Life and Style

With each passing year, the Wines from Spain Awards throw up more variety and better quality across the board. Chosen from nearly 1,000 wines, the top awards demonstrate that while rioja is still a vital part of what Spain does well, there is so much more to the country’s wine today in style, in quality and in value. Spain in many ways is Europe’s greatest hope for a challenge to the New World dominance of the past two decades.

Food & Drink: Weekend Cook 12: Blackberry Fool Serves four. Total time: 20 minutes

THE COUNTRYSIDE surrounding our farmhouse in Normandy is known as the ebocage, a medieval arrangement of fields traced by the lines of hedgerows. These are the kind of hedgerows whose loss we bemoan in this country, an impenetrable tangled mass made up of an anarchic diversity of flowers, bushes, small trees and grasses.

Food: Cold comfort

From melting ice cream to tingling granita and smoothly seductive sorbet, Simon Hopkinson stirs up some culinary memories of summers past

Food: Puddings

CONRAN SUMMER FOOD PART TWO

Style Police: Simplicity is the key, says JAMES SHERWOOD. Colours have gone neutral and that means bad design has nowhere to hide

We've always known fashion is a contrary old broad. She was austere as a Carmelite nun last season. Now she's kicking up her heels like a Vegas lap dancer in applique sequins, hot floral prints and wild, anything- goes colour. In short, she's as intimidating as Blanche Dubois after one too many daiquiris. This is a tough season for women who like quiet clothes.

Search Engines: Second site: What a lot of Pooh

FOR DIANDRA, the spell has broken. "Hi welcome to my Winnie the Pooh Page that really sucks," she blurts. "It's true, my page sucks, I have to admit - I've just outgrown Pooh. I don't like Winnie the Pooh anymore ... but I'm going to keep my page up, for the Pooh fans." Why she should feel so obliged is a mystery, since hers is hardly unique. There are several Web-rings of mutually affiliated sites, with capering animals, tinkly renderings of the Pooh signature tune, pictures of the real Hundred Acre Wood in Sussex, and backward `s's in the AA Milne typographic tradition. Diandra's confused outburst is a welcome breath of fresh air, for otherwise, like Dorothy Parker reading The House At Pooh Corner to review it for the New Yorker 70 years ago, Tonstant Surfer is likely to Fwow Up.

Gardening: A little shady practice

Many shrubs thrive on sheltered north- and east-facing walls. Anna Pavord chooses the most spectacular

Eating Out: A bit of a red herring

Lundum

Good taste Whittards t-zone blending bar

While new coffee bars are more ubiquitous than bus stops, tea's image seems to have stayed with the greasy spoon, or the drawing-room. But not for long. Whittard's new tea bar, the t-zone, is a designer take on the country's favourite beverage. Giles Hilton, a man who can tell from the taste of a tea leaf whether it was picked while it was raining, believes it's time that tea had a makeover. "You go into a coffee bar and, essentially, you are served one blend of coffee - usually a house blend - either in the form of a latte, cappuccino or espresso. It's a bit like going into a vintner and only being able to buy one type of wine from each country. At t-zone you can choose from over 150 different types of tea, 100 to 120 of which are single-estate teas." Not content with offering this exhausting array, Whittard customers at its new Carnaby Street store will be able to create their own blend from 12 different varieties of fruits and flowers, five oils and three base teas. Fruit and flower flavours range from rose petals to papaya, and oils include vanilla, lemon and strawberry. A blender will be on hand to help advise on balancing the lemongrass and the orange pekoe (one of the three base teas). When the customer is happy with the blend, they will get a smart label to christen it - either after the genius that conceived it, or perhaps, more classically, along the lines of the Chinese, who tend to name their teas Dragon's Whiskers, Spider's Legs or Jade-in-the-Clouds. Aoife O'Riordain.

Food: Ambrosial delights

Rice puddings are delicious hot or cold, and the best can be as good as what comes out of a tin. Photograph by Jason Lowe

Indoors: The mono pod

The taste of ... vanilla from Reunion. Nikki Spencer samples sweet, spicy orchid riches

FOOD & DRINK: THE MEDITERRANEAN'S MISSING LINK

Malta's tourists are traditionally treated to egg and chips. But a new book sets the record straight on an island cuisine packed with history and flavour.

Diary of a divorce: Beloved and Bonk

I'm paranoid. I admit it. Looking a gift horse in the mouth isn't enough for me, I have to shine a torch in its ears, prod its feet with a stick and lift its tail up. Ideally I'd like a CT scan of its whole body, plus tissue samples of all major organs for analysis. I don't trust anything any more: if I plant a seed I have to dig it up to check the roots are growing; if there's a loose thread I have to pull it. So although my Very Nice Chap (VNC) may be keen on me when he gets up in the morning, he could have developed a violent dislike of me by 20 past 10. I just don't see any reason why such disasters, having happened once, should not happen again.

Food: Sweet delights

Simon Hopkinson reinvents some old shop favourites

FOOD: THE PERFECT PUDDING

Tom Aikens of Pied a Terre, Peter Gordon of the Sugar Club - Britain's top chefs reveal how to make their signature desserts for the Sunday Review. By Michael Bateman; TOP 20 DESSERTS: PART 2
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London