Feasting alfresco! Summer seafood paella

Feeding your friends and loved ones in the garden? Here’s how to do it in delicious style   This scrumptious summer seafood paella is best severed with parsley and lemon wedges for squeezing Serves 4-6 350g (12oz) mussels 2tbsp olive oil 200g (7oz) monkfish (or other chunky white fish), cut into small cubes 1 large onion, finely diced 2 sticks celery, finely diced 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely diced 4 garlic cloves, 3 finely chopped, 1 smashed 1 scant tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed 250g (9oz) paella rice 1 rounded tsp…

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Feasting alfresco! Chargrilled nectarines with burrata

Feeding your friends and loved ones in the garden? Here’s how to do it in delicious style.  These scrumptious chargrilled nectarines with burrata is best served with walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup Serves 4 75g (2¾oz) walnuts 1tbsp maple syrup, plus extra for serving 6tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 4 nectarines, halved A handful of watercress Salt and freshly ground black pepper 50g (1¾oz) rocket 1 burrata (or mozzarella) cheese, torn Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Put the walnuts on a baking tray, drizzle with maple syrup and…

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Linbergh’s biggest flight of fantasy: The famed aviator as US president? It could have happened

The opening scenes of new drama series The Plot Against America start gently enough. It’s June 1940 in Newark, New Jersey, and on the sunny streets children are marking out play areas in chalk while pinafore-wearing mums chat on doorsteps before going into their neat suburban homes to prepare dinner.  Thousands of miles away in Europe the Second World War may be well underway, but you can barely feel its ominous presence here. Yet these scenes of community harmony will not last long. Based on the 2004 Philip Roth novel…

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Imagine if one of the world’s biggest rock stars dropped in to your virtual choir practice

Lockdown has brought a sense of thoughtful reflection to one of Britain’s greatest singer-songwriters, and inspired him to record a song with his local community choir.  Famed for classics such as Every Breath You Take and Message In A Bottle with his band The Police, and solo hits including Englishman In New York and Fields Of Gold, Sting has now revived the haunting anthem Hymn that he wrote for his musical The Last Ship – and asked his local choir in Battersea, south London, to record it with him. The…

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Feasting alfresco! Gin & elderflower cocktail

Feeding your friends and loved ones in the garden? Here’s how to do it in delicious style. This refreshing Gin & elderflower cocktail is ideal for impressing guests this summer Serves 8 160ml (5½fl oz) gin 100ml (3½fl oz) elderflower cordial  Juice of 1 lemon ½ a cucumber, halved lengthways and sliced A few sprigs of mint 2 handfuls of ice 1 bottle of Prosecco 250ml (9fl oz) sparkling water, or to taste Put the gin, elderflower cordial and lemon juice into a large jug. Add the cucumber, mint and ice,…

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Pixie Lott and Paloma Faith on love, loss and leg waxing in lockdown  

Singers Paloma Faith and Pixie Lott appeared on the music scene at a similar time – both had their first singles out in 2009, so they qualify as industry veterans. Between them they’ve recorded seven albums, 44 singles and 47 music videos, so you may think the technical side of things holds no secrets. Wrong! Paloma, 38, reveals that during lockdown she attempted to continue working on a new album.  Deprived of the usual studio and team of producers, she bought some professional recording equipment. And she has a message…

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Feasting alfresco! Lamb kebabs with feta & mint dip

Feeding your friends and loved ones in the garden? Here’s how to do it in delicious style. These delicious lamb kebabs with feta & mint dip are perfect for garden parties this summer Serves 4 600g (1lb 5oz) lean lamb (leg or neck fillet) Salt and freshly ground black pepper For the marinade 1tbsp pomegranate molasses 1tbsp honey Juice of 1 lemon 2 garlic cloves, crushed 5cm piece of ginger, finely grated 1tbsp oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 small courgette, 1 sweet pepper and 1 red onion,…

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Social media star partners with sustainable brand on SEXY swimwear collection

Social media star Halley Elefante (aka The Salty Blonde) has partnered up with LA swim and active brand Skatie on a sassy swimwear collection for the girl next door.  Like Halley, Skatie co-founders, Skatie Noyes and Mandi Glynn are young entrepreneurs who value inclusivity, sustainability and affordability. ‘My inspiration was summer in quarantine,’ said Halley. ‘I saw myself and girls around the world wearing these in their backyards in kiddie pools, grilling out, not taking themselves too seriously, and enjoying their summer at home.’ Social media star Halley Elefante (aka The…

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A ringside seat with Princess Anne to mark her 70th birthday 

On a chilly winter’s afternoon I am standing next to Princess Anne as we watch a horses’s head being sawn off. Unlike me, she doesn’t blink an eye. We’re at Surrey University’s veterinary school where we’re being ‘treated’ to a post-mortem demonstration by students. Elegant, willowy, and with coltish legs, her hair is ruthlessly sculpted back into her trademark chignon, and held up by what looks like a giant safety pin. Everything about her, from her way of moving, to her clipped speech as she peppers her hosts with questions…

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Celebrity dog groomer charges $300 AN HOUR for his services

A celebrity dog groomer who charges $300 an hour for his exclusive services has lifted the lid on the luxurious life of pampered pooches and their owners, revealing his treatments include massages and sometimes even hair coloring for older pets.  Jorge Bendersky, 52, from New York City, has worked with A-list stars such as model Gisele Bündchen, rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, and designer Ralph Lauren, and he will only take on a new client after meeting them and their dogs.  ‘I’m very selective; I must like the dog and the…

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