News Valerie Trierweiler is reported to be heading for India

'She has only just come out of hospital - she should be resting' says source close to the president

Debt auction relief

Successful debt auctions in France and Spain brought some respite to European bond markets. Spain paid 5.19 to 5.54 per cent to sell bonds maturing in four to six years.

Cendrillon, Royal Opera House, London<br/>Le nozze di Figaro, Opera Holland Park, London<br/>Rinaldo, Glyndebourne, East Sussex

A picture-perfect production of Massenet's take on the enduring fairy tale brings the Royal Opera House season to a triumphant end

Traveller's Guide: Ile-de-France

France&rsquo;s version of the Home Counties has a lot to offer &ndash; from the dramatic palace at Versailles to Disneyland Paris and a date with the Impressionists.

First Night: Midnight In Paris, Cannes International Film Festival

Every last clich&#233; about Paris, courtesy of Woody

Watteau: The Drawings, Royal Academy, London

Watteau epitomises the frivolity of 18th-century France, yet his drawings hint at the profound changes to come

Future of Roland Garros to be decided

National tennis federation delegates could vote on Sunday to move the French Open from Roland Garros out to the suburbs of Paris from 2016.

Vanessa Paradis, Koko, London

The arrival of Vanessa Paradis, partner of Johnny Depp, actress, model and face of Chanel, in Camden Town is an event. As a singer, she's still best known for the 1987 hit "Joe le Taxi", so this was a rare chance to see her music live. The concert was pretty much a run-through of last Christmas's French-only CD Une Nuit à Versailles, a live, orchestrated, acoustic-leaning recasting of her back catalogue. Despite issuing ten albums since 1988, Paradis's oeuvre is slim – one is a "Best of" and four are live sets.

Bell&#233;rophon, Op&#233;ra Royal, Versailles

As Britain succumbed to pantos and Nutcrackers, an arcane but significant cultural event was one of the hottest tickets in France. The little known baroque opera Bellérophon, a favourite of Louis XIV, returned to Paris for the first time since the 18th century and was put on in concert version in the newly restored Opéra Royal, the theatre in the palace of Versailles. It was premiered before Louis XIV in Paris in 1679.

Tom Sutcliffe: Is sentimentality an artistic crime?

The week in culture

Prince goes to court in bid to rid Versailles of 'grotesque' art

A descendant of France's King Louis XIV is seeking a court order to halt a radical contemporary exhibition by Takashi Murakami in the royal apartments at Versailles because it sullied "supreme good French taste".

Let them eat manga: How Takashi Murakami introduced Japanese kitsch to the Palace of Versailles

Japanese kitsch in the Palace of Versailles? The French establishment is horrified. But Takashi Murakami, the world's most influential living artist, isn't bothered in the slightest

Hair today, art tomorrow

Italian artist Maurizio Anzeri's latest exhibition consists of sculptures made from long ropes of synthetic human hair.

Doctors warn on heart disease and depression

The combination of depression and heart disease is more deadly than either factor alone, researchers say.

Traditionalists outraged at Versailles' modern makeover

Outraged traditionalists are due to demonstrate outside the Palace of Versailles tonight against an invasion of the gilded former home of French royalty by a radical contemporary art exhibition.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture