Samuel Muston

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

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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

Mellow yellow: a warming spoonful of polenta

Samuel Muston: A hug on a plate - my paean to polenta

Opening a new restaurant is often a quick way for rich people to lose money. It is a gamble opening your doors to the public, just like playing poker. But as with cards, there are ways to hedge your bets. The cautious restaurateur might tend towards well-worn concepts such as the burger joint, for instance, or the fried-chicken shop.

Shaken, not stirred: a pre-dinner martini

On the menu: Never go straight through to dinner, and never say aperitif

The aperitif is back, the aperitif is in. At Simon Rogan's joint in the Midland Hotel, Manchester, a guy in a bomber jacket breaks off a conversation with his date, "I'll have Just a Splash – that cocktail with Aperol and Prosecco," he says to the barman.

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