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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat