-mphasis, upmarket food retailer Waitrose was presented with the Excellence in Marketing Award for its ‘Essentials’ campaign at the National Business Awards Gala Dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on 9th November 2010.

Britain’s biggest mutual honoured


The Co-operative Group honoured as ‘beacon of best practice’ to scoop ICAEW Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Award.

Emerging triumphant against finalists including Coca-Cola Enterprises, Unilever, Commercial, Kestrel Liner Agencies and Redeem, the UK’s largest mutual, The Co-operative Group, was presented with the ICAEW Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Award at the National Business Awards Gala Dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on 9th November 2010.

Hobbycraft company honoured


Founder Sara Davies and Crafter’s Companion honoured as Santander Small to Medium-Sized Business of the Year

Emerging triumphant against finalists including Coffee Nation, SpiriTel, Abriox, SJD Accountancy, Glencairn Crystal Studios and Make it cheaper, papercrafting market leader Crafter’s Companion was named Santander Small to Medium Sized Enterprise of the Year at the National Business Awards Gala Dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on 9th November 2010.

Pearson triumphs with Coutts & Co Large-Cap Business of the Year accolade


Emerging triumphant against finalists including The Co-operative Group, Whitbread, Hiscox, Unilever UK & Ireland, and BSkyB, global education and media company Pearson was named Coutts & Co Large-Cap Business of the Year at the National Business Awards Gala Dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on 9th November 2010.

Vivian Maier: the nanny with a flair for photography


To those who knew her, Vivian Maier was a loving if eccentric nanny. But now this mysterious Mary Poppins figure has been exposed as a photographic great
Vivain Maier self portrait
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