Deals of the week: Riga, Venice, Maldives

Riga retreat

From Art Nouveau edifices to Soviet history, the Latvian capital makes for a tantalising trip. Amble through picturesque parklands or aim for the vast Central Market – a quartet of harbourside hangars selling all manner of goods and curiosities. Cities Direct has three nights' B&B at the Monika Centrum Hotel, located close to the Old Town's attractions, for £179 per person. The deal includes Ryanair flights from Stansted on Sunday 4 December.

48 Hours: Riga

Latvia's handsome capital embraces the onset of winter with festivities and a warm welcome for visitors. Simon Calder reports

Farah progresses with plenty in reserve

This time it was not so much Fly Mo as Slow Mo. Two days on from the devastating burst that took him to gold in the 10,000 metres, Mo Farah was back in action at the European Championships last night, setting out on the second half of his double mission. He never needed to shift into top gear, cruising through his first round 5,000m heat with the minimum of effort.

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Album: Strauss, A Capella Motets (Naive)

The vocal demands of Strauss’s a capella motets are such that what is needed is a choir of Arabellas, Composers, Bacchuses and Mandrykas, hence they are rarely performed.

James Lawton: Ruthless display from a champion in the making

For anyone here with serious intentions there is one clear priority, apart from making victory look like the last word in formality. It is also valuable to look like a champion, to shake down the sneers of those who say you are good but maybe not good enough.