Arts and Entertainment

The province of Lopburi, 150km north-east of Bangkok, is famous for the hundreds of crab-eating macaques that overrun its Old Town – including the 13th-century temple of Phra Prang Sam Yot.

Nick Strangeway's favourite cocktail Spagliato, made with Campari, Carpano Antica and Prosecco

Samuel Muston: Gin. Check. Carpaccio. Check. Santa’s little helpers. Check

I am not the type of person who, when throwing a Christmas party, thinks: “Who shall I get to do  the catering?”

The Queen was upset by police officers eating nuts left around Buckingham Palace, the trial into alleged phone hacking at the News of the World has heard

Hacking trial: Police officers 'irritated' Queen by eating nuts left out at Buckingham Palace, court told

The hacking trial at the Old Bailey has heard how the Queen was “narked” that police were, she believed, eating snacks left out for her by Buckingham Palace staff.

Nelson Mandela with Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu salutes ‘magician’ Nelson Mandela who healed the nation

South Africa’s Anglican leader fondly remembers his good friend

A healthier diet, not drugs, is ‘the best way to cut dementia’

The battle against dementia should be refocused to the benefits of a Mediterranean diet and away from “dubious drugs”, a group of doctors and health experts said ahead of the G8 summit on the condition in London this week.

Three myths about elephants you probably believed, and three amazing facts you’ll be glad to know

Elephants are amazing creatures, but can you separate fact from fiction?

An Edwardian gazebo in Kingston, passed as you meander along the river Thames

Walk of the month: Kingston upon Thames - Red bricks and boxes on the riverbank

The Thames Path combines history with nature as it forges towards the capital from Hampton Court Palace

Mark's shell shot can be made with lobster, prawn or crab shells

Mark Hix recipe: Shell shot

Serves 6-8

England manager Roy Hodgson has admitted that he is more concerned about the location of the World Cup fixtures rather than the opposition

World Cup draw: Roy Hodgson has 'no qualms' if England are moved to Pot Two

Such a switch would likely result in a tougher draw for the Three Lions

Ryan Giggs did not develop into the towering world figure his talent suggested he might become

Kevin Garside: As good a player as he still is, Ryan Giggs could have been so much more

Ryan Giggs as national treasure is a hard bubble to prick. The eulogies rained down on Friday on the occasion of his 40th birthday. The celebration of such a landmark, uncommon for an active footballer, is no place for the dissenting voice. But what about the day after? Is this the time to reflect more critically on the career of a Manchester United great?

Nasa to grow plants on the moon by 2015: 'If they can thrive, we probably can too'

A 1kg "self-contained habitat" will be transported on a commercial spaceflight; on-board sensors and cameras will send back images and data to Earth

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has said he isn't 'playing a jammie dodger' over his department's biscuit budget

Eric Pickles: ‘I didn’t spend £10,000 extra on biscuits’

Tory MP defends his department’s refreshments record

Parsnip chips with curry and apple

Mark Hix recipe: Parsnip chips with curry and apple

Serves 4-6

Sweet potatoes with mint choc chip

Mark Hix recipe: Sweet potatoes with mint choc chip

Serves 4-5

Postcard from... Montejo de la Sierra

Locals sometimes claim that the centuries-old grove of beech trees in Montejo de la Sierra in Spain is the most southerly in Europe or indeed the world. Not true – that honour goes to a beechwood on the slopes of Mount Etna. But even so there is little doubt the  beech grove running alongside the edge of the River Jarama just north of Madrid is among Spain’s most beautiful and ancient, as well as being very rare for these latitudes.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star