Life and Style

Considerable volumes of wishful thinking and even more hot air have been expended on the 'wonderful' 2012 Burgundy vintage, currently on offer. Sparing you the hyperbole and cutting to the chase, Burgundy 2012 is a good vintage in which a handful of great wines have been made by a few exceptional growers. It is not a rising tide that raises all boats in the mould of 2005 or 2010.

Enraged wife stabs husband with ceramic squirrel because he didn’t buy beer

A 44-year-old woman allegedly attacked her husband with the decorative object because he came home without beer on Christmas Eve

New Year's Eve in the suburbs: Making the best of your home town

New Year's Eve would be one of the best student parties of the year - if you weren't stuck in suburbia

Lighten up: The best low-strength beers

I've never really understood why people give up alcohol for January. Of all the months to avoid hooch, why choose the grimmest, darkest, most spirit-sapping of all? It's the time of year when a glass is most welcome, particularly if it involves a warm pub and some friends.

'young Britons, often in packs, go out to get thoroughly, blindingly and often violently drunk'

Northampton left reeling by exposé of binge drinking - courtesy of the New York Times

Young Britons, drinking in packs, often end up 'gloriously incoherent', according to The New York Times

The snow globe in Piccadilly Circus, London, which was installed over the statue of Eros to shelter it from vandals over the Christmas season, was another victim of the strong winds that are blowing across the Capital

Giant Christmas snow globe to 'protect' statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus shatters in high winds

A giant plastic snow globe meant to protect the famous statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus over Christmas has mysteriously broken, showering shoppers in polystyrene pellets.

Kim Wilde has embarked on her first solo dates since 1986

Hampshire police investigate financial fraud in Mencap-run care home

Care home residents have been inappropriately charged by staff at one of Britain’s leading charities for products ranging from DVDs to Chinese takeaways.

Sales of champagne – especially in Britain – have slumped for the second year in succession

France is drowning in champagne as Britain loses taste for bubbly

Sales fall flat under pressure from cheaper alternatives

Two inmates have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a prisoner was found dead at HMP Lindholme

Two inmates arrested after death of prisoner in Lindholme prison

A snap inspection in the summer was highly critical of the jail's wing for low-risk prisoners

Rhys Ifans plays Danny in 'Protest Song' by Tim Price at the National's Shed theatre
Along for the bride: Neal Barry and Camille Coduri in 'Him & Her: the Wedding'

Him & Her - TV review: rolling in the aisles as the slackers are given the perfect send-off

After three series stuck inside Becky and Steve's musky bedsit, it was a relief to see BBC3's brilliant sitcom Him & Her finally get a bit of an airing. This fourth and final series has been set in a hotel, where we've witnessed the grand spectacle of mutually enabled delusion, pettiness and empty materialism that was the nuptials of Becky's vile sister Laura.

Iain Sellar in the still room at Diageo's Dalwhinnie distillery, in the Scottish Highlands

Jim Armitage: Man who put South African Breweries on global stage dies

Outlook I first met Graham Mackay, who died yesterday at 64, in a rather nice restaurant in London's Mayfair just before the turn of the millennium. With no great insight on my part – mere technophobia, really – I couldn't understand why nobody in the City seemed to be interested in investing in anything that didn't end in ".com".

A holiday with sparkle: Get into the festive spirit with a visit to Europe's finest spots for fizz

It's easier than ever to cut straight to the source of Europe's wine regions

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...