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

Crab and samphire

Serves 4

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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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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