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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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
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In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
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Can scientists save our sea life?

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Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice