The Bargain Hunter: Hot picks at Miss Selfridge

Miss Selfridge launched its mid-season sale this week, with up to50 per cent off selected items until Tuesday 19 October. Visit http://ind.pn/dqiDiE for the full list of savings, with the "hot picks" section (a glorified list of the biggest discounts) well worth a look. When making your order, don't forget that Miss Selfridge offers free delivery on all orders over £80. You don't need a voucher code to take advantage but I thought I'd mention it as delivery charges may alter the way you shop.

Bargain Hunter: Book an MOT with 50% off

Nationwide Autocentre (soon to be renamed Halfords Autocentre) is offering 50 per cent off an MOT at any one of its 224 testing stations. The process is simple; just visit http://ind.pn/cTL548, select your car, select your centre and book the type of MOT you'd like. The gadget will then display exactly how much you've saved.

Media Lunch: Richard Woolfe, channel controller, Five

The venue: The Ivy, which I love because it's a 90-second walk from the office.

Super Size Me: how the Last Supper became a banquet over 1,000 years

Art imitates life as scientists discover that size of portions in paintings of Jesus's final meal grew over time

Caravan, 11-13 Exmouth Market, London EC1

To call a new restaurant "Caravan" is to risk ambiguity. The word can suggest a camel journey, a romantic quest for Shangri-La, a drifting meander through exotic lands and undulating sand dunes, meeting strange women in transparent shawls and kohl-drenched eyes, their every movement dreamily soundtracked by the sexy wail of oud and zither. Sadly, it can equally suggest a dismal wet weekend in a rusting mobile home on Selsey Bill.

Leading article: A taste of cuts to come, but still no substance

The Government has yet to reveal what spending it would protect

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London SW1

Yes, all right, I DO know there's a recession on. But this isn't just any old restaurant review. It's that special once-a-year occasion when I get to blow the Independent's budget on a spectacular dinner with the winning bidders in our annual charity auction, raising money for aid projects around the world. This year's highest bidder was Roger Hambury, who secretly bid for the lot as a Christmas present for his wife Fleur, knowing she had long harboured fantasies of becoming an undercover food critic.

Diary of a Fresher: 'You know not to ask what "vegetable surprise!" contains...'

My college counts as fully-catered, though we have at our disposal one kitchenette between eight. Not a kitchen, a kitchenette: claustrophobically small, ovenless and with a lot of stainless steel. It's fine, but I've never really had much use for it, apart from for one experimental microwave meal. This worked fine (no explosions), although after discovering the remains of the repast a number of days later, I decided I would do well to stick to foods that stayed more inert when left on a plate for a little while.

The Partridge Inn, 32 St Mary's Street, Wallingford, Oxfordshire

The ratings system used on this page doesn't really reflect the whole picture. One crucial aspect of the dining experience goes unrated – my behaviour as a customer. And thank God, because this week, I would have to award myself and my guests just one star. We arrived late. We were eight, when we'd booked for seven. We had four rain-soaked children in tow, one of whom ran amok and removed items of clothing. And, unforgiveably, we asked for things. Things that apparently couldn't be produced.

Restaurants 'put diners' health at risk'

Some meals at restaurant chains are so salty they put diners' health at risk, a survey shows. Of 47 main courses, three-quarters had more than 3g of salt and seven had more than the 6g recommended daily limit for an adult set by the Food Standard Agency. Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), which did the survey, found the saltiest dishes at Old Orleans, Pizza Express and Wagamama.

Sex doctor: The gender gap and how to get over it

There are certain classic mistakes that men and women are always making concerning the opposite sex. So, if you want to find out what sort of lover you really are, check that you're not committing any of the following carnal sins.

Brown smooths relations with unions over dinner

The Prime Minister tried to answer trade union criticism of Government policies when he gave a relaxed, 20-minute speech at a private dinner with the TUC.

Zeitgeist's guide to love, sex, cars, war and lobster thermidor

The world is big, complicated, and frequently confusing - so it's not surprising that we all need a bit of guidance from time to time. But where can we turn for the essential information to steer us through? The American satirist Evan Eisenberg believe he has the solution: a guide to the important stuff that's as easy to follow as a restaurant review. Read it, and you'll be dining out on his advice in no time...

The Greenhouse, Hay’s Mews, London

Discreet charm

Octopus toban

Serves 4
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
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture