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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L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
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Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect