Life and Style

Is there anything more festive than a magnum? Apart from a double magnum perhaps, a magnificent magnum is the most generous way to celebrate a great day with friends and family. It also keeps better than a bottle, so squirrel one away.

'Bizarre' bail ruling stuns police

Tens of thousands of murderers, rapists and violent criminals could escape prosecution following a "bizarre" legal ruling.

Rock Salt, 4-5 Fish Market, Folkestone, Kent

Can ex-Ramsay chef Mark Sargeant make Folkestone a foodie destination?

Duck livers and summer vegetables

Serves 4

Health kick: Mark Hix creates easy dinner-party dishes using the pick of the summer's vegetables

Summer presents the perfect opportunity to eat some light, healthy food and take advantage of some of the interesting vegetables that are around at this time of year. You can choose to create light dishes that can be served on their own or as an accompaniment to meat or fish.

For the real man in your life

From rubber ducks to BBQs, this year’s Father’s Day bestsellers are both bizarre and brilliant, learns Annie Deakin.

What's so great about the outdoors?

Whether it's cafe tables or cinema screenings, concerts or picnics in the park, we're obsessed with going alfresco. But, argues Tim Walker, life on the inside is far more civilised

County round-up: Shah shines as Essex romp to victory

Owais Shah guided Essex to victory over Middlesex last night, hitting 78 to steady the Eagles after openers Ravi Bopara and Mark Pettini were out for ducks. Essex overhauled the home side's score of 150 for the loss of five wickets.

Well dressed: Mark Hix's sensational, substantial, summery salads

It is now the season when main-course summery salads really come into their own. There are so many interesting leaves and vegetables around at this time of the year and it's dead-easy to impress your lunch or dinner guests with a simple, sophisticated main-course salad instead of a predictable main-course meat or fish dish. You may be sceptical about whether or not your guests are going to be happy with salad as a main course, but it's all about getting the balance right – so, for example, you could start your dinner party with a risotto or pasta dish and then it would be perfect to follow with one of these salads.

Duck breast and spring pea salad

Serves 4

Veggie might: Mark Hix's delicious, healthy and easy-to-prepare vegetarian dishes

If you entertain regularly at home you must be familiar with the scenario when you find out at the last minute that one of your guests is a vegetarian and you need to rustle up something suitable in a hurry. First of all, you need to find out exactly what sort of vegetarians they are, as many people who claim to be vegetarians actually eat fish (they are pescatorians, in other words) and some of them eat chicken, which makes it even more confusing... And if your guests are vegans, then menu planning is even harder, as you won't be able to use butter, cream or eggs.

DJ Taylor: Strawberries and Sugar, and other British horrors

The Lonely Planet guide tells it like it is in the age of the pugnacious celebrity – and now Newt Gingrich wants to rule the world

Northumberland: A perfect playground in the north

From castles to curlews, Northumberland is ideal for a family adventure, says <b>Mike Unwin</b>

The park that came back from the dead

After years of drought and decline, Spain's celebrated Tablas de Daimiel wetlands are teeming with life again

Warm dry spell bad for foraging birds

The hottest April on record has made it hard for some garden birds to find food to rear their chicks, wildlife experts have warned.

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