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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Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
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Fraud contributes 11p to a £2.00 box of half a dozen eggs
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Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
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Bruges
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South AFrica
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Northern Corsica
Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital