Thursday 12th January 2006 00:00
A new chien of restaurants
A pastry chef has opened a Parisian bakery that caters only for dogs. Mon Bon Chien sells bacon biscuits in the shape of a cat and bone-shaped cookies made of foie gras.
The owner, Harriet Sternstein, moved to Paris from the USA with her labrador Sophie-Marie, which provided the inspiration for the new business. Sternstein decided the best way to make a living was to combine her biggest enthusiasms - pastries and pets.
"Everything is made in the back of the boutique," said Ms Sternstein. "Every day I make 200 to 300 biscuits, and special orders are taken on a daily basis. The Parisians come - and the first time they buy the ones they think are the cutest. Then the dogs come back and choose the flavours they like best."
Feeling a little spoolish
Marriott admitted last week that backup computer tapes containing data on 206,000 customers were missing from a company office in Florida. The data on customers of its timeshare division, Marriott Vacation Club International, included credit card details, social security numbers and, in a few cases, bank details.
Marriott said it had contacted the affected customers and was offering to enrol them free-of-charge in a credit-monitoring service. But customers were unforgiving. One asked why a firm the size of Marriott was still using tape, saying: "It seems hackers needn't apply for identity-theft jobs - just steal the hardware."
Mediums in large servings
The Bear hotel in Hodnet, Shropshire, is holding a "psychic dinner" next month at which customers can enjoy a meal with a medium and have their tarot cards read. Hotel manager Tilly Secord says: "We've got our own friendly ghost called Jasper and plenty of atmosphere, as the hotel was originally a 16th-century coaching inn."
The dinner on 19 February is in aid of BDF Newlife, a charity which helps sick and disabled children.
Buy early for next Xmas
A Brussels sprout left over from a Christmas dinner has attracted a £77 bid on E-Bay. The owner, from Darlington, Co Durham, advertised it as being "beautifully cooked, but untouched by knife, fork or human mouth". The vegetable attracted 49 bids, starting at 1p, after it was put up for sale on Christmas Day. The seller has pledged to give all proceeds to charity.