Books: The longest goodbye

What did the most famous cider-drinker do with his life after those youthful adventures? He tippled, he loved, he joked - but now the charming miniaturist has a tombstone of a biography.

Travel: Traffic jams, double-decker buses, fast food and Guinness - why London is just heavenly for the Spanish

My Spanish friends living in London think our local high street is brilliant. They say it's 10 times - if not 20 times - better than anything they've got back home.

Television: Peter York On Ads No 288: Blackthorn Cider

Cider really is the pits. The commercials of course, not the drink, I can't remember what it tastes like. But the commercials, historically designed to give the biggest grown-up balls possible to a drink associated with sub-teen trialists, have been famously idiotic and deeply Kerrang. The snake in the desert. All those arrows. (Though I have to say the Johnny Vaughan "I've just been to the lavatory" for Strongbow was rather good.)

Letter: The price of fish

Sir: May I draw your attention to a significant error in Professor Trewavas' article ("Is organic food safe?", 30 July)? The mycotoxin patulin, which occurs in apples and apple juice, is not found in cider - organic or otherwise - as it is broken down during fermentation.

The Investment Column: Bulmer set to regain sparkle

HP BULMER, the Strongbow and Woodpecker cider maker, has given its investors a few Scrumpy-style headaches over the past couple of years.

Police chief's daughter found guilty of assault

THE DAUGHTER of a chief constable was found guilty yesterday of assaulting two police officers in her father's force after she drank a litre of cider.

No Pain, No Gain - Our Man's Portfolio: Merrydown acquires sweet taste of success

SINCE MERRYDOWN was founded by two former prisoners of war nearly 55 years ago it has endured a sweet and sour existence. On several occasions the cider group has teetered on the brink of disaster, only to demonstrate its undoubted qualities of survival. It is currently on a familiar route - the comeback trail.

A short break in San Sebastin

It may not have the guaranteed sunshine of the Costas, but this Basque city has the perfect beach and a reputation for the best cuisine in Spain. Tony Kelly counts the Michelin stars

Comment: When it's right to say no to a night of cider with Rosie

Just as bad teachers should be forced to leave the profession, so should those who sleep with their pupils

Allied Domecq

Allied Domecq

Theatre: A Seventies night devoid of glam

SHANG-A-LANG THE BUSH, LONDON

Memento mori and hot cider

TIME PLAYS odd tricks with you at the Tate Gallery, when you pop in to inspect this year's shortlist for the Turner Prize. It's a tiny exhibition - four or five works each from four young artists - and will therefore take (quick mental arithmetic) 16-20 minutes of your busy schedule, max. So you go along and, 95 minutes later, you have to be thrown out, protesting, by the Gallery's pushy gauleiters.

pounds 215m bid for cider maker

CANANDAIGUA, the New York-based beer, wine and spirits producer and wholesaler, yesterday agreed to pay 243p a share in cash for Matthew Clark, the UK drinks wholesaler and cider maker.

Cider group Matthew Clark soars on news of bid talks

SHARES IN Matthew Clark soared yesterday as the troubled Diamond White and Dry Blackthorn Cider group was forced to reveal that it was in talks with a potential bidder.

Family of hanged girl reject verdict

THE FAMILY of a teenage girl found hanging from a tree after an apparent rejection by her boyfriend may seek to have the suicide verdict on her death reviewed, her mother's lawyers said yesterday.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick