Gastropod

THE VEXED question of tipping has been discussed in this column before, when the Restaurateurs' Association of Great Britain advocated legislation to levy a standard service charge on all meals served in restaurants (as in other European countries). That way there would be no doubt about how much one should leave, or who benefits from the arbitrary surcharge that many restaurants slap on top of the bill.

Where shall we meet?: Fungus Mungus, SW11

This grunge bar on the way to Wandsworth has the dubious distinction of being more easily seen in the daytime than at night; its rather garish frontage fades at dusk. The interior, hung with bits of 'art' of the sling-a-frame-in-front-of-something-painted-on-the-wall variety, is inhabited by the less coiffed of south London's beautiful people, preening their beards and having those intense conversations that only beautiful people can get away with. The garden has a table that would do well in a college dining hall and plenty of little nooks where you can gaze in a glazed sort of way at the stars. Open late.

Foresters warn Dutch elm disease is back: Epidemic halts return of the tree that once defined rural England. Steve Connor reports

DUTCH ELM disease, which destroyed more than 20 million trees at the height of its last epidemic 20 years ago, is making a comeback by reducing the majestic English elm to the status of a stumpy shrub.

Curiouser and curiouser: A legal oddity allows access to some 'natural' drugs but not others

After Glastonbury and other free festivals several plaited-haired friends of mine have been prodding ceaselessly through the deer droppings in Richmond Park and among the finer grasses of Hampstead Heath. They are looking for magic mushrooms, Psilocybe semilanceata, which, they claim, even thrive amid the police horse droppings of Wormwood Scrubs.

Ancient forest set to share its secrets

TED GREEN inspected the corpse of an ancient oak which flourished for 600 years in Windsor Park. It died last summer, finished off by the drought, but its massive trunk will be left as the home for generations of insects and birds.

Iceman's fungus awakes 50 centuries on

(First Edition)

Closure of hospital lab was ordered after fungi accident

A MICRO-BIOLOGY unit at a leading London hospital medical school has remained closed for five months after an accident involving dangerous fungi, on the order of the Health and Safety Executive, writes Celia Hall.

Friendly fungus

MANY of the chemicals traditionally used as wood preservatives are now known to cause environmental damage when the wood is discarded. Some chemical preservatives have been restricted and total bans are possible in the future.

Microbe of the Month: Friendly fungus to grass, but poison to grazing animals

Anyone driving around Kentucky and adjoining states is bound to notice the lush green of much of the turf and pasture land. It is the colour of tall fescue, a grass that grows vigorously to produce stunning green swards and is exceptionally resistant to attack by insects and nematode worms. It also survives well in areas subject to drought and in soil depleted of nutrients.

Shopping News: A Mushrooming Interest

TAKE a trip to the New Forest this weekend and you will see scores of eager mushroom-pickers, bent double in their efforts to locate a tasty cep, Shaggy Parasol or Horn of Plenty. This month is the peak of the mushroom season - and with more rainfall than usual this autumn, enthusiasts expect a bumper crop.

Country Matters: Fat, white, big as dinner-plates

DOWN IN the meadows by the stream there is a fair scattering of what I take to be shaggy ink-caps - elegant, tall, slender mushrooms which come up beautifully white but in a day or two turn black in the gills, and then sink down to become puddles of slimy liquid dark as pitch.

Out of Albania: Invasion of the mushroom bunkers

KAVAJE - Albania is the sort of place that makes surrealists weep for joy. It is possible that in other countries waiters park their bicycles in hotel restaurants, but surely not when the restaurant is indoors on an upper floor? Such, however, is the practice at the Hotel Tirana in Albania's capital.

Good day for the squirrels

KATHRYN BRAHAM, aged three, was walking her dog Hilly, a five-month-old spaniel, in Oxleas Wood yesterday, writes John Arlidge. Her parents, Alan and Lynne, had told her that the planned route through the wood had been scrapped.

Letter: Drug danger in a mushroom

Sir: I can ony presume that your home affairs editor temporarily lost control of his senses to publish Michael Prestage's expose of the 'magic mushrooms' season (26 September).

Recipe: Picking caps and parasols

STOP PRESS. In the same spirit that each and every cigarette packet and American wine bottle must carry health warnings, it is not only prudent to repeat cautionary words before we print this week's column on cooking with mushrooms: it is necessary.
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk