Samuel Muston

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

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Pay phone: no more waiting for harried waiters with the Flypay app

Samuel Muston: A meal without the awkward wave-at-the-waiter game thanks to FlyPay app

This week I walked into the Islington branch of Wahaca, a chain of Mexican restaurants in the capital, ordered some food, ate it, and walked out again without asking for a bill. It was easy, it felt good, and it was so much quicker than waving down that harried-looking young waiter. I would, in fact, recommend you try it yourselves some time.

All rise for sourdough: This healthier loaf is a cut above the rest

Samuel Muston: Give us our daily artisan bread

Last Saturday morning, I ate a bacon sandwich. Now, you might say, "So what? I had two yesterday." Which is all very well, but for me it's an unusual event. A carb-heavy breakfast usually has me lolling back to the land of Nod, but my friend Fifi was cooking the bacon and my hangover was about eight on the Richter scale, so I went with the flow.

Treacle soda bread from The Terrace on London’s Holland Street

Samuel Muston: A flat tyre on a country road... thank goodness for pub grub

I am going to go out on a limb and say that The Ship at Wincle is my favourite pub in the world. Not just because the name sounds like it has emerged blinking from a Beatrix Potter story, either, though, of course, that doesn't hurt. No, it is more than that. The Ship is the very model of a good country pub.

Hat a boy: pupils from Eton arrive at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, for the match against Harrow, July 1928

Lineage lottery: the myth of social mobility

A new book claims that our chances of making a success of life are dependent on what our family accomplished 300 years ago. Like forefather, like son, finds Samuel Muston

Star man: Alain Ducasse has won dozens of Michelin awards over his career

Samuel Muston: Alain Ducasse knows the secrets of culinary alchemy

If I were the super-chef Alain Ducasse's grandmother, I would feel a little silly. At one point, Mrs Ducasse did her best to stifle the culinary ambitions of her young grandchild. He was apt, you see, to criticise her petits pois.

Shiny, happy people: the range of emoticons is now enormous

Emoticons: a :-) :-) thing

They have become so common in online and SMS conversations that we react to a colon-hyphen-parenthesis in the same way as to a human smile, says Samuel Muston

Daily grind: for most of us, commuting is a source of anxiety

Studies show that commuting impacts on our well-being, but creative types are using the mundane slog to work for self-improvement

For some, the journey to and from the office can be a productive one - a time to write their novel, take some exercise or make art, says Samuel Muston

Samuel Muston: The Pauper's Cookbook - delicious revival of Jack Monroe of the 1970s

It was the gravy that did it. Dribbling lazily down the pot on the front cover, it looked so slovenly. So unlike the other cookbooks on my parents shelves. Elizabeth David and the other heavyweights of the kitchen bookcase wouldn't have stood for that gravy.

Time and tide: Alvarenga looked remarkably well after being helped ashore on Monday

The most extraordinary tale of survival ever known?

A fisherman washed up on an island in the Pacific claims to have spent 259 days adrift. It is a record for survival on the waves that has experts all at sea, says Samuel Muston

Natural gem: René Redzepi and Samuel Muston turn a simple celeriac into a feast

Diary of the artist: Noma's visionary chef René Redzepi talks fame, cooking - and why he loves British pubs

When the spotlight became too much for Noma's visionary chef, he took refuge in his journal, now published as a book

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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?