The Cross, Kenilworth: Restaurant review - the grand dowager has had an expert facelift

It's a tricky decision for a lady of mature years. At what stage do you have work done, if at all? Do you slide into comfortable decrepitude? Or undergo a discreet cosmetic procedure, and run the risk of emerging with a startled, over-shiny face that looks too young for your body?

UK chef creates world's most expensive ready meal - a fish pie costing £314

Charlie Bigham's said the Swish Pie would only be 'a drop in the ocean' to its customers

We are all dangerously in thrall to the mirage of that perfect life which Nigella Lawson seemed to embody

Too many people think others have idyllic lifestyles, bodies, relationships, sex

Café Murano: Restaurant review - Angela Hartnett's latest is worthy of its Michelin-starred sister up the road

When the Italian restaurant brings you focaccia and a bowl of olive oil, do you groan inwardly? It has become a standard-issue "freebie", but the olive oil is standard issue itself all too often. At Café Murano, the oil is so good that I could quite happily drink it (from Planeta, it's grassy and refined).

Tequila time: harvesting agave in Mexico

Food Miles: Breaks where the heat isn’t just in the kitchen

The season of eating, drinking and making merry is upon us and that might even apply if you’ve jetted off on a sun-drenched winter break. Travellers are particularly well served by the rise of food-themed breaks, tours and packages, celebrity chef hotel residencies and cookery courses. 

Pressed pigs' ears - as close as it gets to turning a sow's ear into a silk purse

Mark Hix recipe: Pressed pigs' ears

Serves 8-10

My life in travel: Pierre Koffmann

'I'd love to go to Rio Carnival next year. The music and samba are so exciting'

Books of the year 2013: Food

Are you an anarchist or an acolyte in the way you use cookbooks? Two food experts who face each other across the Atlantic have radically differing recommendations. In One Good Dish (Artisan, £17.99), David Tanis, formerly head chef of the legendary California eatery Chez Panisse and now food columnist on The New York Times, selects his everyday favourites such as Spanish garbanzo bean stew, warm potato salad with peppers and onions or mussels on the half-shell with breadcrumbs and parsley (highly recommended). "I hope you don't follow these recipes slavishly," he concludes. "Improvisation and ad-libbing make life in the kitchen much more interesting."

Dresden cannibal: German police worker ‘obsessed’ with cannibalism charged with torturing, butchering and eating man he met on fetish website

Police says victim had been fantasising about being killed and eaten by someone else since his youth

Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood will present a Christmas Bake-Off masterclass

Sherlock Series 3 and The Great British Bake Off join Christmas 2013 TV line-up

A masterclass with Mary Berry is also on the BBC menu this festive period

Ben Cohen left Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday after the judges voted to save Mark Benton

Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Ben Cohen voted off as Mark Benton is saved

Mark Benton survived his third dance-off as Ben and Kristina were sent home

The property's historic bedroom

Stay the Night: Lendal Tower, York

Once part of the city walls, then a water tower, this medieval building now accepts guests. Holly Williams takes a step back

The Great British Bake Off backlash has begun

Quality and cookery do not have to be mutually exclusive

‘There’s something about making a roast which is almost like a dance’

I should say at this point, I’m not a bad cook.

Michael Palin, Sir Tim Berners Lee and PJ Harvey will guest edit Radio 4's Today show this Christmas. But do we need to listen?

They’ll just be promoting their pet schemes and ideas - not editing in any real sense

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test