COUNTRY & GARDEN: In praise of prickly thickets

Ornamental brambles beautify a winter garden. However, it's vital that you exercise control.

Opera; Rich and fruity

THE BEGGAR'S OPERA WILTON'S MUSIC HALL, LONDON

FOOD & DRINK: Bordeaux and burgundy for a traditional Christmas

On Wine: Start planning your festive drinking with our three-part guide to great-value wines

Drink: Strike it rich

Jonathan Downey has repeated the success, and name, of his first cocktail bar, Match, at a new venue in the West End

Letter: Banana skins

Sir: Does Paul Wright (letter, 29 September) really have proper figures on banana and orange skins in landfill and the impossibility of their being recycled? In my compost bananas decompose in a couple of weeks, orange peel in a couple of months, and they reappear next year recycled in peas, beans, raspberries and strawberries.

Fashion: Damsels in damson

Shades of cherry, berry, plum and damson will be everywhere this autumn, as designers look to the jam jar for inspiration

Edinburgh Festival '99: The naked and the ridiculous

MEG STUART/BORIS CHARMATZ EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE

Country and Garden: Weekend Work

FORCED HYACINTHS are already available for potting up, though there is no way that I will get round to this job yet. It brings Christmas too close. But if you want to give them as Christmas presents, set bulbs about half an inch apart in a bowl of compost with their noses just showing. Bury the bowl under soil or sand or keep in a cool place indoors.

COOKERY: Berries from heaven

Simon Hopkinson says you can't better the combination of sugar, cream and sweet, fresh raspberries. Or can you?

Eating & Drinking: Tickled pink

POINT ME at a bottle of rose, well chilled, and I go distinctly lukewarm. If Chateau Haut-Brion is on the level of Beethoven and industrial plonk on a par with Aqua, then most rose ranks closer to Celine Dion than to Scriabin. With few exceptions, it is Muzak Wine.

Gardening: Cream of the crop

Hybrid berries are delicious and easy-to-grow ingredients for a favourite, all-the-year-round dessert

Gardening: How to win first prize

Perfection, whether in a nosegay, a bunch of giant onions or a Victoria sponge, is what flower shows are all about. And there's one near you.

Mother loses fight over `right to live' court case

DOCTORS WHO withdrew life-saving treatment from a severely handicapped boy, despite his mother's pleas, did not break the law, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

Weekend Cook: 5: WHISKED WINE JELLY Serves four-six

I LOVE whisked jellies not only for their sheer ease but for their texture, that of the chopped amber jelly that arrives so welcomely with foie gras. There is no need here to polish up your moulding skills; seeing as how you're going to slush the jelly with a whisk, appearance doesn't really come into it.

Food & Drink: Eating Out - Vive la vieille cuisine!

Tired of the trendy? You won't find any pepper in your ice cream at Amandier, where trad is the word
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