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.

Caponata, 3-7 Delancey Street, London NW1

The Caponata opened in April on the site of the old Café Delancey, in the heart of trendy Camden. I remember the Café from years ago, mainly for the crepuscular gloom of its candlelit dining areas, regularly filled with whispering couples planning some act of colossal infidelity. At lunchtime, light would pour in like a blessing on to the heads of more innocent eaters, but the evenings were mostly devoted to spicy romance and low, urgent voices.

Woodland mushrooms with chestnuts

Serves 6-8

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Peter Sissons took a swipe at young, pretty newsreaders last week, suggesting they lacked "front-line reporting experience." Mary Nightingale, co-presenter of ITV Evening News, retaliated yesterday, "It's a bit of a tired old chestnut that if a woman is pretty than she can't be bright." Is it? Are female newsreaders now less bright (or prettier) than when Sissons was a pink-faced ITN hack?

Christmas mess

Serves 8

Spiced pear and chestnut-crumble muffins

Makes 12

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