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Brian Sollit was a real-life Willy Wonka, one of Britain's most eminent chocolatiers. In a career spanning over 50 years at Rowntree's in York, he created some of the nation's best loved snacks including Lion Bars, Drifters, Matchmakers and the Yorkie, but his crowning glory was the creation of the After Eight Mint. Launched in 1962, it was an instant success, becoming the must-have confectionery for "posh" after-dinner treats. It went on to sell in over 50 countries and had famous devotees such as the Queen Mother.

David Prosser: Securing a share of India's economic miracle may cost more than expected

Outlook India's stellar economic growth, which was barely touched by the global downturn, has for some time been expected to prompt a mergers and acquisitions boom in the country. But while foreign corporations are keen to secure their slice of the cake – and to get results quickly, rather than starting from scratch – India has always been protective of its domestic businesses, with tough regulation limiting the access of foreign buyers to many industries.

Goodbye HIPs, hello to Nama – our guide to the City's new lexicon

In a rocky 2010, the Square Mile needed a new vocabulary for a new world order. Here, man of letters Richard Northedge has the last word

Last Night's TV: Christmas with Gordon/Channel 4<br />Jimmy's Food Factory/BBC1<br />Come Dine with Me: Celebrity Christmas Special/Channel 4<br />Little Crackers/Sky1

The title sequence for Christmas with Gordon featured a chef's knife smashing through a bauble, a cheering sight for anyone who finds this time of year just a tiny bit wearing. The programme itself, though, had fully signed up to the mood of can-do bonhomie that infects the airwaves at this time of year. "I love Christmas," Gordon assured us, before promising that he was going to help us make our Christmas "stress-free and delicious". The secret, he said, helpfully, is to get as much done in advance as you can. Good advice that, but where exactly is "advance" going to fit? Gordon himself was looking relaxed because he was presumably filming this some time in September, and it probably gave him a welcome break from dealing with his in-laws. But anyone watching the programme last night would only have two nights left for "advance", and then only if the family agreed not to eat anything else between now and Saturday, and agreed to get their presents in the Amazon box they were delivered in.

Merger Monday sees rainmakers return to form

Four major deals in one day could signal a comeback for M&amp;A activity. Richard Northedge reports

Foreign firms prepare to swoop on British targets

Foreign companies have stepped up their interest in acquisition targets in the UK despite an official review of takeover policy following the controversial purchase of Cadbury by America's Kraft earlier this year.

Trail of the unexpected: Lisbon

Portugal's undulating capital can be tiring to explore &ndash; but not in a 4x4. Will Hawkes enjoys the ride

Pig out: The best animal-inspired biscuits and chocolates

Whether it’s a meringue hedgehog or a reindeer cupcake, indulge in a creature comfort this winter with these animal-inspired sweet treats from Britain’s best confectioners and bakers...

Bite into the world's first 18+ cake shop

Staffed by zombies and serving 666 edible Halloween creations each day, the world’s first 18+ cake shop opened in London today.

Bettys Harrogate, 1 Parliament Street, Harrogate

Is Bettys in Harrogate still good enough to wash away all memories of queuing up in the rain to get in?

Thorntons warns prices could rise

Thorntons dealt chocolate-lovers a blow yesterday as it became the latest confectioner to warn soaring cocoa costs could soon lead to price rises.

Eat your art out: Artists develop a taste for food

Antony Gormley's bread bed is back in a new exhibition, and Tate Modern has bought a couscous installation

Retailers and celebrity chefs set for City battle

The first major retail development in central London since the financial crisis will open its doors on 28 October to many of the high street's biggest names, and see the country's two most famous celebrity chefs going head to head with new restaurants.

In the lick of it: How ice cream became the dish we know and love

From its beginnings thousands of years ago to today's mass-produced flavours

David Prosser: The City chooses another one of its own

Outlook: Talking of perception, the Takeover Panel's appointment yesterday of Robert Gillespie as its next director general speaks volumes.

Book Of A Lifetime: A Life in Letters by Anton Chekhov

I first encountered Chekhov's letters when I took my lecturing job at the University of Kent in 2004. Chekhov's stories were required reading on one of the modules, and the Norton Edition I taught from had excerpts from Chekhov's letters in the back. At the time I felt uneasy about teaching creative writing, because I didn't think much of workshops and approaches to the subject that seemed too similar to therapy sessions and focus groups. But in these brief excerpts I found writing advice that I thought was actually useful for the students. In a letter to his brother Alexander, dated 10 May 1886 (sadly missing from A Life in Letters), Chekhov lays out something like a manifesto for writing that I think is almost perfect. Writing, Chekhov argues, should be objective, honest, spare, daring and compassionate.

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