Guerilla Burgers, 35 James Street, London W1

Even fitness freaks give in to the odd craving. But is there room for another contender in the posh-burger market?

Conspirator: Lenin in Exile, By Helen Rappaport

Rightly compared to Sebag Montefiore's Young Stalin, this highly readable work recounts Lenin's 17 years of exile prior to the Russian Revolution in 1917. The account of his stay in London from 1902 is particularly enjoyable. The revolutionary enjoyed fish and chips and even attended the "Aba Daba Music Hall" on Gray's Inn Road, though Rappaport notes his appreciation ("there is... a certain satirical attitude towards the conventional") was "hamstrung by the clumsy, dead hand of jargon that infected all his work".

Trail Of The Unexpected: Saddle up for Sacramento

The Californian capital celebrates 150 years of the pioneering Pony Express service.

Death row man saved midway through last cheeseburger

Convicted of murdering girlfriend, Texan hoping DNA evidence will clear his name

Ruby's Spoon, By Anna Lawrence Pietroni

Anna Lawrence Pietroni's debut novel takes place in the summer of 1933 in a small industrial town in the Black Country. Cradle Cross and its canal-bound environs provide a realistic backdrop to the florid melodrama of this tale about "three women, one witch, one mermaid and one missing". The 13-year-old Ruby lives with her grandmother. Her mother is dead and her father a recluse who never leaves his boatyard. Her real father figure is Captin, a cuddly bear of a man who runs the fish-and-chip shop where Ruby works and dreams of escaping to the sea, a fantasy piqued by the arrival of a strange woman in a deep crimson cloak: Isa Fly, with one white eye and, though young, a mane of snow-white hair.

Crabshakk, 1114 Argyle Street, Glasgow<br />Dining Room, 104 Bath Street, Glasgow

Twenty-four hours in Glasgow. My mission: to find the best venues in town for lunch, dinner and – God willing – breakfast. My guide: Muriel Gray, who has been forcing her opinions down my throat for the best part of 25 years, just occasionally pausing in her ranting long enough to force a small amount of food down her own.

Howard Jacobson: What a civilised and courteous place Washington is &ndash; and how lifeless

This city is given over in spirit to the tedium of archiving and administration

A critic bites: John Walsh reveals what marks a good eaterie from a bad one

Waiters who know their onions but sense when to hold off, simple decor and a good bread basket...

Le Relais de Venise 120 Marylebone Lane, London W1

Once you&rsquo;re in, it won&rsquo;t take long to order at Le Relais &ndash; it&rsquo;s steak or nothing. But is it worth queueing up for?

Business Diary: Walsh asks staff to sign up for battle

British Airways boss Willie Walsh pulls no punches in a column in the company's staff magazine, accusing the Unite union of trying to "destroy us" with industrial action. Walsh has also had a large whiteboard "graffiti wall" installed at BA's Waterside headquarters where staff can leave messages of support for the campaign against the strikers.

David Flatman: Fish, chips and Ireland add to the joy of Six

View from the front row with Bath & England prop

Happy birthday, fish & chips! Celebrating 150 years of a great Great British institution

The perennial favourite takeaway dish has survived many fads, famine and wars to keep its place firmly in the nation's heart

11-year-old interviewer finds a new 'homeboy'

Schoolboy reporter adds Obama to his list of powerful contacts

Pandora: Hannan's American health-care tour

Whoops! Looks like Daniel Hannan has gone off-message again. The Conservatives' performing monkey – a Pandora regular thanks to his flamboyant haranguing of the Prime Minister – ran into trouble several months ago after launching a stinging attack on the NHS for "making people iller".

And the bride ate chips: How the wedding feast became a fashion statement

I've been to two weddings already this year and can't actually recall what I ate at either of them," says bride-to-be Melissa Williams. "I think it might have been chicken or it could have been fish. All I know is, it was a bit dry, a bit cold and instantly forgettable."

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One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

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Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
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Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect