Life and Style

For all the cuddly Thomas the Tank Engine nostalgia that surrounds Britain's railway history, it should never be forgotten that this was the story of capitalism in the raw. In the 19th century, fortunes were made but more typically lost and the winners were only too keen to signal their grand ambitions to the world.

The Houses of Parliament illuminated at night

‘What? No martini!’
MPs complain about subsidised catering at House of Commons

It’s a tough life at the House of Commons. Aperitifs are in short supply, the Cajun food is poor and there is a dearth of ‘fresh game’ on the lunchtime menu.

The world's first beer flavored jelly bean, the Draft Beer Jelly Belly jelly bean took three years to develop

Cheers! World's first beer-flavoured bean set for UK release

The factory smells like an ale house, but there's no alcohol

Nick Strangeway's favourite cocktail Spagliato, made with Campari, Carpano Antica and Prosecco

Samuel Muston: Gin. Check. Carpaccio. Check. Santa’s little helpers. Check

I am not the type of person who, when throwing a Christmas party, thinks: “Who shall I get to do  the catering?”

Aviva Premiership round-up: Wasps' Christian Wade is new England injury worry

The gloss was taken off Wasps' 19-12 victory for over London Irish when they lost their exciting wing Christian Wade, who limped off late on after going over on his ankle. He will have a scan today that should reveal the extent of the injury.

Michael Clark Company: Melissa Hetherington, Daniel Squire & Benjamin Warbis (from Albatross section)

Michael Clark Company: Dance review - 'it has its own punk flourish'

Barbican Theatre, London

Chic sleeps in Paris

The Big Six: from outdoor Jacuzzis and inky interiors to views of the Eiffel Tower

Mark came up with the idea of a Peatini after a pea-shoot lunch he held at Hix Oyster & Chop House

Peatini

Makes 2

Raj minimalism: Downstairs there's a second dining room and a cosy bar with a nice, speakeasy feel

Restaurant review: Gymkhana, 42 Albemarle Street, London

Five years ago, Trishna opened near Baker Street specialising in upmarket (and expensive) Indian cuisine. It was the brainchild of Karam Sethi and his brother Jyotin, both born in London, and specialised in the cooking of south-west India. The memory of its Isle of Shuna mussels and its coastal lamb curry has remained with me ever since, and I wasn't surprised when the place picked up a Michelin star last October.

Credo: Cleo Rocos - 'I have fantastic memories of drinking with Princess Diana'

The actress on tequila-tasting, tax bills and partying with Kenny Everett and Princess Di

Leaving home can be tough - especially once you've moved out, according to Eleanor Doughty

Leaving home but not the nest

Enjoy being home while you can, says Eleanor Doughty, because all too soon that provincial home will seem oddly comforting

The author suspects the ribs on sale at Casa Negra may have been extracted from some sort of pre-historic monster
Blueberry fizz is a bit of a take on Mark's house cocktail, the Hix Fix

Blueberry fizz

Serves 4

Thomas Merenda, 35, and his colleague Franklin Hartley, 32, stand accused of pulling over a car containing two females and demanding the occupants perform sex acts or face arrest.

'These claims are nuts': Police officer denies demanding female drunk-driver punch him in the genitals because he 'really enjoys it'

Thomas Merenda, and Franklin Hartley are accused of pulling over a car containing two females and demanding the occupants perform sex acts or face arrest

Spa Star: Remède Spa, St Regis Resort, Bali

Treatment of the month

Tramontana Brindis's pasta with cuttlefish, prawns, and aioli

On the Menu: Tramontana Brindisa; Three Little Pigs; Rémy Martin and ginger; Alex James

This week I've been eating... Short pasta with prawns and aioli

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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
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory