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.

Simon English: There's a wealth of fury in the US, too

Outlook Johnson County in Kansas is one of the wealthiest suburbs in all of America. Everything always works, everyone always smiles and it is nearly always sunny, even if it is freezing cold. You'd like it.

Comfort and Joy, By India Knight

It's two days before Christmas and wife and mother of two, Clara Dunphy, has finally finished her last-minute shopping on Oxford Street. On a whim she decides to treat herself to a champagne cocktail at the Connaught hotel, where she is chatted up by a handsome stranger. This besuited inamorato will be known for the rest of the book as "the man from the Connaught".

Roe trip: The Caviar Bar at the Angleterre Hotel

The Hedonist: St Petersburg

What to see and where to be seen

Global warming concerns leave business leaders cold Businesses grow cooler over global warming fears

Some of the sheen came off the United Nations climate summit in Durban yesterday as a key business survey found that global warming has fallen to the bottom of the list of concerns of European companies.

Company bosses grow cooler over global warming concerns

Survey shows climate change is at the very bottom in the list of firms' worries

iWriters: Company parties - once a year is too much

It is Christmas time in Central London.

C major: the hotel is a new take on the Cipriani brand

24-hour Room Service: Mr C Beverly Hills, Los Angeles

Mr C joins the A-team in LA

Fabulous Christmas gift ideas: Drink me

Feast your eyes on part one of our ultimate Christmas gift guide: this week, terrific toys for boys and girls, foodie treats, addictive gadgets, literary treasures and much more…

Hot cocktails prepared by master bartender Tristan Stephenson at The Whistling Stop in London

Hot stuff for cold winters

Steaming, spicy cocktails from cider to toddies will keep chills at bay.

Man About Town: Mahiki's art of being cool and being not cool

The London nightclub scene is, for the most part, depressingly samey. Inside most of those considered "exclusive", you'll find the same leather banquettes, low tables and even lower lights, with only the odd flash of lasers on the ceiling to give you something to look at.

Quince Prince is named after food writer Rose and her husband Dominic

Quince Prince

Makes a litre of quince gin

Use good-quality butter puff pastry for quince and cinnamon tart

Quince charming: Mark Hix celebrates this under-appreciated fruit

We don't really grow quince in this country on a commercial scale, so it's always nice to get a call from friends who have quince trees and want to see the fruit go to a good home.

The cup that cheers

Tea is the fuel that Britain runs on but forget mugs in the morning and afternoon cuppas – the hot new way to drink it is in cool cocktails. John Walsh samples a special brew

Michael Legat: Editorial director of Corgi Books and prolific author of writers' guides

One of Michael Legat's favourite stories was about the interview he had in 1941 with Mr. Bentley, the Careers Master at Whitgift, his Croydon school, who suggested he try publishing.

Create vintage style at home

Stylist Naomi Thompson on why to avoid bunting and Cath Kidston
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003