Classic Italian style: One of the suites

B&B and Beyond: Pianaura Suites, Italy

You may never want to leave this rural hideaway set amid the vineyards of Valpolicella

Wine: Something for the weekend

Night in

British households threw away 7.2 million tons of food in 2011

Tales from the Water Cooler: Bottle sniffers are far worse than carrot fascists

I shop at Tesco. I tell you this not in a crass effort to get a tenner off my next shop, but to illustrate that I am quite close to the story about which I shall now ruminate. (Anyway, I shop at Tesco because it is closest to my house. As far as I’m concerned, an aisle is an aisle is an aisle, however it is branded.)

Festive cheer: The 12 bottles of Christmas

From sparklers to the dessert wines, Terry Kirby reveals the drinks that will get you in the festive spirit...

Wines of the week: Cedro Do Noval 2009; Tercius Alvarinho 2012; Ramos Reserva 2012

Terry Kirby selects the best bottles to buy

Bowled over: Raise a glass to the Ashes series with Terry Kirby's pick of Australian wines

The greatest contest in cricket – the Ashes series between England and Australia – starts this week; the perfect excuse to try some exceptional Aussie wines from vineyards near the Test venues…

Wines of the week: Pablo Old Vine Garnacha 2011; Jour De Nuit Red 2012; Côte Mas Blanc 2011

Terry Kirby selects the best bottles to buy

Wines of the week: Terrunyo Block 27 2009 Carmenère; Cune Blanco 2011; Monterrato Rosso 2011

Terry Kirby selects the best bottles to buy

Anthony Rose: 'The Aussies aced it at the Decanter World Wine Awards'

The Decanter World Wine Awards is the UK's biggest wine competition, and with 14,000-plus wines entered this year, the Aussies have aced it with six international trophies compared to Spain, Chile and South Africa's four and France's three.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

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Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

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Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

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Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

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Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

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