Five things to do for a fiver in London this December

London is one of the most expensive cities in the world. But a good time in the capital needn’t break the bank.

Yule save: Cooking a delicious Christmas dinner for your student house on the cheap

Want to celebrate with your flatmates before you all head off home? Here are a few simple tips to keep the costs of your Christmas dinner down

The 10 Best Christmas hampers

From gourmet festive fare to chocolates with a royal seal of approval, these fine hampers make mouth-watering pressies for foodies

Harriet Walker: You can eat the pasty, but you know full well that no good can come of it

I joined a gym this month – it's the first I've been to in almost 10 years, and pretty much the first exercise I've done in just as long, apart from the odd dance-floor workout or trot for the bus. And since I joined, I've found the way I approach food has become like that of a hangman contemplating death.

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?

John H Stracey pictured in 1976

Market Report: 'Radical action' is needed at Unilever to reach Liberum's target

The City had its eye on the break-up of consumer goods giants yesterday as Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser were in the spotlight.

Dustin Lance Black: Five things you didn’t know about Tom Daley’s boyfriend

Hands up if you knew exactly who Dustin Lance Black was before the news broke this morning that he is the man Tom Daley is currently “in a relationship” with?

Stealing food: one of a ‘disturbing trend’ of crimes on the rise

Shoplifting by people desperate for food is one of several categories of crime that are on the rise, according to provisional figures.

Gangsta cat has to go. Are you ready, polar bears?

More news in the regular soap opera that is my family of cats. Regular readers will remember I adopted a gangsta' cat who had been shot in the mean streets of the Cheltenham hood. We named him Captain Kangaroo and despite him showing gang boss-like tendencies towards our other animals we presumed he'd eventually settle down. But then, two months ago, our other two cats disappeared and having searched high and low we presumed that they had been the victims of a gangland "hit" and were sadly never going to be seen again. Captain Kangaroo was now the undisputed "Cato di tutti Cati" – there was very little we could do but accept the situation.

Yule love it: seasonal stalls at the Grote Markt in Bruges

A winter's tale in Bruges

This medieval Belgian city provides the perfect setting for Christmas markets and other festive activities, says Katy Guest

Gary OIdman delivers his anti-Thanksgiving message to the US

Gary Oldman gives anti-Thanksgiving message to Americans: 'I'm glad you're not British'

The actor joked that Thanksgiving 'hurt British people's feelings'

Caffeine fix: 10 best coffee machines

Double expresso, skinny latte, cappuccino….however you take your coffee, there’s a machine that can make you a perfect cup without leaving the kitchen. We round up the best of the bunch

 

La Brasserie at the Chester Grosvenor: Restaurant review - The diner brings the elegant, comforting vibe of Paris to Chester

So it turns out the heaving throng and buzzing high street of Chester are about as thumping a riposte to that hoary old phrase, "it’s grim up north" as could be imagined. True, there are places north of our offices in Kensington that are grim, but on a chilly weekend in November, this affluent town, used as a commuter point for workers from Manchester, Liverpool, Wrexham and the like, is positively bubbling. On first inspection, the restaurants aren't bad either.

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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas