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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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
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us