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Including two return East Coast train tickets to York and free entry to 30 top attractions

Old people's home recreates famous movie scenes for unforgettable calendar

Pensioners ape 'Rocky', 'Titanic', 'Bond' and more

Country life: a rural palette, but with added style

Room Service: The Wild Rabbit, Cotswolds

Raising the bar for the humble 'local'

Free vegetarian food is served at the Sikh temple in Ilford, Essex

Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry

Each week across the UK, around 5,000 vegetarian meals are served to the needy

Gastronauts

Samuel Muston: I love the drama of restaurants. After all, the plate's the thing

The first sign that dinner on Wednesday was not to be as other dinners came when a man in a purple velvet suit and tiger mask instructed us all to drink cucumber consommé from the multicoloured shot glasses on the bar opposite the door.

Raising the bar: the hotel's drinking den

Restaurant review: Angela Hartnett is at the helm of Shoreditch's latest high-ticket opening, the Merchants Tavern

Merchants Tavern, 36 Charlotte Road, London, EC2 (020-7060 5335)

Postcard from... Szentendre

Restaurant review: The Anvil, Main Street, Sawdon, North Yorkshire

"If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon or make a better mousetrap than his neighbour," runs the ancient Yankee saw, "though he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door."

Anthony Kennedy, who was dubbed Ratboy, has been jailed again at the age of 34

Teenage criminal known as 'Ratboy' grows up - but he's back behind bars

Anthony Kennedy, who hid in ventilation shafts when he was on the run in the 1990s, jailed for burglary

Restaurant review: River Cottage Canteen, St John's Court, Whiteladies Road, Bristol

Tracey Macleod visits Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's latest River Cottage Canteen housed in a former church hall in Bristol. But will she be subjected to lengthy sermons about locavorism and sourcing fish responsibly?

Review: Casa Negra, 54-56 Great, Eastern Street, London

'It has a jolly, Mexican-seaside vibe, not something you often find in Shoreditch'

Turl Street Kitchen, 16-17 Turl Street Oxford

At a scrubbed wooden table, a dapper, Rumpole-ish gentleman is taking lunch, in immaculate suit and wide red braces. Behind him, also eating alone, is a troll in human form – a small, wild-haired oldster wearing a plunging singlet and very short shorts, his abundantly furry chest and shoulders on proud display. Both of these unlikely fellow diners look perfectly at home.

The Talbot Hotel, Yorkersgate, Malton, North Yorkshire

Following a deafening dinner at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen a few years ago, when twenty-somethings maintained a roundelay of "Happy Birthday" for much of the evening, I've steered clear of restaurants run by TV chefs. So it was with trepidation that I entered the refurbished mansion (Pevsner: "probably c.1840") that houses the Talbot Hotel in Malton, North Yorkshire, since the owners Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland and his son Tom have installed local boy James Martin, an ornament of Saturday Kitchen and other televisual bonbons, as executive chef.

Bad taste: Sergio Garcia’s fried-chicken dig at Tiger Woods highlighted how out of touch the game’s attitudes are

The Last Word: Golf must end the hypocrisy before its halo slips totally

Men-only clubs, fried chicken jibes and much more – it's time to update to the 21st century

The island of Korcula

Summer Guide 2013: Islands

Take your pick of seven new properties on the Greek Islands available through Ionian Villas (01935 477196; ionian-villas.co.uk). "Artist's Villa" on Paxos, built in 2011, has three bedrooms and sits on a hilltop surrounded by olive groves overlooking Gaios port. It costs from £1,330 for a week's rental. Meanwhile, two-bedroom "Morpheus", a newly completed property on Antipaxos, is one of only four villas with swimming pools that are available to rent on the island. It costs from £1,120 for a week, including rental of a Suzuki 4x4. International travel costs are not included.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
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South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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

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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
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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

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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

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Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

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