Travel agenda

From Ben Fogle's shore excursions to a new Hemingway hotel in Madrid, and discounted family rail travel in the UK

American Apparel reveals 62-year-old Jacky O’Shaughnessy as underwear model

Retailer has been using Ms O’Shaughnessy in their campaigns since 2011

Curzon Cinemas to double screens in multimillion pound makeover

Boutique cinema chain Curzon Cinemas will almost double the number of its screens in the capital, from 12 to 20, as part of a £6 million expansion plan and design makeover.

Mellow yellow: a warming spoonful of polenta

Samuel Muston: A hug on a plate - my paean to polenta

Opening a new restaurant is often a quick way for rich people to lose money. It is a gamble opening your doors to the public, just like playing poker. But as with cards, there are ways to hedge your bets. The cautious restaurateur might tend towards well-worn concepts such as the burger joint, for instance, or the fried-chicken shop.

South African Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius is facing extra charges believed to relate to shootings from open-top car and at restaurant before Reeva Steenkamp death

'Do you want heroin with that?' Police find Happy Meals came with drugs in US McDonalds

I'm Fiendin' It: Customers collected at drive-thru

Growing Underground: Michel Roux Jr reveals plans for subterranean farm in the depths of empty south London tunnels

Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr has joined forces with two foodie entrepreneurs to grow herbs and vegetables 100ft below the ground 

Chinese New Year 2014: Top 10 Chinese restaurants in UK revealed

Tomorrow will see people around the world hail the start of the Year of the Horse

Getting piste on the cheap: The art of the budget weekend student skiing holiday

Deadlines and bills can knock most students down to breaking point. With little enjoyment left in life, money can serve as a comfort, going out and splurging cash on a fancy meal or a new outfit can provide a temporary solution. However, forking out for a long weekend on the slopes is a resort many have to turn to in the search for a less temporary solution to new years depression as a student. A high adrenaline holiday is enough to take anyone’s minds off of the stresses of student life.

The pinnacle of The Shard

Why the Shard stands proud – but empty

The oil-Rich Qataris failed to note those three basic requirement for success in the UK property market: location, location and – you guessed it – location

Buttering up: The popularity of artisan butters has forced the big makers of other spreads to change their products

Butter is back: Margarine giant admits defeat in the battle of the spreads

Margarine makers have an unusual response to  our renewed taste for butter

On The Bab, restaurant review: Korean street dishes for hip diners looking for fun?

If you were inventing a restaurant to promote London's scene it would, surely, be this: Korean street food in Hoxton. It's got in-flight magazine article all over it: "Visitors to London will love this edgy eatery." Shudder.

Hidden layers: Bill Granger reveals the secret to his favourite lasagne recipe

People imagine that those of us who work with food professionally entertain in wildly extravagant ways, but if I'm honest, the opposite is the case. Experience has taught me that it's always best to keep it as simple as possible.

Classic Italian style: One of the suites

B&B and Beyond: Pianaura Suites, Italy

You may never want to leave this rural hideaway set amid the vineyards of Valpolicella

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick