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.

Jonathon Green: Terms of endearment: why the PM was neither right nor honourable

'Dear' is the least of it. There are plenty of ways of giving offence by mistake

Video: Dead animals on display

Controversial German anatomist Gunther von Hagens returns with an exhibition of plastinated animals.

Make a splash: Mark Hix shows how a little drop of alcohol can really enhance your cooking

Alcohol plays an integral part in many great dishes and it has all sorts of uses which go far beyond the notion of just slopping a bit of leftover corked vino into your cooking. Whether it be cognac, cider brandy or beer, the careful addition of a little drop of booze can really enhance the flavours of a dish.

Duck braised in sloe gin with rhubarb

Serves 4

Top tips: Mark Hix cooks with asparagus

With its tender green stems and delicate sweet flavour, asparagus is the finest spring vegetable of all

Deep-fried turkey egg with asparagus

Serves 4

Bold as brassica: Mark Hix cooks with sprouting broccoli

It's tastier, prettier and more sophisticated than its commoner cousin

Little crackers: Shell out on delicious rare-breed and specialist eggs

The foodiest of foodie Brits will be hoping for something a little more functional than a globe of gourmet chocolate by way of an Easter egg this year. Many are looking forward to a box of real eggs, which are as sensory a flavour experience as even the finest chocolate. Not to mention a treat for the eyes as well as the tastebuds, with their rich amber yolks, pearly whites and delicate shells that recall the pastel treats our parents painstakingly painted for egg hunts.

The Restaurant at the Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1

The problem with the RA's new restaurant is the level of its ambition. Is it to be a scoff-and-refuel addition to a few hours of art consumption? Or a destination in its own right, a recommendable eaterie which happens to have an art gallery attached?

A passion for Persia: Greg and Lucy Malouf's Iranian dishes have Skye Gyngell's tastebuds singing

Greg and Lucy Malouf have transformed perceptions of Iranian dishes in their native Australia – and their dinner party had Skye Gyngell's tastebuds singing too

Duck Breast with fesenjan sauce

Serves 6

Video: Fur farm animals in danger

Russian media reports suggest up to 15,000 animals have starved to death or were killed prematurely at a fur farm in Moscow.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1

There's a slim chance that a couple of people reading this may have missed the hoo-ha surrounding the opening of Heston Blumenthal's new restaurant, Dinner, at the beginning of last week. Booking lines were swamped, tables booked up until some time in the next millennium, journalists stole in for sneak previews before the official launch, and overnight reviews were splashed by several newspapers– including this one.

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Why winter is a time to savour small pleasures

One of the compensations of the cold months in this country for anyone who enjoys the natural world is the great arrival from the north of wintering wildfowl, of wild ducks, wild swans, and above all, wild geese. Britain is a winter haven for hundreds of thousands of these waterbirds which breed in what the naturalist and writer Mark Cocker calls "the crown of the planet" – the halo of land around the Earth's northern latitudes, below the Arctic, from Canada, through Greenland, Iceland, Northern Scandinavia, Siberia, and back to Canada again.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home