Life and Style

At the risk of straying into territory staked out by my more lurid male counterparts, I once saw a strip bar in Nashville with a neon sign outside advertising '99 Beautiful Girls! And One Ugly One'. They can get away with that kind of playful hucksterism down in the American South. Here, outraged punters would be demanding refunds and invoking the Trade Descriptions Act.

London restaurant owner batters rat to death in the middle of environmental health inspection

Rajakumar Rajalingam has been ordered to pay nearly £20,000 in fines and court costs after pleading guilty to a string of food safety and trading standards offences

Duck and green split pea soup

Duck and green split pea soup

Serves 4-6

Fearnley-Whittingstall (right) says: 'Neither of us are arguing for the world to go vegetarian - we're both enthusiastic carnivores. But we both believe that a huge global commodity market of cheap, filler fast food is a dangerous direction for the planet.'

How We Met: Patrick Holden & Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, 47

Harriet Walker: Winter food should be snuggly

I very nearly ordered a veal's head in Paris last weekend. I couldn't help it – I've been conditioned by so many trendy new London openings into thinking that eating out should be an experience akin to going to a theme park, with the point of ordering like the slow ascent up the initial climb, and the presentation of the dishes that heady, brief pause before you whoosh into the om-nom-nomming of stuffing your face, as if your mouth were bagged open on the descent by G-force.

The day the chickens came home to roost

I've had some unusual birthday presents over the past 45 years. There was the time a girlfriend decided to dump me on my special day and informed me in a birthday card. Basically, it was "Happy Birthday, you're chucked." Two years ago, I got a cigarette from Shaun Ryder when I was celebrating as best I could in the "Celebrity" jungle.

Rebecca Tyrrel: 'Ronald Wayne decided to get out just two weeks after Apple was registered for business'

Who knew that Apple – the technology firm, not the record label – had its very own fifth Beatle? The Stu Sutcliffe to Steve Jobs's Lennon and Steve Wozniak's McCartney is Ronald Wayne, now 78 and living alone in a bungalow in Nevada from where he supplements his social security payments by selling stamps and old coins.

Jambonette of chicken with celery

Jambonette of chicken with celery

Serves 4

Boom in urban chicken-keepers may be harmful to birds

Urban chicken-keepers risk spreading diseases through their lack of knowledge of animal welfare regulations, research by the Royal Veterinary College has found.

A typical street restaurant in Bangkok, on the corner of the busy Yaowarat Road and Phadung Dao

Grub street: Bangkok still reigns supreme when it comes to street food

Every city in the world is now getting in on the street-food act, but Bangkok is still the best, says John Brunton in his own words and pictures.

According to cookery writer Fuchsia Dunlop, chickens' feet is 'more gristly' than cartilage from a cow's throat

Sole food: could chicken feet to China be Britain's next big export?

Environment Secretary spots a gap in the market for 'phoenix claws'

Back to work for President Obama

Obama gains with Cuban Americans, but effect on policy remains unclear

President Barack Obama won a historic share of Cuban American ballots in Florida this week, challenging the Republican Party's lock on a voting bloc that for decades has defined US policy toward Cuba and the Castro brothers.

Chicken and tarragon casserole by John Vincent and Kay Plunkett-Hogge

Chicken and tarragon casserole

Ingredients to serve 4-6

Braised pork with cider and curly kale

Braised pork with cider and curly kale

Serves 4

The 10 Best cookery skills classes

From a chocolate masterclass to the ultimate bread-making experience, we’ve got a course for all your kitchen needs...

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there