Category Archives: Life and style

Versace does what Versace does best as Paris haute couture shows begin

Eva Herzigová and Amber Valletta, models who made it big last century, step back on to catwalk to model irony-free designs

The collection with which Donatella Versace opened the Paris haute couture shows on Sunday night was sexy and glamorous.

The dresses were long and form-fitting, with slim naked slivers peeled off across the body, as if Donatella had attacked her gowns with a lemon zester.

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Posted in Fashion, Fashion industry, Haute couture shows, Life and style, Versace, World news | Comments Off

Spyware and smartphones: how abusive men track their partners

Apps offer abusers a terrifying new toolbox to control their partners and exes. Phone software allows them to follow people’s movements, monitor their calls, texts and emails – and even watch them

Out for dinner on an overseas business trip thousands of miles from the UK, Isobel answered the call on her mobile expecting to speak to her children. Instead, she heard the voice of her estranged husband, whom she was in the process of divorcing after years of violence in which she had been punched, kicked, strangled, pulled around by her hair and thrown down the stairs.

“Before the children came on the line, he told me exactly where I was – which city, in which country, and which restaurant I was sitting in,” she says. “I was absolutely beside myself. I was just so overwhelmed with fear, wondering how the hell he could pinpoint me like this. I asked how he knew and he said: ‘I can find you on your iPhone.’”

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Nicole Pisani quits top London restaurant to make school dinners

Chef who made her name in Yotam Ottolenghi’s Soho restaurant to serve up lunch for 500 students on a budget of 92p a child

• Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes

A top chef at one of London’s chicest restaurants, where she has made her name cooking sumptuous Middle Eastern and Asian-inspired dishes, has left her job to work in a school kitchen.

Nicole Pisani made a name for herself as chef de cuisine at Nopi – the fashionable Soho restaurant set up by celebrated chef and cookery writer Yotam Ottolenghi. From Monday, however, she will be preparing lunch for 500 schoolchildren at an inner London state primary school, on a budget of just 92p a child.

Related: The rice man cometh: Yotam Ottolenghi’s pilaf recipes

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Posted in Chefs, Education, Food & drink, Life and style, Schools, UK news, World news | Comments Off

Alabama asks federal judge to put gay marriage ban ruling on hold

Ruling on Friday overturned ban on gay marriage but state’s attorney general wants a stay since US supreme court is ‘resolving the issues on a nationwide basis’

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Cat genes hold vital clues to treatments for human diseases

Researchers aim to sequence feline genomes to help in fight against diabetes and asthma Continue reading…
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The Big Allotment Challenge review – as exciting as watching tomatoes dry

Bake-Off made cakes sexy, and fun – can the BBC sprinkle the same magic on vegetable gardening? Don’t talk rot

It’s been a brilliant week for television, starting with Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney’s hilarious Catastrophe on Monday, then majestic Wolf Hall, and the saucy new Russell T Davies dramas about varying degrees of firmness. And then the brilliance totally runs out. I struggled to find anything interesting on Friday, and ended up with The Great British Rake Off, or The Big Allotment Challenge (BBC2) as it’s officially called.

“With the clock ticking down to show day, Alan is pinching out side shoots on his tomatoes,” says Fern Britton, doing her best to crank up the tension. I have tried unsuccessfully to grow tomatoes in the past; maybe I’ll learn something. Alan is using the cordon method. That’s perhaps where I went wrong, never having heard of the cordon method.

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Posted in Allotments, Culture, Educational TV, Factual TV, Food & drink, Food TV, Gardens, Hobbies, Life and style, Reality TV, Television, Television & radio, Vegetables, World news | Comments Off

Gran’s film tribute is up for an Oscar

Daisy Jacobs has just been nominated for an Oscar at the age of 26. Her extraordinary animated film explores the way her grandmother’s final months of illness divided her family

Daisy Jacobs learned her trade at her grandmother’s knee: she would watch as she painted and, as Daisy worked her way through art school and set herself up as an animation film-maker, Eileen was her greatest champion.

So it seems fitting that when Daisy was nominated for an Oscar this month – aged 26 – it was for a film all about Eileen. The only sadness, as her family toast Daisy and she prepares for the trip to the ceremony in Los Angeles next month, is that Eileen didn’t live to see Daisy’s moment of triumph. Her prize-winning film (it has already won one major prize and was nominated for a Bafta) was prompted by Eileen’s death aged 75 and, says Daisy, in many ways an attempt to hang on to her grandmother for as long as possible.

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Posted in Awards and prizes, Bereavement, Culture, Death and dying, Family, Film, Life and style, Oscars, Oscars 2015, Parents and parenting, World news | Comments Off

Suet surrender: sweet and savoury pudding recipes

The irresistible, rib-sticking qualities of these suet pudding recipes will throw many a January diet into disarray. Relent and embrace this beef and ale pud and moist mini cakes wholeheartedly

It’s at this point in January when the few of my friends who were optimistic (or masochistic) enough to attempt a New Year’s diet usually begin to falter and fade. As the winter chill sharpens and their hunger kicks in, one by one, they slip off the wagon and return sheepishly to the land of the gourmands where, keen to kickstart their rehabilitation, I welcome them with open arms – and a suet pudding.

Suet is the hard fat gleaned from beef or mutton. It boasts more fat, less water and a higher melting point than butter, so you should find that these suet pastries and puddings have a light, open texture when freshly cooked. They very quickly become waxy and dense as they cool, though, so it’s best to get them while they’re hot.

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Posted in Baking, Food & drink, Life and style, World news | Comments Off

The best places to eat out and drink this week

Mike & Ollie | My food vice… Caramac | Boak & Bailey on booze

Brockley market – a weekly parade of south-east London’s well-dressed art students and better-dressed babies – has long been a reliable hub for tip-top street food and seasonal produce. Appropriate, then, that the stalwart Mike & Ollie combines the two to heavenly effect. The ethos is simple: a stripped-down menu – single meat, veg and fish options – featuring whatever seasonal and hyper-local produce has been foraged, smoked or cured that week, crammed into a hot flatbread. Thus, on top of, let’s say, slow-cooked lamb shoulder, mackerel or grilled cauliflower, expect curveballs like Crystal Palace quince membrillo, pickled rhubarb or Greenwich chestnuts (though, alas, none of the bruised roadkill seen on M&O’s blog). The breads themselves are worth the visit alone – the kind of charred, chewy pillows normally only found in smoke-filled Ocakbasi houses.

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If I were queen for a day, this would be a month of real food, not detoxers’ nauseous green slime

My daughter is right – weird health juice is terrible for your insides. I can lose weight just thinking about raw kale

I would ban juicing in January. Totally. Prison for all juicers. For anyone skulking around Holland & Barrett looking for spirulina or chia seed or stevia or aloe vera; anything that looks like it might be excreted from a snail. In fact: no detoxing whatsoever. On New Year’s Eve Gwyneth Paltrow would be escorted to a secure location, to resurface only in February.

I would also force the food companies to write warnings on nearly everything: packets and jars and tins: “Invisible sugar in this food is addictive and will make you fat and sick”. Or: “You may as well give your child a cigarette as feed them this, because the long-term health consequences are as severe”. And added hormones in meat and milk would be outlawed. We have enough super-size children hitting puberty at the age of eight already.

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