Travel

Take your pick in Courchevel, Chamonix, Sainte-Foy, Megève, and Val Thorens

The ten best Valentine's Day gifts for men

From champagne and chocolates to the latest gadgets, show the love of your life how much you care this Valentine’s Day with one of these perfect presents...

Click on the image on the right to launch the gallery

The good, the bad and the wildly bitchy

Awash with champagne and catfights, Dynasty, the ultimate 1980s soap, is set to become a film

Bubbly is flowing at one retailer

Majestic Wine was the toast of the embattled retail sector yesterday after it posted sparkling Christmas sales, despite the snow disruption and unprecedented discounting by the big supermarkets.

Lottery winner urged to claim £1m prize



A National Lottery jackpot prize of just under £1 million remains unclaimed.

Leading article: Here's to the resumption of normal service

Only another two days to go now. By Tuesday the country will – we trust – be back to normal, after a jumboid winter break made possible by the happy circumstance of both days falling on a Saturday, pushing the public holidays into the following week.

Champagne still bubbly after 200 years at sea

It was lost at the bottom of the sea for 200 years, but the world's oldest champagne still fizzed when experts popped the cork for a tasting session in Finland yesterday.

Majestic Wine toasts 20 per cent rise in profits as buyers return

Majestic Wine raised a glass to a 20 per cent rise in half-year profits yesterday, saying its decision last year to reduce the minimum purchase in its stores to six bottles had kept sales fizzing.

Anthony Rose: 'When it comes to label design the line between taste and kitsch is a fine one'

If you happened to have the odd £50k going spare, you could have snapped up the 60-bottle collection of every vintage from 1945 to 2003 (1948 apart) of Château Mouton Rothschild at Sotheby's recent 40th anniversary auction. The significance of the collection lies in the artists' labels, commissioned for each new vintage by Baron Philippe de Rothschild, and painted by, among others, Miró (1969), Chagall (1970), Picasso (1973), Andy Warhol (1975) and Francis Bacon (1990). The tradition was maintained by his daughter Baroness Philippine after his death, but this particular haul stopped one year short of the 2004 label painted by one Prince Charles.

Divers find antique beer in shipwreck

Divers who found what's believed to be the world's oldest drinkable champagne say they have also discovered 200-year-old bottles of beer at a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea.

Ridgeview jelly with Tayberries

Serves 4

18th century champagne found in shipwreck

Divers discovered what is thought to be the world's oldest drinkable champagne in a 200-year-old shipwreck under the Baltic Sea.

Divers find oldest champagne in Baltic wreck

A group of divers exploring a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea have found bottles containing what is thought to be the oldest drinkable champagne in the world, made in the late 18th century. "I picked up one champagne bottle just so we could find the age of the wreck, because we didn't find any name or any details that would have told us the name of the ship," diver Christian Ekstrom from Aland told Reuters today.

Win the 15 books up for The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize - and a bottle of Tattinger champagne!

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, supported by Arts Council England in association with Champagne Taittinger, celebrates an exceptional work of fiction by a living author which has been translated into English from any other language and published in the UK.

Business diary: Boots products on sale at half the price

There has been a little bit of embarrassment for Boots, courtesy of Poundland. The discount retailer has been quietly selling the pharmacy chain's products at cheaper prices with new labels just stuck over the original branding. It turns out to be excess stock that the international arm of Boots sold to Poundland, but it might have waited until Boots' UK shops had run out of the identical products.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect