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Featuring a chic rooftop poolside, antique-inspired interiors, a former cinema, diner-style eating, a Korean restaurant, and an all-service spa

Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch backstage at the 25th annual Producers Guild of America Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel

Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr compare Sherlock notes

Actors had 'a lot to talk about'

Harriet Walker: 'I will be in her life forever - because I fell over at her wedding'

No matter how hard you try to make your friends love you, there's never any guarantee, is there? You can be your funniest self, your most supportive self, your kindest, most understanding, coolest or most relaxed self, and there's still nothing to say your friends won't just desert you, like a smuggler's ship slipping its ropes in the bay at midnight.

Retired queen of the track Victoria “Sponge” Pendleton

Sport on TV: Doctor, doctor! This presenter is a pain in the, er, prostate

If anyone can complete a 127-mile cycle race through the Pyrenees called the “Bone Breaker”, having done no exercise for years, surely it would be a doctor. They might not have quite the depth of medical knowledge that Lance Armstrong possesses, but surely they can merrily prescribe themselves an assortment of finest pharamceuticals to get themselves over the hump.

Oaksterdam in Oakland, California, is the world's only university dedicated to the study and cultivation of cannabis

Cannabis cultivation: the world's only college course

After the decriminalisation of marijuana in two US states, a new crop of would-be drug barons is enrolling on a college course in cannabis cultivation

Teenage girl who survived Seattle drive-by shooting: ‘My glasses saved my life’

A teenage girl’s glasses saved her life when they incredibly deflected a bullet that would have hit her in the head in a US drive-by shooting.

Florence Knight is only 26 and head chef at Polpetto

A feast of reading for all kinds of cooks: Cookbooks of 2013

Every year I think “that’s it, I’ve got enough cookbooks”. But rather like a black cardigan, or pair of jeans, one can never quite get past the nagging feeling that the next one might just be the perfect one. And then the shelf collapses.

Grey matter: Inside Maria Hatzistefanis' Notting Hill home

Cosmetics queen Maria Hatzistefanis has found the perfect way to relax her mind after a day at work

PS4 and Xbox One: Live-streamed nudity and 'excessive profanity' highlights new problems

Next gen consoles allow users to share footage online, but this has already led to some worrying incidents

The 10 Best sofas

We spend a good proportion of our time sitting on our sofa, so it's a piece worth investing in. Here's our pick of the best

The property's historic bedroom

Stay the Night: Lendal Tower, York

Once part of the city walls, then a water tower, this medieval building now accepts guests. Holly Williams takes a step back

Close knit: James, here with his mother, Penny, was one of the patients featured on Channel 4’s ‘Bedlam’

Grace Dent on TV: Bedlam, Channel 4 // OCD Ward, ITV // OCD Cleaners, Channel 4

For all we learn about mental illness on TV, we may as well be gawkers at a 17th-century freak show

Grace Dent on TV: Storyville: Pussy Riot – a Punk Prayer, BBC4

Wave the flag for the fearless feminists whose anti-Putin protests have rocked Russia

Sympathy for the devils: Stephen Fry with Stosh, a victim of ‘corrective rape’ in Uganda

Grace Dent on TV: Out There, BBC2

Take that, homophobia. Stephen Fry is looking for a fight

Sofa, so good: ‘Gogglebox’ allows us to watch the TV watchers

Grace Dent on TV: Gogglebox, Channel 4

It's TV that brings the nation together, and this show is a glorious celebration of that

Blind date: Istanbullux’s stylish interiors are shielded from the sun by a wooden shell

B&B and Beyond: Istanbullux Suites, Turkey

Galata is a thriving area with a sleek collection of suites in a building that's cool ... in every way. Sarah Gilbert checks in

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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
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'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture