Life and Style Fatale attraction: Brigitte Bardot in her youth

As yet another book lauds women across the Channel, Gillian Orr looks at the truth behind Madame Parfaite: extreme dieting and fear of a pressured, fattist society

A Eurostar train arrives at Kings Cross St Pancras

Eurostar hits 10m passenger target... But the train arrives 15 years late

Channel Tunnel rail link hits 10m milestone coinciding with 20th anniversary

Travel agenda

From Berlin's boutique Bikini to winter walks and Posh Phuket

Eurostar stake likely to be bought by SNCF

Eurostar looks set to fall into the hands of the French as City analysts predict the Government’s stake in the Channel tunnel rail line will be snapped up by Paris-controlled SNCF.

Eurostar stake to be sold and nuclear power station to be built in new UK infrastructure spending plan

Plan includes sale of Eurostar stake and funding for a new nuclear plan

Deals of the week - European city breaks, Christmas in the Cotswolds, New Year in New York

Under £200... European city breaks by train

Cresta has a range of deals on January city breaks to Europe. Examples include Paris, where three nights at the Hotel Jardins de Montmartre from 13 January is £175pp; or Bruges, where the Ibis Brugge Centrum from 17 January is £169pp. Both include breakfast and Eurostar. crestaholidays.co.uk

In Bruges: indulge at the De Tuilerieen hotel

Deals of the week

Under £200... Celebrate New Year's Eve in style

BA has a range of deals on two-night breaks over New Year's Eve, departing from Heathrow. On 31 December, there's a stay at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin for £194pp. Or, hop across to Brussels, where a stay at the Floris Avenue Hotel on 30 December is £197pp. ba.com

Deals of the week - Swiss Alps, Dubai, Madeira

Less than £200... Eurostar still has seats left on its train service from London St Pancras and Ashford International to the French and Swiss Alps. The French service runs from 20 December to 12 April, the Swiss train from 21 December to 8 March, with returns from £149-£179. eurostar.com

Market forces: festive fair in Prague

5 ways to... Visit Christmas markets

Browse the food and craft stalls to stock up on holiday cheer this year

Eurostar in joint bid for East Coast Main Line

Rail route run by the Government since 2009 after National Express handed back the franchise mid-term

Travel agenda

From yoga in India and glass in Venice to augmented reality apps

The kit
Maui Jim's new sunglasses include the vintage-inspired Liana; activity-friendly Gulch, which can spring back to their original shape; and Kahului Harbor, designed for long days in the sun. From £180 (mauijim.com).
Eurotunnel charges a reservation fee that equates to around £14.15 (€16.60) per passenger

Eurotunnel must reduce excessive Channel Tunnel charges within two months, says European Commission

'Illegally' high charges mean tunnel runs 43 per cent under capacity while  inflating Eurostar ticket prices

Get me out of here - Cornwall, trains to Europe, Italian Lakes

Now... In June, the Bedruthan Hotel in Cornwall has a two-night stay for £175pp, based on two sharing. Located in Mawgan Porth, it offers boutique rooms, a spa with sea views and two restaurants. The deal includes breakfast and one picnic lunch. Bedruthan.com

Simon Calder: Changing trains à grande vitesse

The man who pays his way

Weekend work: Time to plant dahlias

What to do

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
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
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas