Samuel Muston

Samuel Muston is deputy editor & food editor of The Independent Magazine. He also writes a weekly food column

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Strawberry fields: growing fruit and vegetables on the roof

Garry Hollihead is a chef with a slice of the good life on his hotel roof in London

Walking up London's Northumberland Avenue, you wouldn't know that it was there. Look up and you see only the vast Portland stoned edifices of a Britain at the top of its imperial game. The buildings are, shall we say, unsympathetic; it is about as far from a pastoral vision as it's possible to get. And yet if you could look down on one of the bigger buildings, the Corinthia Hotel, you would see something quite different: a small forest of tomato plants.

Be shaken and stirred at the Royal Academy of Arts' celebration of the martini

Ice-cold, hard as steel, and with the strength of a bull elephant – if ever a drink was deserving of an exhibition, it is the martini. It is the antonymic two-fingers to the sugar-sweet cocktails of the 1990s, and the ever-growing vogue for martinis makes my heart soar. For I believe, as the American essayist HL Mencken said, "a martini is a sonnet in a glass": it is a single boozy idea taken to the limits of alcohol-soaked perfection.

10 best summer fizz

From an English brut to a premier cru Champagne, discover some fine sparklers to drink in the sun this August

Don’t walk: hitting the shops

Beverly Hills: Eating, shopping, celebrity spotting

As the star-studded city celebrates its centenary this year, Samuel Muston investigates why 90210 became America's most desirable postcode
Grape expectations: Rothschild would be a good bet

Samuel Muston: A vinous investment tastes a lot better than most

Once, in a land that now seems very far away indeed, wine merchants had a dictum – buy five cases of five different Bordeaux wine first-growths when your child is born and by the time they marry, you'll be able to pay for the wedding with the profits. It was the closest thing to a psalm that they had.

Hamper your plans: many restaurants now offer picnics

Samuel Muston: My recipe for the perfect picnic

When I am planning a picnic, I immediately think of Ratty and Mole. Their feast in The Wind in the Willows, with its lovely, hunger-inducing "fat, wicker luncheon basket", is just about the high point of outdoor eating in novels.

Hemingway left a full, typed-out recipe for the perfect burger to the John F Kennedy Presidential Library

Samuel Muston: Ernest Hemingway's hamburger is a moveable feast

Writers famously like drinking. Drinking in the morning, drinking in the evening, and possibly drinking themselves into an early grave if they are Dylan Thomas (the day before he died he offered the maid cleaning his room a glass of whiskey; posterity does not relate her reply). It is a trope so well-travelled that it has become almost lore, with people writing entire books about what Hemingway drank in the Ritz and what Amis would put away over lunch at the Garrick.

You're toast: the Kadhai Spiced Crab gourmet toastie from Cinnamon Soho

On The Menu: Gourmet toasties - creative food that we can all afford to eat

The days I spent off school with a cold always started the same way when I was a child – with a loud thud. That was the sound of the ancient toastie maker coming to rest on the kitchen surface, after having been removed by my father from its perch on top of the kitchen cupboards.

The big squeeze: Many people now juice their way to five a day

Samuel Muston: Cold-press juicing equals cold hard cash

When looking for a symbol of how much the cold-press juice business has grown in the past year, one only needs to take a trip to one of the three Selfridges stores around the country. Take, for instance, the Oxford Street shop. Stand outside long enough and you soon notice that among the yellow flashes of the pantone 109 bags, there is something greener in the hands of the sale-goers. Shoppers troop out of the store with little plastic receptacles containing deep green concoctions.

Any investment greater than £500 gets you a free burrito

Chilango turns to Crowdcube in an attempt to raise £1m to finance three new restaurants

It is rare that a financial instrument makes your stomach rumble – collateralised debt obligations tasted all wrong, after all – but that seems to be most people's response when they hear about Chilango's Burrito Bond. In an attempt to raise £1m to finance the opening of three new restaurants, the London-based Mexican chain turned to Crowdcube to source the money from its customers.

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Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
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