Tories turn party-poopers to end era of cheap alcohol

Steep increases in the cost of super-strength lager and alcopops were promised by the Tories in a drive to combat binge drinking.

Minimum prices for alcohol would save lives, research finds

TheSNP's plan to introduce a minimum price for alcohol has won the backing of an academic report, which suggests that the move could save hundred of lives a year.

Cockle, cider and herb broth

Cockles are a vastly underrated shellfish, full of flavour, on a par with any good clam – and a fraction of the price, too. If you can't get hold of good cockles, then buy surf or palourde clams. Before you make the soup, run the cockles under slow running water for 20 minutes or so, agitating them with your hand or a spoon.

The strangest things you can do this autumn

The summer may officially be over and with Christmas just three months away, what better way to pass the time in between then to head to one of the many autumnal wacky contests around the UK or overseas.

Tarragon vinaigrette

Makes about 100ml

Sark: The island where time stood still ... until now

This little Channel island's first elections disrupted its peaceful atmosphere. But tourists will now find the place as serene as ever, says Steve Usher

Roast pork belly with caramelized apple sauce

Ingredients to serve 6

Brian Viner: The whole thing was what you might call a baa-baa ha-ha hoo-hah

As usual, we awoke on Tuesday morning to the sound of bleating, although it was not the "where is my rugby shirt/history homework?" kind of bleating to which we are so accustomed in the tumultuous hour between 6.30am and 7.30am. No, this was definitely ovine bleating, which was not in itself a surprise – not with the perimeter of a 1,000-acre sheep farm all of 30 yards from the marital bed. But this bleating seemed more insistent than usual, and sure enough, there were half a dozen lambs trapped on our side of the fence in what we grandly call the ha-ha, all going ballistic, in their woolly way. It was what you might call, although not after too much Herefordshire cider, a ha-ha hoo-hah. Indeed, a baa-baa ha-ha hoo-hah.

The Complete Guide To: Asturias

This rugged mountainous region along Spain’s north coast is as inspiring for walkers as it is alluring for wildlife lovers, and there’s no shortage of fascinating history and culture in between.

My Week: Oz Clarke, wine critic

The wine critic launches a book, catches up on the 2008 vintages and explains why his alarm clock stubbornly refuses to work

Roast cod with cockles, cider and parsley

Serves 4

Pickled shallots in cider vinegar

Serves 4

Pip parade: Mark Hix cooks up a feast using delicious home-grown apples and pears

Crumbles and pies are all very well, but home-grown apples and pears can be put to much better use
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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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
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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
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
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We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
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Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor