News French actor Gerard Depardieu poses with people from Estaimpuis during a ceremony held in his honor at the Chateau Bourgogne

Mayor of Estaimpuis credits French star with boosting the economy, creating jobs and bringing new visitors to the small corner of Wallonia

Paradise in a rainstorm

For those who make the journey to wet, wind-swept Wester Ross the rewards lie in a feast for the eye matched only by the promise of the menus. By Andrew Marr

There is a green hill, not very far away

There's 11 of them, and they're all mountains over 3,000ft. As St Patrick's Day approaches, Jeremy Seal discovers the joys of bagging Ireland's 'Munros'

Hotel grades made easy

The English Tourist Board yesterday announced the adoption of a single five-star ratings system for hotels in a move aimed at ending years of confusion over the quality of rooms and services. The system, using the internationally recognised five stars, will cover all hotels with a similar scheme for bed-and-breakfasts, guesthouses, farmhouses and inns. It takes into account the quality of accommodation, yet emphasises the facilities provided, offering a single integrated star rating, and is due to be launched in 2000,

Letter: Wrong island

Readers who follow the travel directions from Rarotonga to Aitutaki by setting sail in a fragile canoe "across a wondrous lagoon" will almost certainly not arrive ("Castaway Islands", Review, 12 January). As Rarotonga is a volcanic, rather than a coral island, it has no lagoon, only a coral reef. And as Aitutaki lies hundreds of kilometres away, the normal mode of transfer is in a great white bird, not a canoe. Once they arrive, intrepid readers may be disappointed to discover that they share this "uninhabited island" with hundreds of permanent residents, plus of course, the tourists who inhabit the luxury hotel, the many guest houses, and Rikki's Crusher Bar.

British woman killed in raid

A British-born woman and her four-year-old daughter have been stabbed to death in South Africa.

Blots on the horizon

Proposals to scrap restrictions on rural advertising hoardings will change the face of the countryside.

THE MONDAY INTERVIEW: Karen Jones: Premium price for the cafes that painted the town rouge

The managing director of Pelican Group talks to Tom Stevenson

MPs and the great British seaside holiday

From my eyrie in the press gallery I looked down upon a scene of devastation and civil strife. Scottish Labour MPs gurgled obscenities about referenda and consultation. Grey-haired Welshmen wept for the future of their Assembly. Here and there rebellious spirits huddled together to mutter about fascism in one party, echoing Ken Livingstone's comparison between Benito Mussolini and Antonio Blair.

A tiny Paris on the Coromandel coast

Pondicherry in south India was French territory for 300 years. You can still eat steak frites there.

City Diary: Warburg kicks the ball around with bets on euro

Economists at SBC Warburg have clearly had a bit of time on their hands recently. They have turned their thoughts to the impending European football championships, weaving in a dash of political and economic comment on all the participating nations. It is all neatly packaged in the bank's newly published Euro'96 Special.

Gunman leaves a tableau of death

Tasmania massacre: Witnesses describe rampage that left 34 dead, and describe mentally-ill suspect's love of firearms

Gunman in hospital as nation mourns

Tasmania massacre: Psychological problems of arrested man revealed as eye-witnesses describe rampage that left 34 dead

THE SUZI FEAY COLUMN: White knuckled on the pleasure beach

THERE'S a blonde woman in the Blackpool Sea Life Centre wearing a Kiss-Me-Quick Hat. She's with a bronzed gent dressed all in white - that's bronzed as opposed to wind-whipped - and together they're adding a lubricious undertow to the teenage guide's glib patter. She holds out her hand and rubs the exposed snout of an affectionate ray while her companion sniggers in her ear. These two are a slightly younger version of the couples we see boosting up and down the sea-front in whacking great cars. At pavement level the old folks parade around, lagged like ambulant boilers. Why do so many of them end up in squally Blackpool? Perhaps they are forced by their offspring, who hope thereby to clip a few years off their span: "You're retiring to Blackpool, Mam and Dad!" "Oh, but we like it here in Jersey ..."

No place to call home

This is Shelter Awareness Week. Mary Braid went to Skegness to spend a day with a family at the bottom of the housing pile
Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
Sport
Jose Mourinho, Chelsea players celebrate Demba Ba's goal and Gus Poyet
sportLive coverage of today's final game between Chelsea and Sunderland
News
Easter a dangerous time for dogs
these are the new ones. Old ones are below them... news
News
Brand said he
people
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
Classical Spain
Classical Spain
Six nights from £569pp Find out more
Pompeii
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples
Seven nights from £799pp Find out more
Spring Breaks
Spring breaks with dinner
Two nights from £64.50pp Find out more
London Theatre and Hotel breaks
London theatre and hotel breaks
One night and ticket from £84pp Find out more
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit