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.

Bob Nolet: 'mixing cultures appeals to me - I love asian fusion'

My Life in Food: Bob Nolet, master distiller, Ketel One Vodka

'Mixing cultures appeals to me – I love Asian fusion'

Mallorca sick of tourists vomiting in the streets - and other destinations in need of an image makeover

Mallorca is keen to change its image as a boozy holiday destination.

The hamper from Ampersand includes a savoury tartine, scones sentried by pots of jam and clotted cream, and a variety of sweet pastries
Ashes to ashes: The aftermath of last week’s fire near Yarnell, Arizona

Climate change fanned the flames of the Arizona wildfire

Out of America: As summers get hotter we will see more blazes like the one that killed 19 firefighters last week

The Big Six: Mallorcan retreats

Ivy-clad exteriors, private paths and mountain-facing rooms

Isaac McHale: The chef of The Clove Club on racing crabs and eating testicles

My earliest food memory Racing large brown crabs across the kitchen floor with my dad. We'd buy them from our local fishmonger, MacCallums of Troon, in Glasgow. And the winning crab would get cooked first – and made into a Singapore chilli crab dish. Afterwards, my dad and I would take the inner claws from them, clean them and use them as devil horns come Halloween.

Simple and summery: Mark's strawberry Bellini

Strawberry Bellini

Serves 4

The victor, Gareth Evans (left) with writer Samuel Muston

Bottoms up at the mile-high cocktail contest

Contenders for the Diageo World Class Bartender contest had an added challenge this year: to shake up a drink that still tasted good in mid-air. Samuel Muston joined them on board.

Culinary experiences in Portugal

Postcard from... Lisbon

My Life in Food: Nik Fordham, master distiller, Bombay Sapphire

Born in Wokingham, Fordham started out as a chemist, studying the subject with biology at Plymouth University, a discipline that helped him when he joined Beefeater Gin as distillery manager in 2008. He went on to receive a diploma in distilling and the picked up the Worshipful Company of Distillers scholarship award for excellence in 2011. Since March this year he has been master distiller at Bombay Sapphire. He will also be leading the Bombay Sapphire Ultimate G&T Studio Workshops at The Hoxton Hotel (Tuesday 18 and Tuesday 25 June 7pm – 8.30pm)

Two chefs at the RSC's Rooftop Restaurant in Stratford-upon-Avon have devised a Titus Andronicus-themed pie

Revenge is a dish best served as a hot pie

Out of ideas for a dinner party? Why not serve up a dish made out of the heads of two children stewed in their own blood encased in a pie-crust of their ground down bones? Such is the notoriously grisly fare of Shakespeare's revenge tragedy Titus Andronicus and, in a cheeky nod to the play's nasty nosh, two chefs at the RSC's Rooftop Restaurant in Stratford-upon-Avon have devised a Titus Andronicus-themed pie with a steak and KIDney (boom boom) filling as a culinary accompaniment to the RSC's new production.

Orpheus, Battersea Arts Centre, London

Theatre review: Orpheus, Battersea Arts Centre, London

Battersea Arts Centre has a fine track record for picking out fresh talents, nurturing them and then letting them bloom in the nooks and crannies of its magnificent building. Jerry Springer the Opera started life at a scratch night here. And in 2007, a young company called Punchdrunk famously filled the place with their Masque of the Red Death.

Cocktail craze helps rum sales to sparkle

The popularity of rum cocktails has pushed vodka from the top spot for the first time since the 1960s, according to supermarkets and drinks firms.

Simon Price on Dexys: Cheer up, Kevin! I'm about to give you a big smacker on the lips

Some things are a gift. Like the sign above the Duke of York's – where Dexys are playing an unprecedented nine nights – for Peter Nichols's black comedy Passion Play. Dexys are an act, after all, who called their 1981 tour The Projected Passion Revue, and the two elements that implies – heightened emotion and calculated theatricality – are still key to a Dexys live show.

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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
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
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness