Life and Style

Considerable volumes of wishful thinking and even more hot air have been expended on the 'wonderful' 2012 Burgundy vintage, currently on offer. Sparing you the hyperbole and cutting to the chase, Burgundy 2012 is a good vintage in which a handful of great wines have been made by a few exceptional growers. It is not a rising tide that raises all boats in the mould of 2005 or 2010.

A scene from The Duck House at the Vaudeville Theatre

Postcard from... Spain

Life's a beach: 'fingers' on Playa Brava

A big hand for Punta del Este

In this week's Lonely Planet 'Great Escape', discover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side

Five things to do for a fiver in London this December

London is one of the most expensive cities in the world. But a good time in the capital needn’t break the bank.

Noddy Holder must be glad he wrote 'Merry Xmas Everybody' as he'll earn £800,000 this year from royalties.

Slade's 'Merry Xmas Everybody' to rake in over £520,000 in royalties by end of the year

Slade's 1973 hit still features on almost every festive playlist

Take note, supermarkets: We already have laws in place concerning alcohol and children

Supermarkets have been stopping parents buying alcohol where children are present

Fruit beers could soon fall foul of French taxes

Postcard from... Brussels

The Belgians’ sweet tooth is not limited to the calorific chocolates and truffles they consume: their famous beers are also often laced with sugar, especially the fruity brews enjoyed across the country.

Going home for Christmas: The best ways to freeload off your parents in the holidays

After a term's worth of student living, why not make the most of the comforts of home this Christmas?

The 10 Best Christmas hampers

From gourmet festive fare to chocolates with a royal seal of approval, these fine hampers make mouth-watering pressies for foodies

Festive cheer: The 12 bottles of Christmas

From sparklers to the dessert wines, Terry Kirby reveals the drinks that will get you in the festive spirit...

Keep it on ice: Mark Hix reveals his delicious freezer essentials

Great ingredients such as prawns, globe artichokes and tomato sauce can all be kept in your freezer, ready to be deployed at the drop of a hat for a delicious tasting dish. You can even have a vodka shot on hand, too

Wine: Something for the weekend?

Night in

Grace Dent on TV: Imagine – Who’s Afraid of Machiavelli?

Mr Memory, who was brought on Monday’s Newsnight to memorise the title sequence and couldn’t even remember that Jeremy bloke with the beard’s name. Gosh I love telly. 

Avoid online shopping and sales - get to the Christmas markets

In a world dominated by tax avoiding shopping behemoths and faceless super chains, it’s nice to experience some interaction with stall owners

<p>As if the bottle and the
prospect of exceptional pink champagne wasn’t charming enough, then this
edition of Laurent Perrier Rosé will really wow its recipient with two oenological champagne glasses
and a decorative gift box. If you don’t decide to keep it for yourself that is…</p>
<p>£85,
<a href=johnlewis.com

" title="

As if the bottle and the prospect of exceptional pink champagne wasn’t charming enough, then this edition of Laurent Perrier Rosé will really wow its recipient with two oenological champagne glasses and a decorative gift box. If you don’t decide to keep it for yourself that is…

£85, johnlewis.com

" width="80" height="49" onclick="location.href='http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/food-drink/bottoms-up-10-best-alcoholic-gifts-for-christmas-2013-8985867.html';" class="" />

Bottoms up: 10 best alcoholic gifts for Christmas 2013

For the loved ones in your life who like a tipple, consider one of these very drinkable pressies

Life and Style
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Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

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If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

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Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

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End of the Aussie brain drain

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