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.

Man About Town: Turning a morning after into a full-on day rarely makes for happy endings

Tuesday morning is an ambitious time to invite anyone for cocktails. You run the risk that entirely the wrong sort of guest will turn up – the under-employed and overly thirsty. Not the sort with whom you necessarily want to spend your weekday mornings.

Coca-Cola drops its backing for vigilante pressure group

Coca-Cola has ended its relationship with a conservative pressure group that supports "Stand Your Ground" laws such as the one being used as a defence in the killing of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Florida.

Five thousand people were chosen at random to take part in the National Lottery Olympic Park Run

Cheers for 5,000 Olympic amateurs, the first to finish

A Slice of Britain: It's not Usain Bolt but Tommy Davies, a 26-year-old administrator, who makes sporting history by winning a five-mile trial run round the Olympic Park and into the stadium that will host Games events this summer

Ceviche is quirkily decorated in nostalgic flea-market chic

Ceviche, 17 Frith Street, London W1

Peruvian cuisine, it's probably fair to say, is something of an unknown quantity in Britain. In fact, before my visit to Ceviche, a new Peruvian restaurant in Soho, I would have struggled to name a single dish from that country – apart, perhaps, from Lima beans, which don't really count. Here, in the frenzied international zone that is the London dining scene, you'll find Mexican food a go-go, and a growing flirtation with Argentina. But Peru hasn't been invited to the party yet.

A molecular mixology kit

Alcohol may benefit heart patients says new study

Turning to drink can help men live longer after a first heart attack, a study has shown.

Leading article: We could do with a few more dry eyes in the House

Britain has often looked on inebriate MPs with indulgence, hence the many tales of encounters between boozy MPs and their detractors, often featuring Winston Churchill or Harold Wilson's deputy, George Brown, about whom the phrase '"tired and emotional" was invented. All amusing stuff. But as the fracas involving Eric Joyce in a Commons bar shows, drunken MPs are not always as entertaining as was Churchill when arguing with Lady Astor.

Research reveals concerning deficiencies on kids these days

Trending: Kids today can't even tie their own shoelaces ...

Kids these days, what do they know? Luke Blackall on the disappearance of everyday skills

The rice being shaken after it has been washed ready for steaming at the Urakasumi Sake Brewery in Shiogama, Miyagi

Sake's comeback symbolises Japan's recovery

One year on, the drink is the spirit of a nation's recovery from the tsunami

Watson has carefully peppered her career with choices that pertain very closely to her own interests

Emma Watson: The girl with the magic touch

Emma Watson grew up on screen but as an adult, she's making her mark in the fashion world. Harriet Walker meets the new face of Lancôme

Being Modern: Beards

With london Fashion Week in full swing, what better time to celebrate the stylish diversity and fierce individuality of the beautiful people. Stylishly diverse and fiercely individual unless, of course, we are talking about the men. Because something strange has happened to male A-listers and front-rowers that appears to have made them all, simultaneously, sprout facial hair as if this were Afghanistan in the late 1990s.

With its stained-glass windows and airy feel, Quo Vadis has simply been pared down further from its already quiet elegance

Quo Vadis, 26-29 Dean Street, London W1

Soho institution Quo Vadis undergoes an unfussy makeover to get tongues wagging.

John Walsh hosts a cocktail party for friends and colleagues using a mixture of homemade and packaged cocktails

Can a ready-made cocktail ever eclipse the real deal?

A raft of new products claims to take the shakes and pains out of making cocktails. John Walsh puts the potent pretenders through their paces.

Ben Foden admits he was at fault for a French try during England's World Cup quarter-final defeat

Ben Foden: A back for the future

England full-back Ben Foden opens up to Hugh Godwin about his pregnant pop-star girlfriend, rubbing shoulder pads with Elton John and that infamous World Cup diary

Women sailors row into record books

An all-woman team have completed a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, storming into the record books along the way, organisers said today.

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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick