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.

Going with the grain: A new wave of craftsmen is seeking to capture the magic of old timbers and rustic beams

Adrian Swinstead's showpiece table – a toughened glass disk resting on three gnarled and gleaming black oak pillars, broad as elephant legs – exemplifies the delight he takes in making ancient history part of contemporary furniture design. A delight that began 15 years ago when a sculptor friend introduced him to the jet dark bog oak, rarely used by other furniture makers, that has, since, become a "passion" and central focus in many of his cabinets, cupboards, benches and tables .

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: The chestnut that conquered the world

It is curious that the horse chestnut tree, whose nuts are useful only to small boys playing conkers, is so much better known in Britain than the sweet chestnut, whose nuts have supported whole societies.

US woman Sonya Thomas devours 181 chicken wings in Buffalo contest

The Black Widow of eating contests gobbled up nearly 181 chicken wings in 12 minutes, devouring the national championship record in Buffalo yesterday.

54 hot dogs in 10 minutes help 'Jaws' chew up competitors

He came, he saw, he very nearly chundered. Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, a 26-year-old Californian with a famously-ferocious appetite, confirmed his standing as the world's greatest professional eater when he won America's most prestigious hot dog eating contest for the fourth consecutive time.

New Doctor shows he's right man for the job

Actor Matt Smith had his first adventure in the Tardis last night. And Matthew Sweet believes he may be the best Time Lord yet

Hold the Dijon: Skye Gyngell reveals how to make your own mustard fruit

If you want to add an Italian tingle to meat dishes, there's nothing better

Pharmakon, By Dirk Wittenborn

Dr William T Friedrich is a neuropsychopharmacologist. It is a miserable winter for the chestnut-haired 33-year-old: with four kids, $87 left in his bank account and only a week to go before Christmas, he drowns his self-absorption with beer. One day, however, he discovers happiness in a plant – or believes he does – and distils it into an antidepressant that he and colleagues test on rats.

Nutritious, but nice: Macrobiotic food gets a gourmet makeover

Macrobiotic food has such a joyless image that not even Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow have managed to make it sexy. Now it's had a makeover – putting even chocolate mousse back on the menu.

John Lichfield: Making a meal out of old chestnuts

If French home cooking is dead, who uses all the food markets, butchers and fishmongers of Paris?

Self-catering never tasted so good

Simone Kane stocks up with local specialities on a new foodie trail around Corsica

The pies have it: Mark Hix celebrates the world's finest comfort food

Sadly, the pie has a rather chequered history, due to the fact that there are so many shockingly cheap and nasty examples on our shop shelves. But a well-made pie using good ingredients is sublimely satisfying and guaranteed to make the family's eyes light up as you place it on the dinner table. Pie toppings can range from fluffy mashed potato to melt-in-the-mouth shortcrust pastry to puff pastry for a b'stilla, a Moroccan version of a pie.

Pheasant, cider and chestnut pie

Serves 4

Chestnut stuffing

Serves 8

The finishing line: Part three of Mark Hix's alternative Christmas feast

In the final part of our festive series, Mark Hix cooks up easy trimmings and accompaniments to make the big day hassle-free

Golden delicious: Chestnuts are the ideal cold-weather comfort food

Roasted in their shells or cooked in sublime soups and puddings - now's the time to enjoy them
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project