Travel East meets west: the Bosphorus connects Istanbul’s two sides

'I loved the contrast in Istanbul – the call to prayer mixed with the European cafés'

The greatest wine sale ever known

The Tour d'Argent's cellar is one of the best in the world, but it is running out of space. So the Parisien restaurant has decided to sell off 18,000 bottles – and there are bargains to be had.

Chirac banishes 'dejected' dog

Anti-depressants fail to tame former president’s pet

Art in Paris: Big Sister is watching you

This weekend hundreds of immense pairs of eyes will be gazing at the river boats on the Seine. They belong to heroic women from the world's worst trouble spots. John Lichfield meets the artist

Australians rediscover the 'million dollar mermaid'

Annette Kellerman's design gave women the freedom to swim – but not without controversy. Kathy Marks reports

Trail Of The Unexpected: Tracing Paris's fortified past

Today the inhabitants of Paris begin their annual holiday exodus, happily surrendering the city to foreign tourists. It was different 800 years ago, when King Philippe Auguste was off to the Crusades: he was so concerned that the likes of Richard the Lionheart might visit the capital during his absence that he ordered the construction of a stone wall nearly five miles long, close to 30ft high and 10ft thick at its base, with watch towers every 70 yards or so.

Landmark Parisian bookshop to close

Another Paris landmark is no more. Brentano’s, an American bookshop whose customers have ranged from Ernest Hemingway to Johnny Hallyday, has been forced to close by exploding rental demands.

Corot to Monet, National Gallery, London

The world's most famous school of painting has a political history that is satisfyingly explained in this clever show

Travel By Numbers: Normandy

As D-Day is commemorated, Ben Ross counts the ways this French region can provide inspiration for the visitor

Brighton Festival, Various venues, Brighton<br>Giustino, Trinity College of Music, London

In Brighton, 'Giovanna d'Arco' was performed next to Anish Kapoor's sculpture of dismemberment

Elizabeth Nash: Journey into the underworld

Madrid Notebook

Books of the Year: An all-star line-up of writers give their verdict on 2008's best

It's cold outside, so warm up with our red-hot recommendations of the year's best reads. Our critics and favourite writers pick the fiction and non-fiction that will stand the test of time

Monet's green fields are no more

A sprawling industrial town stands where 'Les Coquelicots' once grew. John Lichfield returns to the scenes that inspired Monet &ndash; and finds a country rediscovering its past

French Socialists at war after leadership vote

Royal vows to challenge result as Delors' daughter claims victory by just 42 votes in poll of 130,000 members

Phyllis Thom: Nurse imprisoned by the Japanese during the Second World War

As a nurse taken prisoner by the Japanese in the Second World War, Phyllis Thom witnessed a Japanese soldier grind his foot on her patient's wound. She herself, when seriously ill, had to line up twice a day out of doors for the "tenko", or roll call. She noted: "Every hour a Japanese guard tramped through our block and seemed to take delight in hitting our shins with the butt of his rifle."

Paris mayor to challenge Royal for leadership of divided Socialist Party

The mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, has revealed that he will run for the leadership of the French Socialist Party, setting the stage for a showdown with former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore