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

Win an epicurean two-night spa break in a luxury York country house hotel worth nearly £800

Middlethorpe Hall and Spa is a York institution: a gorgeous red-brick William and Mary country house, built in 1699 and lovingly refurbished into a sumptuous, historic hotel. 

Churchill Room Bar at the Houses of Parliament terrace

It's thirsty work being an MP, as their bar bills reveal

Was there really a time when you could walk into your local boozer, order three pints of Youngs for you and your mates, and settle up with the words, “Put it on the slate, Charlie”? Did we dream that you could run up wine and whisky bills on credit? No we didn’t – but it seems there’s only one place in the UK where, today, a request for credit is not met by a smack in the mouth. It’s the House of Commons.

HKK Broadgate West, Worship Street, London EC2

Is the Hakkasan group's latest proposition worth the City-slicker prices?

The Big Six: Super-sized rentals

Spitbank Fort, The Solent

This way, madam: a shadowy Peeler guides the way at 48 Doughty Street

IoS exhibition review: Charles Dickens Museum, Doughty Street, London

A tale of two houses, neither one bleak

Quality Chop House, 92 Farringdon Road, London EC1

Return to quality street

Manners makyth man. Etiquette's just nonsense

The idea of social cohesion is under threat from modern eating practices
The Duke of Cambridge makes a cup of tea

Wills, spills and bellyache – a day in the life of a duke

Making the tea, drinking the tea, polishing his helicopter and... saving lives. Now we know what Prince William gets up to all day

Montague House's Gold Suite

B&B and Beyond: Montague House, Sheringham, Norfolk

Mary Novakovich discovers a smart hideaway that's the perfect base from which to enjoy the charms of Sheringham

Rules 'missing' for new school kitchens

Campaigners have raised concerns that school dinners are at risk after the Government failed to introduce rules for proper kitchens and canteens.

London pub slows service to cut after-work drinking

A London pub has been left with no option but to serve customers more slowly in order to keep down growing numbers of after-work drinkers.

The Weekend's Television: Servants: the True Story of Life Below Stairs, Fri BBC2 / Downton Abbey, Sun ITV1

When the producers of Channel 4's 2002 reality series The Edwardian Country House advertised for volunteers for their reconstruction of upstairs-downstairs life, they were surprised by an imbalance in the responses.

Home comforts: Gallon House's smart, homely decor

B&B and Beyond Gallon House, Knaresborough, Yorkshire

The hosts at this ornate guesthouse above the River Nidd have years of culinary experience. Rhiannon Batten tucks in

Cerca do Sul is surrounded by lawns and an orchard

B&B And Beyond: Cerca do Sul, Alentejo, Portugal

This charming guesthouse is the perfect base for exploring the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, says Susannah Osborne

Rectory Farm
and its
grounds

B&B And Beyond: Rectory Farm, Cambridge

A Georgian-style house surrounded by fields makes a charming alternative to urban chain hotels, discovers Cathy Packe

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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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
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
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

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
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

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick