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.

Outlook: The real reason we pay so much for car insurance...

Outlook There's a popular narrative that holds that the only reason we pay inflated car insurance premiums is an epidemic of false whiplash injury claims generated by ambulance-chasing lawyers.

14 per cent of women over 65 consume alcohol at least five days a week

Women over 65 are drinking more regularly than those in their late teens and early 20s, ONS figures show

Women over 65 are drinking more regularly than those in their late teens and early 20s, figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest.

Trappist beers produced by Belgium’s Orval monastery

Last orders looming for Trappist beers as Belgium's band of brotherly brewers dies off

The Orval monastery – one of only eight in the world producing certified Trappist beers – now has only 12, down from 35 a few decades ago

Matthew Perry sparks furious drug debate with Peter Hitchens on Newsnight

The pair formed part of a discussion on specialist drugs courts, in which former addicts will sit as lay magistrates

Why do we get so trollied at Christmas?

The British attitude to drunkenness still baffles me, especially at this time of year

Clermont Auvergne winger Napolioni Nalaga scores in the win over Llanelli Scarlets

Llanelli Scarlets 13 Clermont Auvergne 31 match report: Lightning strike as Nalaga storms Scarlets’ citadel

Clermont remain on course for a home quarter-final with another two tries from Nalaga leading the way

Lynne Spalding was found dead in a locked stairwell in September.

Death of British woman Lynne Spalding found in US hospital stairwell linked to alcohol abuse

A coroner's report has confirmed the mother-of-two's death was linked to chronic alcohol abuse

Ethan Couch from Texas has been sentenced to ten years probation after mowing down four pedestrians while drunk

Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?

Texan teen given parole after mowing down four people while drunk – but his family is so wealthy he believed his actions had no consequences

Jean-Jacques De Gucht, of the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats, spoke in favour of the proposal

Belgian Senate votes in favour of law allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children

Senators shrugged off vociferous opposition from religious groups

Review: 'Demons: our changing attitudes to alcohol, tobacco and drugs', By Virginia Berridge (Oxford University Press, £16.99)

A table published in the Lancet in 2007 ranked substances for harmfulness, and it made headlines when it placed alcohol ahead of crack cocaine and ketamine (“Special K”, to those who enjoy administering a horse tranquiliser on themselves). Tobacco was judged to be worse than cannabis, glue and solvents, LSD and ecstasy. Bar-room philosophers all over the land almost spilled their pints at the notion that they were hard-drug users.

Source Battersea, London: Restaurant review - this is the kind of place you want to keep jealously to yourself

Ransome’s Dock is one of those names that dinged around the heads of London foodies in the 1990s as a little dream of ‘neighbourhood dining’.

James Bond's excessive drinking put him at 'high risk' of a series of alcohol-related diseases, according to experts

Licence to swill: James Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, liver disease, tremors... and impotence

BMJ takes a light-hearted look at 007's drinking habits for its Christmas edition

Last orders: has the liquid lunch had its day?

To his cost, ex-Glencore trader Andrew Kearns has found being hungover a sackable offence, but the liquid lunch shaped many a day in days gone by, says a wistful John Walsh

Nick Strangeway's favourite cocktail Spagliato, made with Campari, Carpano Antica and Prosecco

Samuel Muston: Gin. Check. Carpaccio. Check. Santa’s little helpers. Check

I am not the type of person who, when throwing a Christmas party, thinks: “Who shall I get to do  the catering?”

Last year, an average of £7.80 went on wine, beer and spirits brought from the off licence or supermarket

Stay-at-home drinking and socialising on the rise as Britons avoid paying premium of being served food or drink in pubs and bars

Going for a coffee is now the third most popular leisure outing beating attending a concert or hitting a night club, according to study

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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 15 May 2015
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory