Sport Retired queen of the track Victoria “Sponge” Pendleton

If anyone can complete a 127-mile cycle race through the Pyrenees called the “Bone Breaker”, having done no exercise for years, surely it would be a doctor. They might not have quite the depth of medical knowledge that Lance Armstrong possesses, but surely they can merrily prescribe themselves an assortment of finest pharamceuticals to get themselves over the hump.

Champions League: Jose Mourinho describes his Chelsea team as 'beautiful young eggs' that 'need a mum' ahead of meeting with Basle

The Blues manager trash talks last season's Europa League victory - but takes a little credit for their Champions League win

The 10 Best kitchen scissors

From pruning herbs to cutting pizza and cracking shellfish, we look at the best ways to cut through everyday culinary tasks

Restaurant Review: Upstairs at Baileys, 2 Hungate, Beccles, Suffolk

Each of these dishes told a story, as the best meals should do

Thousands of Californian hens escape being gassed thanks to mystery $50,000 benefactor

A charter jet will fly the birds to New York, from where they will be distributed to sanctuaries on the east coast

Chessington World of Adventures hires 'Birds and the Bees' Consultant, Lisa Britton, following a recent baby boom at the park

Zoo enlists ‘birds and bees’ expert to answer children's questions about mating animals

An animal baby boom prompted a move to answer an age-old dilemma: what are those monkeys doing?

The crispness of the savoury-battered flower is great with a duck egg, creating a simple but luxurious breakfast offering

Fried duck's egg with courgette flowers

Serves 4

Blue heaven: Mark Hix cooks with berries

Have them raw or cooked, for dessert, dinner or cocktails – the uses for blueberries are limitless

Cricket? That's only a bonus - I came for the junk food and the beer

A seat for the Ashes reminded me of the primary difference between football and cricket

The 10 Best frying pans

Whether it's for a full English or something more sophisticated, here's a piece of kit you can't live without

Branching out: Mark Hix gets creative with olives

People now have a great choice of olives in all sizes and brines for snacking on and cooking with. Long may it last, says our chef...

Olive drop scones make delicious snacks or can be used as the basis for a light bite, by topping them off with a soft goats' cheese or ricotta

Olive drop scones

Serves 4

Salmon fingers with pea mayonnaise

Salmon fingers with pea mayonnaise

Serves 4

Gluten-free gooseberry, saffron and rapeseed oil cake

Gluten-free gooseberry, saffron and rapeseed oil cake

Makes 1 medium cake

Free range: A barn interior

Stay the Night: Barsham Barns, Norfolk

Five 19th-century outbuildings have been transformed into impressive rental properties, says Mary Novakovich

The handwritten compendium of recipes, which traverses the years 1690 to 1830, was re-discovered by Judith Finnamore

Cookbook of Unknown Ladies: Historian discovers 300-year-old recipe collection - now, roast sheep’s head, anyone?

If the maxim “know us through our food” still holds water, then not many would care to be on nodding terms with the authors of the Cookbook of Unknown Ladies, given that it’s long on recipes using sheep heads and cow heel and short on things like summer salads or posh burgers. But, then again, we ought to make exceptions, it being 300 years old and all.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee