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

Deals of the week - Brockencote hall, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Barcelona

Less than £200... Brockencote Hall, a lakeside manor in the Worcestershire village of Chaddesley Corbett, has a two-night escape from now until 31 May for £155pp, based on two sharing for Sunday to Thursday stays. Cream tea is included on arrival, with one three-course dinner and breakfast. Brockencotehall.com

Eurostar profits double on surge for the Olympics

Olympic teams plus millions of holidaymakers flocking to London by Eurostar for last summer’s Games saw the Channel Tunnel train service’s operating profit more than double to £52.3 million in 2012.

On board for Aix: St Pancras to Provence

Hidden Europe

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: How can I find out about train travel in Europe?

Q I'm having real trouble trying to find any useful websites for train travel in Europe! I only want to know how much, roughly the individual tickets will cost me compared to buying a rail pass. but I just can't find any websites that will help me. Can you recommend anything?

Alice Robeson

Danny Rogers on PR: Pay day for other golden Olympic stars

Still glowing from their plaudits and New Year's honours, the marketing and communications executives behind the London 2012 Olympics are starting to find new jobs.

Simon Calder: The deep south (of France) by train

The man who pays his way

Train fire halts Channel Tunnel services

36 lorry drivers on board were evacuated after train was driven out of the tunnel

Ski News

Austria's highest gondola opens

The new highest lift in Austria, which ascends to 3,440m, has just opened at Pitztal (00 43 5414 86999; pitztaler-gletscher.at). The Wildspitze gondola (above) takes skiers and boarders more than two kilometres in under six minutes up to the Hinterer Brunnenkogel, where Austria's highest café is located. From here there are also breathtaking views of the Wildspitze (at 3774m, Austria's second-highest mountain) and more than 50 other 3,000m-plus peaks. Pitztal itself has already been open for nearly two months for autumn glacier skiing, with more than 27km of piste available. Around 60cm of fresh snow arrived at the start of the month.

Eurotunnel gets Olympics boost

Horses competing in dressage events at the Olympics plus teams of athletes from Uzbekistan, France and Sweden all travelled to London by Eurotunnel in the third quarter, seeing revenues on the under-the-sea train line rise 13 per cent to €275m (£225m).

London's conquering heroes head home as Paralympics prepare for another sell-out

They came, they saw and many of them conquered. But all good things must come to an end. Yesterday Britain began bidding farewell to the 10,000 athletes who had called Stratford their home as organisers began the herculean task of readying the Olympic Park in time for the Paralympics.

French head off early for an Olympic summer closedown

The French have embraced the London 2012 Olympics by starting their traditional summer closedown early and heading off on holiday, according to Eurostar.

MPs warn taxpayers could be left with huge bill for HS2 high-speed rail link

Taxpayers could be left with a huge bill for the planned high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham unless lessons are learnt from costly mistakes over the Channel Tunnel link, MPs warned today.

Deals of the week: Jamaica, Paris, Seville

Less than £200... Enjoy Paris with Cresta, which is offering three nights in the City of Light for £185pp. The price includes Eurostar Standard Premier travel, departing London St Pancras on 16 July and B&B at the Montcalm hotel. Crestaholidays.co.uk

Beaten track: Eurostar runs 18 trains a day each way between London and Paris

Eurostar off to a high-speed start with healthy sales figures

Increased demand from leisure travellers resulted in Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar enjoying a good start to 2012.

Laurent Gerbaud Chocolatier

Brussels: 'If you decide to go on a diet, leave'

There's more to Belgian cuisine than waffles. Lena Corner takes a culinary tour of the capital as it hosts a 12-month food festival

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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 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

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Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
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Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

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Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

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Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

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Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

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Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

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A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
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The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

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The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence