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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

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Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

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It helps a winner keep on winning
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Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

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but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
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The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

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Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

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