©Luke Waller

Nicola Barker

The novelist on the wonders of the World Service, her peculiar diet and why Perez Hilton on ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ is a metaphor for the strange world we inhabit

Food & Drink

©Ingram Pinn
An increasing proportion of whites are high in acidity, have no trace of the toastiness of oak and have the flinty smell of recently struck matches
– Jancis Robinson
‘A Jerusalem artichoke soup sounds pretty straightforward until the extra ingredients are factored in’
– Nicholas Lander
Apple galette ©Andy Sewell
‘Pudding at this time of year is not a lemon tart from a pâtisserie or a pile of fruit and tubs of ice cream’
– Rowley Leigh
©Shonagh Rae

The fur debate — recycled

These days my attitudes to fur have become less black and white. Or sable and cream, perhaps

Illustration by Luis Grañena of misconceptions about France
©Luis Grañena

Why is France so misunderstood?

‘Many foreigners feel that they understand France, and disagree with it. Hence the phenomenon that the French call “le French bashing”’

Tyler Brule: The Fast Lane

The Fast Lane: taking on the world

Answers to some of the biggest problems lie within the boundaries of Davos and many Swiss hamlets

Harry Eyres: The Slow Lane

The Slow Lane: An urban stage for nature

The Guandu Nature Park in Taipei has an importance out of all proportion to its size

Jan Dalley

Authenticity ain’t what it used to be

Intellectual property law does not seem to help much when it comes to the arts

©Lucas Varela

I spy an administrative opportunity

‘If we are going to have to endure a surveillance state, it might as well make itself useful’

The cream cheese dilemma

How much of our lives is used up in the active shilly-shallying of things that don’t greatly affect us?

Chanel black and white grossgrain flat, £715

Some words of comfort: the world is now flat

Why flats are a step forward for all woman-kind

©Laura Hynd

Science: Gut instincts

Our appetites are controlled by the millions of neurons that send messages from our ‘gut brain’. But what happens when the communication is cut off?