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.

Making staying in the new going out: 5 great ways to have fun without leaving the house

Even though it's freezing outside and you're skint anyway, there's still plenty of fun to be had inside. Here are five brilliant ways to have big nights in without breaking the bank

Investment View: Follow its boss and walk away from Punch

Punch Taverns took another kicking after its chief executive, Roger Whiteside, walked out to take charge of Greggs, the bakery chain. You can see why. Punch, an advert for everything that was wrong about the debt-fuelled madness which infected corporate Britain before the credit crunch, still faces significant problems.

Feathered friends: Venice carnival-goers

The Hedonist: Behind the mask in Venice

What to see and where to be seen

The Week In Radio: Saturday morning fever with master muso Mary Anne

"In another life I would have been out on the road DJing and dragging a record box around in the middle of the night in some shady club," remarked Mary Anne Hobbs at the start of her new weekend breakfast show on BBC6 Music.

Hollywood: An A-list invasion in the West End

More Hollywood-friendly stars than ever are swapping screen for stage in 2013.

An American Christmas: Why are we sacrificing British traditions for a yankified yuletide?

Candy canes a-plenty and silver lanes aglow; Christmas is undergoing a transformation, but it's not too late to stop it

Venice's bohemian bar suffers from drop in 'quality tourists'

Their establishment is as much a part of the Venice myth as the canals, gondolas and the Rialto Bridge. But now last orders have come for the Cipriani family, who have run Harry's Bar in Venice for 81 years.

Arrigo Cipriani pours a Bellini at Harry’s Bar in Venice

Last orders at Harry's Bar: banks call time on Venice's legendary Cipriani family

Their establishment is as much a part of the Venice myth as the canals, gondolas and the Rialto Bridge. But now last orders have come for the Cipriani family, who have run Harry's Bar in Venice for 81 years.

The Emperor's New Clothes (09/12/12)

Stop sniggering at the back. Yes, sperm counts are down, but that's no reason to write off all men
Very Moorish: Hôtel Heure Bleue Palais

The Hedonist: Wining and dining in Essaouira

What to see and where to be seen

Ricky Hatton's return to the ring ended in defeat, as he was knocked out by Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Manchester Arena.

Boxing: Body blow to Hatton's hopes of redemption

The Hitman's comeback ends in tears – and finally he throws in the towel

Joe McCanta, Cocktail maker: 'A dash of bitters - orange, lemon or celery - changes a whole drink'

My Life In Food: Joe McCanta, cocktail maker

McCanta started out bar tending in New York and went on to work for Saf raw food restaurants, opening Saf Restaurant and Bar in London in 2008. He has devised the cocktails for the Grey Goose Winter Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation tomorrow. For tickets, go to ejaf.com

Make spooky cookies for your Halloween party

Halloween on a budget: five simple recipes

If you're having guests over for Halloween, the least you could do is cook up some frightening food. Read on for some killer recipes this Halloween.

Thirst for 'affordable luxuries' helps drinks giant Diageo hit £1bn sales

A thirst for "affordable" luxuries, in the shape of expensive cocktails in the trendiest bars, has helped global drinks giant Diageo record more than £1 billion in sales of its high end liquor in the past year.

Shanghai’s South Bund

Shaking it up in Shanghai

Waking up in the super-sleek bed in my room at The Waterhouse (1-3 Maojiayuan Road; 00 86 21 6080 2988; waterhouseshanghai.com) leaves me delightedly confused – the last time I awoke in Shanghai I was in a grotty hostel. This time around, we're poshing out at the minimalist boutique hotel in the up-and-coming Cool Docks – a refurbished part of Shanghai's South Bund.

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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?