i Robert Burns, 1759 to 1796. Scottish Poet

Ah, Scotland’s favourite son.

Racing: Pitman's souffle ready to serve

PRINCEFUL IS "like a souffle that is cooked and ready to be served", according to Jenny Pitman, his trainer. Unfortunately, the pudding-like ground at Ascot may prevent the dish of the day appearing on tomorrow's menu at the Berkshire course.

Restaurants: Where shall we meet in Blackheath

Blackheath is turning into a right little haven of foodiness these days. The delicatessens in the area having always thrived on the fact that there weren't many eating- out options if you didn't like Tex-Mex, local residents scarcely have to set foot indoors for their amusement these days. Latest arrival is Chapter Two, which has been predicting its opening for almost a year. It finally did so, after numerous building problems, a couple of months ago.

Comment: An audience with the alien

I HAVE been talking to an extraterrestrial entity. His name is Omar. And he is not best pleased with me.

Letter: Byron's yo-yo diet

Sir: The poet Byron undoubtedly suffered eating disorders ("Byron was severely anorexic", 8 October) but the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa seems incomplete. "Yo-yo dieter" or "bulimic" would be more apt, given that Byron was obese as often as he was emaciated.

Eating Out: Moving in the smartest circles

AXIS; 1 Aldwich, London WC2. Tel: 0171 300 0300. Open Monday to Friday for lunch from noon to 3pm, and Monday to Saturday for dinner, 6 to 11pm. The Express Menu costs pounds 14.95 for two courses and pounds 17.95 for three. Average a la carte price for lunch, pounds 25 per head. Credit cards accepted

Travel: Kerala - Massage and medicinal rice pudding - just what the doctor ordered

The ancient Indian medical system of Ayurveda is attracting growing numbers to Kerala. The humidity in June and July is ideal for the treatments, so Phil Frampton decided to join them

Comedy: Cooking up a storm

Like many white South Africans, Mrs Evita Bezuidenhout (right) initially struggled to come to terms with the post-apartheid landscape. But, ever the pragmatist, she soon found her niche in the brave new world of the Republic. She now tours the world, passing on to the grateful masses the benefits of her political wisdom.

Motoring: Worn to be wild

You've got the classic bike, but you're still only half way there, reckons Giles Anderson

Eating Out: Turning Kia-Ora into wine

DAFFODIL: 18-20 Suffolk Parade, Montpellier, Cheltenham GL50. Tel: 01242 700 055. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch from noon to 2.30pm and from 7 to 10.30pm for dinner. Average price per person, pounds 20 without wine. The bar is open from noon to 11pm and snacks are served between 2.30 and 7pm. Major credit cards accepted

Weekend Life

There's always a frisson of tension about Sunday lunch. You know the kind of thing. You are all tucking steadily into our chicken. Then from nowhere ... "So how many gay friends do you have?" asked my sister accusingly. My mother choked. My father went puce. My brothers looked puzzled. Another usual Sunday dinner.

The Human condition: Never lie your baby on his front, on his back - or on his side...

... and never listen to half the advice that assaults new mothers, says Sheila Hayman

What, when, where ...

Feeling peckish after Christmas? Go wild at the Great British Pudding Festival, held at the Three Ways House Hotel in Mickleton. Those who take their puddings really seriously can stay in the Spotted Dick and Custard bedroom (booking essential) and feast themselves at the Pudding Parade of seven puddings, including one mysteriously known as "Lord Randall".

eye give ...

20 present-buying days to go ...

Bring back... Arctic roll

Children have been reared and placated on Arctic Roll as a staple part of school dinners for decades.

Where it's Nordic but nice

EATING OUT; ANNA'S PLACE; 90 Mildmay Park, London N1 4PR. Tel: 0171 249 9379. Open Tues-Sat 12.15- 2.15pm and 7-11pm, and for Sunday brunch 11.30am-3pm. Closed Sunday evening and Monday. Average a la carte price, pounds 21. Major credit cards accepted
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