Album: Buddy Miller, The Majestic Silver Strings (New West)

In which Robert Plant's bandleader gathers to himself a supergroup of über-string-benders – Marc Ribot, Greg Leisz and, yep, Bill Frisell – and gets down to "messing up" a small canon of country songs in one room, live.

Cooper Brown: Lesbian sticker lady

Had a big run-in with Lesbian sticker lady this morning. I’d just got up and the new Nespresso machine had broken because I’d made about a hundred coffees last night and was more wired than Charlie Sheen on prime time. I slipped out of the flat in my housecoat to go to Starbucks.

Whitbread pours £60m into coffee

Whitbread, the owner of the Costa chain, has expanded its coffee empire with the acquisition of Coffee Nation for £60m.

Worried about a heart attack? Avoid these...

Cocaine and sex are among things most likely to cause cardiac arrest, says study

The ten best coffee machines

Whether you like to start the day with a skinny cappuccino or end meals with a triple espresso, theseare the top tools for the job

Minor British Institutions: The Best Man

Does any other untrained figure assume greater responsibility in British Life than The Best Man? Well, the Prime Minister, possibly, but he has rather more help. The Best Man, though, is expected to marry the organisational ability of Lynda Snell with the entertainment skills of Ken Dodd, the diplomacy of a Curzon with the decisiveness of a Cowell.

Leading article: Grossly expensive

Luxury is in the eye of the beholder.

Starbucks baristas steam to free shares

Starbucks UK has handed its staff a Christmas cash bonus and free shares after it delivered "healthy" sales growth in its past quarter.

India wakes up to smell of Starbucks coffee

Nitin Chopra picked up his spoon and stirred the foam on his latte before taking a deep sip. “I’ll come to a coffee shop at least once a week,” said the 28-year-old banker. “I always order the same thing.”

Leading article: Wake up and smell the coffee

You might think the logo on the side of the cup doesn't much matter; that it's the quality of the coffee that counts. But you would be wrong. Wake up and smell the marketing.

Starbucks unveils its new logo (and it doesn't say Starbucks or coffee)

New design suggests a fresh drive to conquer other markets

Ring the bells to get your child into school

Faith schools were accused yesterday of "skewing" admissions policies in favour of children from middle-class families – by giving places to those whose families attend bell-ringing classes and church coffee mornings.

Misery for hardy fans taken for a ride by corporate suppliers

The shuttle to the East Ryder Cup car park may not have been the Clapham omnibus, but the man had an opinion. Tidily dressed (or at least as tidily dressed as anyone can be after having spent a day walking about a muddy swamp in the rain), well-spoken, middle-aged, middle-class, a not untypical golf fan in fact, he addressed his fellow passengers politely. "Does anyone mind," he said, "if I have a rant?"

Hotels back to pre-slump levels, says Whitbread

The leisure group Whitbread has said that revenues at its budget hotel chain Premier Inn have surged beyond pre-recession levels and dismissed any fears over a double dip in the economy.

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Day In a Page

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
South Africa
Spain
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