Arts and Entertainment

The province of Lopburi, 150km north-east of Bangkok, is famous for the hundreds of crab-eating macaques that overrun its Old Town – including the 13th-century temple of Phra Prang Sam Yot.

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.

Strands: A Year of Discoveries on the Beach, By Jean Sprackland

Under a poet's eyes, the sands of Liverpool Bay yield treasures of natural and human history.

Globe-trotting gastronomy: Giant crabs and peerless pork pies in Yorkshire's Filey Bay

When my parents left me a small modern house near the North Yorkshire resort of Filey, in early 1997, my instinct was to sell. I had been living in south London for 25 years and the 500-mile round trip made it unfeasible as a weekend retreat. But before selling, my wife and I decided to use the house for a long summer holiday. At the start of our break, we received a surprise invitation to share a house in Malibu. It may seem insane to reject such an offer but, as we walked on the sand of Filey Bay with the North Sea crashing ashore in great breakers, my wife said, "How could it be any better?"

Pork tenderloin with creamed wild garlic and asparagus

Green shoots: Mark Hix celebrates the first asparagus of the season

Their appearance is a sure sign that spring is on the way.

DVD: Take Shelter (15)

Steven Spielberg has thrown the kitchen sink, particularly visually, at this animated Tintin, yet it still fails to capture the sheer delight of Hergé's adventures.

Dabbous feels like a huge industrial warehouse, with gridiron installations, exposed copper pipes and giant air vents craning their way around the ceiling

Dabbous, 39 Whitfield Street, London W1

You won't forget this taste of Dabbous. Just get there before the Michelin men do...

Luke Blackall: Someone save us from the curse of the canapé

Man About Town: Fantastic staples like sushi, fish and chips and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding are rendered useless
Crab and sea vegetable crumpets

Crab and sea vegetable crumpets

Serves 4

Risotto with crab and chilli

Risotto with crab and chilli

Serves 4-6

Lucky Bunny, By Jill Dawson

Jill Dawson's vivid seventh novel is the picaresque tale of the childhood and later career of Queenie Dove, a female criminal. Born in 1933, Queenie flowers as a con artist and thief in the fragile new wealth and glamour of late 1950s and early 1960s London, finding her apotheosis as one of the never-traced participants in the Great Train Robbery of 1963.

Lara's crab rostis

Serves 4

Claws celebre: Mark Hix praises tasty, versatile crab with recipes inspired by his own festival

The other week I instigated a crab festival in Lyme Regis to coincide with the RNLI week, where the Red Arrows perform their annual sky show, and various sea awareness demonstrations take place. This was a great opportunity to show off our local crab and Kevin Gratton, my right hand man, did a demo on the Cob, right next to the water. Between us we cooked 20 different crab dishes and sold them at a fiver each for the lifeboat pot.

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