News The refurbished residence of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst in Limburg, Germany

As a concession to belt-tightening, the decision by a sybaritic German bishop to take a budget airline flight to Rome, is looking like too little, too late.

Postcard from... Galicia

Postcard from... Limburg

L’heure espagnole, ****; L’enfant et les sortileges *****, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, East Sussex

Ravel’s small, perfectly-formed oeuvre includes just two short operas, but the second, ‘L’enfant et les sortileges’, is a masterpiece.

British cyclist Mark Cavendish who was runner-up on the second stage of the Ster ZLM Toer

Cycling: Cavendish takes charge

Mark Cavendish finished runner-up on the second stage of the Ster ZLM Toer, but time bonuses meant Team Sky's world champion took the overall lead in his final race before the Tour de France.

Foreign tourist cannabis ban begins in Netherlands

A ban on foreign tourists buying marijuana came into effect in parts of the Netherlands today, with a protest planned in the southern city of Maastricht.

Heston Blumenthal is favourite to cook the £200,000 burger made from 3,000 strips of synthetic meat protein

Would you eat a burger grown in a lab?

A Dutch scientist has made 'meat' from stem cells – and wants Heston Blumenthal to cook the first batch. By Steve Connor

The stem cell burger

Would you eat a burger grown in a laboratory?

A Dutch scientist has created 'meat' from stem cells – and wants Heston Blumenthal to cook the first batch. Steve Connor reports on the ultimate in culinary experimentation

Bank's lorry spills cash into busy road

Drivers scrambled for banknotes on a busy road in the Netherlands yesterday after a package containing euro bills fell from a bank's lorry and broke open.

Massenet Cendrillon, Royal Opera House, London

The words are in French but still familiar - “Once upon a time...” – and the story which follows, Cendrillon (that’s Cinderella to you and me), is writ large across the surfaces of Barbara de Limburg’s set, opening like a pop-up book of fairytales whose sliding panels have our eyes hanging on to every word.

Why British students are choosing to go Dutch

Low fees and better job prospects are behind a tenfold leap in UK applications to Maastricht University

Romelu Lukaku not close to Chelsea move

Teenage Anderlecht striker Romelu Lukaku says he will be at the club for pre-season training, despite reported interest from Chelsea.

Dutch university sees tenfold rise in UK applicants

The number of British teenagers applying to one of Europe's leading universities has risen dramatically this year. Maastricht University in the Netherlands has seen a tenfold increase with more than 400 applications from UK students compared with just 35 at the same time last year.

There's only one rule for spring displays: do tulips en masse

Whoa! It all went right for once! It's not often I get to say that. My horticultural experiments quite often remain dubious, though passers-by do try to be nice about them. But my front garden this year is great: a proper spring picture.

Postgraduate Profile: Maastricht University is experiencing a British invasion

It is known as the most international university in the Netherlands, but until last year there were only 50 UK students enrolled at what is one of the top universities in the country. Now, with more than twice the number of British students than this time last year and with almost four times as many UK graduates signing up to study for a Masters degree, the University of Maastricht is hoping to be the next big benefactor of Britain's cuts to higher education.

A Day That Shook The World: Maastricht Treaty

On 11 December 1991 the Maastricht Treaty was signed - an event which had huge significance for the future of Europe as the treaty laid out plans for a single currency and increased powers for Europe's Parliament.

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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
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?