Life and Style

Modern London is a city in turbulence, a cosmopolitan cauldron in which more things change than stay the same, where all the world comes to throw a tantrum, get rich through property and complain about schools. Its restaurant scene has generally kept up.

A festive floating island is Mark's version of the classic îles flottantes

Mark Hix recipe: A festive floating island

Serves 6-8

Mark Hix recipe: Little Christmas crumbles

These make perfect festive party snacks or something to go with coffee at the end of the meal. You can use mincemeat or a combination of mincemeat  and Christmas pudding if you need to use it up.

Mark Hix recipe: Moroccan spiced chestnuts

Using argan oil, cumin, ground cinnamon and coriander. Use freshly roasted and shelled chestnuts for this or the vacuum-packed, ready-shelled ones: both yield good results. You can also vary the spices to suit your taste, making them either sweet or savoury.

An Edwardian gazebo in Kingston, passed as you meander along the river Thames

Walk of the month: Kingston upon Thames - Red bricks and boxes on the riverbank

The Thames Path combines history with nature as it forges towards the capital from Hampton Court Palace

Louie Ireland, left, 11, takes on Oliver Simons, right, 13, during the youth final

They came, they saw, they conkered: Briton triumphs at World Conker Championships

Despite fierce foreign competition, Sam Masters sees a British triumph at the World Conker Championships

Broccoli might be good for you, but you won't catch me munching on those miniature green trees

You will look in vain for an ode to broccoli. And that is because broccoli is rubbish

Hotel review: Torralbenc, Menorca

Room service at the hotel is a fine taste of things to come, as Alice Jones discovers...

Mark Leftly: Brewer's fundraising plan is a lot to swallow

Outlook Tactical Nuclear Penguin is a beast of a speciality stout that, at an ABV of 32 per cent, is seven and a half times the strength of the wildly over-rated black stuff that Guinness churns out.

Google chairman Eric-Schmidt has rejected claims that the company is not paying their fair share of taxes

Korean braised ribs recipe

Korean cooking consists of a large number of braised dishes that require considerable culinary skill. Galbijjim is one such dish. In recent years it has grown in popularity among international diners who appreciate the fine taste and, indeed, the health advantages of the dish (the fat on the short ribs is removed before braising)

10 years of Freecycle: Matchmaking compulsive off-loaders with the vaguely needy

I’ve no idea why it takes many sofa suppliers six weeks to deliver a sofa, but it does and as a result I’ve got nothing to sit on in my new gaff except an expanse  of scruffy laminate. The idea  of buying a sofa to sit on while  I wait for a sofa to arrive seems needlessly extravagant, so I’ve turned to the global network dedicated to giving away stuff and getting stuff for free.

This little piggy: a jamoneria in Madrid like the one Ian Irvine visited

The slice is right: Get a taste for Spanish ham

After a taste of Spanish ham in Madrid sent him into raptures, Ian Irvine was determined to learn more about this heavenly jamon – including how to carve his own.

The Croods – an inspired and idiosyncratic tale with a feisty teenage heroine
Did the French invent chips? Or was it the Belgians?

French battle Belgians over invention of ‘les frites’

Neighbours fight for right to be named 'home of the chip'

Jingle smells are an assault on the nose

The smell of the Christmas lunch itself, however, can be better than the consumption

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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum