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.

<p>Buy or make?</p>
<p>Crisps: Buy</p>

We are what we eat, and what we eat has to be a matter of free choice

Apparently 60 per cent of the British population is officially obese - but does that mean we should add tax or make bad foods harder to find?

Shoulder of mutton with celery sauce

Shoulder of mutton with celery sauce

Serves 4

Neighbourhood, North Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester

In Manhattan, restaurateurs and chefs maddened by the blitzkrieg of bloggers' flashbulbs are starting to ban diners from taking photographs of their meals. In Manchester, where new Manhattan-inspired mega-restaurant Neighbourhood has just opened, photography seems to be positively encouraged. Dressed-up gal-pals are merrily snapping away at each other, and even the staff are at it; you've got to love a chef who proudly captures a hamburger on his BlackBerry before letting it leave the pass.

You don't have to buy cheap meat to eat on a budget

Meat-eaters needn’t sacrifice their  health or spend a fortune to track down nutritious recipes, says Lisa Markwell

Big business is bad news for good food - and horse meat may be the least of our problems

Much of the water-logged frozen chicken used in supermarket ready meals is imported from Brazil and Thailand

If food prices had risen like house prices the weekly shop would cost £453

The average UK house price in 1971 was £5,632...

Flapjacks are a quick and easy snack or dessert - it might not come out looking quite as perfect as this, though

Five quick and easy dessert recipes for students

Why not treat yourself to a nice dessert sometimes? We've gathered some recipes for you to try out if you want to impress...

John Salt, 131 Upper Street, London N1

It's easy, when reporting on restaurants rather than, say, politics, to get a false perspective on what makes a big story. Apart from the adventures of a few telly chefs, our 'news' seems fairly parochial stuff to the wider world. A restaurateur poaching a prized site from under a rival's nose won't generally push global events off the front page, though it might just make it if a chef were to cut off a rival's nose and poach it.

Theresa May is believed to have the support of senior female Tory MPs

If Cameron falls, Theresa May is ready to step into the leader’s shoes

Disaffected Tories are starting to rally around a new Iron Lady

Gilpin Lodge Country House Hotel, Crook Road, Windermere, Lake District

Why Windermere's finest is worth a 500-mile round trip for our reviewer

Gemma Tries It On: 'I'm a little apprehensive about letting it all hang out at the beach'

After getting the bridesmaid-dress saga out of the way, it's time to face the next hurdle of my Oz trip: unzipping my warm, cosy onesie and trying on a new cozzie or 'swimmers', as our Australian counterparts call them. I like that.

Chicken and egg croquettes can be served as a brunch or lunch dish or even as a tea-time meal with the kids

Chicken and egg croquettes

Serves 4

Why flexitarians like me fit neatly into an an age when everyone is so afraid to commit

Meat-eaters are carnivores; the rest are veggies; and there's nothing in between. But might a flexible approach to other rigid concepts help us make sense of modern life?

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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
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness