Samuel Muston

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

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Samuel Muston: "All bill breaker-downers are skinflints and they are usually trying to pay less"

Anyone who goes to the trouble of getting out a calculator to work out exactly how much they owe usually forgets to add the service

Christmas 2014: 18 best foodie gifts

From Tanqueray gin to Prestat florentines, we've got the gifts to keep foodies full and content this Christmas

Chef Neil Rankin makes some cracking eggs and is set to open a new London restaurant dedicated to his speciality

The eat cleaver man known as the 'egg pervert' is to open Bad Egg

Now, we have to consider restaurants not just on their quality but whether we can be bothered to stand outside them for 30 minutes waiting for a table

Shut up and eat? We could use less formality in our restaurants for starters...

Food, or the way we relate to it, is making us anxious, says Samuel Muston

Samuel Muston: Children misbehaving in restaurants? I blame the parents...

A wailing, misbehaving child is annoying; a wailing, misbehaving adult is positively nauseating

Eat, drink, be merry: Quaglino’s in London’s Mayfair

The re-opening of Quaglino's restaurant is like the return of an old friend

The celebrated St James's restaurant has had a £3m refurbishment

Bewitching bottle: Dom Pérignon’s new label and box, created by fashion designer Iris Van Herpen

Labels on booze and food have become a canvas... I'll drink to that!

The vogue for making use of that bit of papery real estate on a bottle began in 1945

Sushi and sake classes offer valuable lessons

Sake is a palate cleanser, so don't skip the food

Until two weeks ago, my relationship with sake had not been what you'd call satisfactory. My abiding memory of it comes from about eight years ago. I was 18, and my friend and I decided to put the five-year-old bottle we had found in his parents' house – given by an inexplicable Japanese exchange student (inexplicable because no one in his family went to Japan in return) – into a microwave.

Bang for your buck: my mother’s “fantastic” venison

Samuel Muston: If only all posh restaurants offered the same friendly service as L'Enclume

Until two weeks ago, my attention had not been overly troubled by oyster pebbles. It's just, well, they had never really come up. Why would they, I mean? A bowl full of pebbles, in which is hidden a tiny, pebble-like meringue filled with an oyster cream of remarkable sharpness, isn't something that is often served in the Muston household. But now I look upon them with a favour previously reserved for close family members.

Claw hammered: combine champagne and crustaceans at the Krug and Beast pop-up

Pop-up restaurant Krug & Krustacean offers diners a nip of luxury on London's Southbank

Ah, Krug & Krustacean! A match made in alliterative heaven. Well, maybe not.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game