Life and Style

Night In

Christina Patterson: Let the men eat cake (and have a chat)

One of the exhausting things about being a woman is that there's no brief answer to that social stalwart: "How are you?" In the workplace, maybe. In the street, maybe. Even at a party, maybe, but only if you don't know the person asking you well. But with a friend? With any, in fact, of your 20 close friends? Not a chance. There's no way out. Over a glass or 10 of chardonnay, or a slice or 10 of chocolate cake, you'll have to start from the beginning and work your way grimly through to the end.

Anthony Rose: Chain-store massacre?

One chain’s misfortune is another’s opportunity, and Oddbins is starting to look the real deal

Tom Sutcliffe: A massacre that may or may not be art

A few months ago the Mexican film-maker Guillermo Del Toro, the director of Pan's Labyrinth, gave an interview to Wired magazine in which he predicted that "in the next 10 years there will be an earthshaking Citizen Kane of games".

The Sketch: Words, words, words: tragic Gordon blusters on

I'm not sure Gordon's doing the right thing agreeing to these TV debates. There's too much he can't say. "That's a particular problem for my party," as Cameron put it yesterday. Gordon couldn't say that – the words would come out as: "That isn't a particular problem for my party." If he tried to say, as Cameron said, "I don't have the answer to that", it would emerge as, "the answer to that is, as I have said before, and I was right to say".

Anthony Rose: 'Independent wine merchants offer small volumes of quality wines that big retailers won't touch'

After the recent anti-alcohol rallying cry from the BMA, holding a wine tasting at its HQ could be thought of as akin to infiltrating Troy with a wooden horse. In this case, however, the footsoldiers of wine were there not to bury their enemy but rather to praise the endeavours of winemakers around the world making quality wines from boutique wineries. There's no precise definition as to what constitutes a boutique winery, but Judy Kendrick, who organised the event, explained: "In these days of the 'big brand', talk of minimum prices for alcohol and featureless bottles, it's essential to remember that we're in this business for the love of 'real' wine made by producers ... who are passionate about producing truly outstanding wines in limited quantities."

Bumper crops expected for English vineyards

English grape growers began their annual harvest today as industry experts predicted that home-grown wine production will almost double in the next six years.

Roast chicken with spring onion and horseradish

Ingredients to serve 4

Poll ranks naughty kids by name

Teachers say they can identify which children are likely to be troublemakers by their names.

Chablis: A vine romance

The medieval village is at the heart of a district so full of exquisite food and intriguing history that you could almost ignore all that wine. Almost

Anthony Rose: The French and Americans laugh at the English habit of enjoying our champagnes with a bit of age to them

I recently fossicked out a bottle of the obscure Heidt et Fils Carte Blanche Champagne, lurking in an ill-lit corner of the cellar. Being hopeless at cellar records, I had no recollection of how long it had been there, nor whence it had come. It soon became clear from the shrunken shaft of the cork that it was a fizz probably somewhere between 15 and 20 years old. The golden colour, gentle mousse, but above all the deliciously evolved nutty flavours and an ever so slightly sherryish whiff, confirmed that it was a wine of venerable age. Polished off rapidly with some past-its-sell-by-date, vacuum-sealed Hungarian foie gras I'd managed to prise open after years of resistance, it was a union made all the closer to heaven for its unexpectedness.

Great views, great wines. Is it really the Languedoc?

This area of France is famed for plonk. Yet, its winemakers have raised their game. Forget your preconceptions and take a tour, says Andy Lynes

Album: Bitter: Sweet, Drama, (Qaungo/Cooperative Music)

Too late for the scene and too early for mid-1990s nostalgia, Bitter:Sweet are a jazzy/trip-hop duo whose music is designed to be played in the background of TV shows such as Grey's Anatomy (episode two, season three) or in the foreground of Lipstick Jungle (theme tune, "The Bomb").

Stuffed trout, by Clarissa Dickson Wright

Ingredients to serve 8

Starfishing, By Nicola Monaghan

The breathless pace of this tale of City greed and corruption doesn't allow for many pauses or, alas, much depth. Her brittle protagonist, Francesca Cavanagh, takes a job as a newbie City trader, and Nicola Monaghan whizzes us through her nightly Chardonnay consumption and developing coke habit, and treats her doomed romantic involvement with her married, smooth-talking trader boss similarly speedily.

Anthony Rose: The more adventurous South African producers are trying out new blends of grape varieties

Knowing the South African winemakers Gary and Kathy Jordan, it's a fair bet that when their new London restaurant, High Timber, open its doors close to the Millennium Bridge this month, it will have a good chance of succeeding even in these tough times. The Jordans are the likeable and self-evidently courageous couple behind Jordan Estate in Stellenbosch. Their 2006 Jordan Chameleon Cabernet Merlot, £10, Jeroboams shops, is a succulently juicy Margaux-meets-the-Cape blend of blackcurrant with a capsicum whiff, and the 2004 Jordan Cobblers Hill, £17.95-£19.99, Jeroboams, Ex Cellar, Surrey (01372 275247), Flying Corkscrew (01442 412312),, one of the Cape's most stylish and complex bordeaux-style blends.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine