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What is it with round numbers anyway? Why do we obsess over these completely arbitrary goals or targets? As regular readers of this column will know, missing said target by a few seconds is, anyway, very much the way we… Read more

Unlike drinking, exercise and home cooking, being vegetarian is seen as a black-and-white deal. You either are or you aren’t. Go meat free all year and you’re a vegetarian; eat one chicken burger on New Year’s Eve and… Read more

Noble, 27a Church Road, Holywood, County Down BT18 9BU (028 9042 5655). Meal for two, including drinks and service: £90 It’s one of those midsummer’s evenings in Northern Ireland when dusk lingers, as if ambivalent to… Read more

I’m off on holiday in a couple of weeks. Believe me, I really can’t wait for the escape. But for obsessive houseplant collectors like me, going away at the height of the growing season can be tinged with anxiety. Given… Read more

Lidl Crémant de Bourgogne, France NV (£7.99, Lidl) Champagne so dominates the view of French sparkling wine that it rather obscures other regions with their own long-standing interpretations of the fizz tradition. But… Read more

Normal Sudoku rules apply, except the numbers in the cells contained within grey lines add up to the figures in the corner. No number can be repeated within each shape formed by grey lines. For a helping hand call our… Read more

Fill the grid using the numbers 1 to 9. Each number must appear just once in every row, column and 3x3 box. Buy next week’s Observer Digital Edition to see the completed… Read more

On an industrial estate on the outskirts of Swansea, a small revolution is taking place. Lewis Pies, a family firm that has been making British staples such as beef and onion pies, traditional pasties and sausage rolls… Read more