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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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Lake Garda
Lake Como
Bruges
Paris
Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game