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Eat like a local in Venice

Don’t spoil your visit to Venice by eating in over-priced tourist traps – follow the locals’ lead and graze on bar snacks in back-street osterie

My trip to one of the world’s most romantic cities was inspired by the least romantic of situations: a boys’ night out in Soho, London, the kind that ends up in a random curry house before falling asleep on the night bus. On this night, however, we fell, quite by chance, into Polpo (see Jay Rayner’s review), a relatively new restaurant that appeared to be some kind of tapas bar, was lively and not too pricey – yes, this would do.

It was an inspired choice. It turns out we weren’t eating tapas (“We don’t use the T-word here,” said the waiter) but cicheti, small snacks unique to the bars of Venice. Our conversation, usually dominated by football, turned to the tenderness of sliced flank steak and the sweet softness of the sensational cuttlefish cooked in its own ink.

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Top 10 Austrian village ski resorts

With its precipitous pistes, awesome après-ski and killer cakes, Austria has something for everyone – even those who can’t stand skiing

Hardcore skiers go to Switzerland, groups of mates go to France, the budget-conscious go to Bulgaria or Andorra… so who goes to Austria? Those of us clever enough to realise that the picturesque villages offer wide, quiet runs, fantastic après ski, and a warm, traditional welcome. Oh, and fantastic home-made cakes. Tempted? There are plenty of booking options still available this season, but if you’re not sure which village is for you, here are our top 10 Austrian village resorts, and who they would suit best. Prost!

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