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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.

Salvatore Calabrese who has claimed to have set a new record for the most expensive cocktail in the world at Salvatoreís at Playboy Club London

Fancy a Friday tipple? Master Mixologist creates world's most expensive cocktail

'Salvatore's Legacy', which is made using ingredients dating back to before American independence and the French Revolution, will set you back a pricey £5,500 per glass.

Andy Mil, Great Britain's World Class Bartender of the year: 'I love the simplicity of a martini. You can end up with a million different drinks'

My life in food: Andy Mil, bartender

'I love the simplicity of a martini. you can end up with a million different drinks'

Teenager downs nitrogen drink, nearly dies

Turning eighteen is a rite of passage that invites adventurous drinking, but one teenager had surgeons to thank she saw the day through, after downing a -320 Farenheit liquid nitrogen cocktail and having her stomach removed. The Telegraph reports.

Liquid nitrogen has become an increasingly popular method of instantly freezing food and drinks

Teenage girl has stomach removed after drinking liquid nitrogen cocktail while celebrating her 18th birthday

Gaby Scanlon was celebrating her 18th birthday with friends when she drank a liquid nitrogen and champagne based cocktail known as a ‘Pornstar Martini’

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If there had been a spot for stand-up in the London 2012 closing ceremonies, it would surely have gone to Michael McIntyre.

Also showing: Keith Lemon: The Film and Petit Nicolas

Keith Lemon: The Film (85 mins, 15)

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A fun little home from home. Just remember the gas...

Shoplifter's red-hot surprise

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What is the definition of a holiday? Does a proper, bona fide holiday need to involve suitcases, new outfits and a trip to Boots for sun cream? Do you have to go away from home and, if so, for how long? Unsure, I looked it up in the dictionary: "A day of festivity or recreation when no work is done."

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Full of beans: expensive coffees have become an 'essential' in many people's lives

Alice Jones: Hold the artisanal coffee. I'll put the kettle on

It is a good time to bury bad news so it is just possible that, in the midst of the gold rush, you may have missed the news that the apocalypse is upon us. Citizens, gird your loins, man the barricades and make a witty placard: the attack of Tescobucks is upon us! This week, Britain's most ubiquitous supermarket chain (2,975 shops and counting) announced its plans to launch a chain of "artisan" coffee shops across the UK. The chain, named Harris and Hoole after two coffee-house wits who feature in Samuel Pepys' diaries (it's arty and artisan), will open its flagship in Amersham at the end of the month. A dozen or so will follow and, before long, the entire nation will be being drip-fed chai lattes and bran muffins by baristas in felt aprons while leaning artfully on scrubbed wood stools.

Mexico: Ancient chocolate found on plate

Archaeologists say they have found traces of 2,500-year-old chocolate on a plate in the Yucatan peninsula, in a breakthrough suggesting it may have been used as a sauce with solid food.

Will Cameron's business Olympics clear the economic hurdles?

The PM wants the nation to cash in on the Games but, says Mark Leftly, the credit crunch may have spoiled its chances

Reform Social and Grill, Mandeville Hotel, Mandeville Place, London W1

Did you think that gentleman's-club dining – Brown Windsor soup, game-heavy main courses, "savoury puddings" like Welsh rarebit, a "roast" that's carved, table-side, from a carcass on a silver trolley by a chap who expects a tip – had gone the way of the bowler hat and the maiden aunt? You'd be wrong. While Jeremy King and Chris Corbin are reintroducing the Mitteleuropean grand café concept to London (with the Wolseley, the Delaunay and now Brasserie Zédel) others – from Mike Robinson to Mark Hix – are breathing life into traditional club grub.

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