Keep it on ice: Mark Hix reveals his delicious freezer essentials

Great ingredients such as prawns, globe artichokes and tomato sauce can all be kept in your freezer, ready to be deployed at the drop of a hat for a delicious tasting dish. You can even have a vodka shot on hand, too

Clermont Auvergne 16 Munster 10 match report: Paul O'Connell's grit drives brave Munster close

Clermont survive late Irish fightback to reach Heineken Cup final as province fall just short

Wines of the week: Terry Kirby selects the best bottles for Easter Day

Easter Day wines can be a problem if you neglected to buy in advance – large stores are closed, leaving just smaller supermarkets and independent dealers. But don't despair – here are three bottles you might, with a little perseverance, track down today for a family meal…

Terence Blacker: Time to put email, Twitter and texts in their place

The landline telephone rings only occasionally these days and, when it does, it often brings a call-centre hustle of some kind. Yet every day passes in a blur of staccato communication with the outside world: can you do this? Have you seen that? Nudge, link, like, follow. The rhythm of online correspondence provides an easy sort of company, and can sometimes – not always – make life more convenient, but there is a price to be paid. We are losing the art of conversation.

Sherry Cracker Gets Normal, By DJ Connell

Sherry Cracker, the far from normal heroine of Connell's second novel, is a loner, obsessive note-taker and lover of tartan trousers. She works for Mr Chin, who runs a business buying used gold from dentists.

Anthony Rose: 'As with Marmite, there are some wines you either loathe or cherish'

The Marmite ad doesn't pretend that everyone has to like the sticky brown stuff. It's OK that some of us – such as myself, for instance – love it, while others find it loathsome. Wine tends not to divide opinions but achieve a common consensus based on reliability and quality. Indeed, products like non-vintage champagne flaunt their consistency of style to reach a broad common denominator of taste.

Anthony Rose: 'Richard Bigg, owner of Camino, described sherry as ‘the best-value wine on the planet'

On a biting cold night when a thick blanket of snow lay on the ground, I went on a tapas-bar crawl as a guest of the Tortilla Club, a group of Spanish food and wine aficionados. Starting off at Fino, my first surprise was at how many tapas bars there are in London's Charlotte Street area. My next surprise was how much I found myself enjoying sherry with just about everything consumed that night. I enjoy fino and manzanilla as refreshing summery aperitifs, but their warm full-body and appetisingly tangy flavours made them good winter drinks too.

The Sketch: Fiddling, flipping and filching: what's a decent chap to do?

They couldn't get Lord Ashcroft to come in so they took it out on Hayden Phillips.

Cocktail: Sbagliato

This light, refreshing yet bitter drink is a wonderfully grown-up cocktail. You might also want to have some peach purée on hand. This way by stirring 1 part peach purée with 3 parts prosecco one makes the delightfully delicate and fruity Bellini.

The King's Jewels

Serves 4

The ten best sherries

Forget mojitos - sherry is back in vogue

Wine: A question of taste

Isn't it strange how certain styles of wine keep returning? Just as flared trousers and mutton have regained popularity, so too a number of the wine styles we consigned to history have started to make a comeback. Among the worst offenders were German riesling, sherry and beaujolais, which had all sold their good names down the river.

Album: The Hold Steady, Stay Positive (Vagrant)

The Hold Steady, for the inattentive, are a Brooklyn quintet whose sound fuses Eighties hardcore with bar-room blues: imagine Hüsker Dü meets the E Street Band. Their USP is that their major players were already well into their thirties when the band formed, and are now staring down the barrel of 40.

Port maker hopes to tickle women pink

Port, the after-dinner tipple of choice for the gout-suffering classes, is attempting to shake off its stuffy image with a new pink version aimed at elusive female drinkers.

Career Services

Day In a Page

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
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month