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.

Matthew Norman: Don't pity Gordon – he supped from the devil's hands

Acquiescing in Sarah hosting Brooks at that Chequers pyjama party after she ran the story of Fraser's illness he found 'disgusting'? Going to her wedding?

Invisible Ink: No 85 - Libby Gelman-Waxner

Collected film reviews are only fun to read if their author's personality can be glimpsed through them.

Matthew Bell: The <i>IoS</i> Diary

We never close

Dylan Jones: 'Anyone who&rsquo;s ever got drunk on Pina Coladas never wants sugar in their drink again'

Many an idea begins in jest. Especially when you're abroad, in a bar, the sun is setting, and you've just finished work for the day. There were three of us, in the Los Angeles outpost of Trader Vic's, opposite CAA, one of the biggest talent pools in town.

Punch to hive off managed business

The debt-laden pub operator Punch Taverns has confirmed plans to shunt its Chef & Brewer and Fayre & Square branded pubs into a new managed pub business.

Rita Rudner, Leicester Square Theatre, London

On her last visit to London, 19 years ago, Rita Rudner appeared in the Royal Variety Show at the Dominion Theatre. Tonight, she played the more modest, 420-seater, Leicester Square Theatre. However, the American has not lost her lustre and in-between time has become Las Vegas's most successful comedians.

Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love

City Slicker: Philadelphia - Philadelphia is urban America at its most friendly and relaxed. Sarah Donnelly offers ideas for new and returning visitors

Simon Calder: The importance of being visited by Ernest

The man who pays his way

Conrad Murray claims Jackson self-administered drugs

Michael Jackson's doctor claims he self-administered the drugs that killed him.

The Business On: Stephen Billingham, chairman-elect, Punch Taverns

Can he pull a decent pint?

Somerset cherry sour

Serves 4

Juicy fruits: Mark Hix gets creative with versatile, delicious cherries

Juicy British cherries are in peak season right now and they offer so many possibilities in the kitchen when used in both sweet and savoury dishes – and, of course, in drinks. Cherries have traditionally been grown in Kent, and at this time of year you will see lots of them for sale on the roadsides. But there are a few other cherry orchards dotted around the country, including the one right next door to Julian Temperley's cider brandy headquarters down in Somerset (for more information see ciderbrandy.co.uk) which supplies us with cherries that we make great use of in the restaurants after Julian has preserved them in his apple eau de vie.

Encounters of the cosmetics kind: Deborah Ross goes behind the beauty counter

I suppose I could say I have always dreamed of working behind the cosmetics counter in a department store's beauty hall, but it would not be the truth.

Eat to the beat: The food tents at this year's festivals have a very tasty line up of newcomers

It was the August bank holiday. The rain was going from drizzle to downpour and as I peeped out of my weather-beaten tent to survey the landscape at the Reading Festival, the last thing I wanted was another cereal bar. Or another Babybel, another bag of crisps – or any of the other provisions I'd so frugally packed the Friday before. So half an hour later I found myself sitting opposite an infinitely more appealing plate of grilled halloumi, rocket, aubergine and roast peppers, accompanied by a hefty wedge of focaccia.

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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 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee