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

Hotel Of The Week: Kempinski Hotel Duke's Palace, Bruges

Guests at this palace expect to be treated like kings

Failed suicide bomber's wife jailed for 15 years

The wife of failed suicide bomber Hussain Osman was jailed for 15 years today for failing to tell police of his plans for "carnage and mass murder".

Ebbsfleet United 1 Torquay United 0: McPhee eyes move after final touch for Ebbsfleet

While Ebbsfleet United are now owned by shareholders sourced through the internet and have a sponsor who can whisk them away to France at a moment's notice, the man who scored their winner on Saturday is altogether less exotic.

If you can't get to the National Gallery... it will come to you

The best most travellers can expect from a departure lounge is a dog-eared copy of a celebrity magazine and lukewarm cappuccino in a cardboard cup.

A train to nowhere: Eurostar passengers endure disaster-ridden journey to Paris

A Eurostar train that left London for Paris on Friday evening finally pulled into Gare du Nord yesterday morning after a night of railway mishaps.

Eurostar credits move to St Pancras for boosting ticket revenues by 25 per cent

Five months ago, Eurostar executives were toasting the rail operator's successful move from Waterloo to St Pancras at the elegant champagne bar in its new terminal. They no doubt broke out the bubbly again yesterday after reporting record passenger numbers and revenues for the first three months of the year – as customers flock to the high-speed cross-Channel service which promotes itself as the eco-friendly transport of choice.

Station change boosts Eurostar

A switch of London terminals helped Channel Tunnel high-speed rail company Eurostar record a big rise in passenger numbers and revenue in the first part of this year, it was announced today.

Family Break: Are you a Fearless, Valiant, or Plucky Gaul?

This year's blockbuster Asterix movie is likely to win the comic character some new fans. Juliet Rix visits the theme park dedicated to the famous Roman-basher

Hotel Of The Week: The Dominican, Brussels

An elegant refuge in Europe's capital city

Something to declare: Europe from your local station; reaching Heathrow; Verbier

Bargain of the week: Europe from your local station

The Weasel: Platform performance

On the first Sunday after Eurostar’s move to St Pancras Station, refurbished at a cost of £800m, I was admiring Martin Jennings’statue of John Betjeman near platform 5 when I was approached by an Irish gent.“Are you a relative?”said the genial chap. “You have a bit of a look of him.” This was an ambiguous compliment. After photographing the poet in 1955, Cecil Beaton confided to his diary: “An Edwardian vaudeville tramp … the anonymity of an oyster.”

Dom Joly: (Minor) heroism on the riverbank

We've got gorgeous river-paths right behind the house that stretch on for miles and miles should the need arise. My dog Huxley, now his testicles have been removed, has only one desire in life: to repeatedly fetch a stick until he can't stand up any more. He starts getting excited at the prospect of a walk at about 5am when he jumps on the bed and licks my face repeatedly.

Weekend, by William McIlvanney

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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
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