Yule love it: seasonal stalls at the Grote Markt in Bruges

A winter's tale in Bruges

This medieval Belgian city provides the perfect setting for Christmas markets and other festive activities, says Katy Guest

Postcard from... Brussels

The Flemish Masters are known for their sombre grey skies and damp-looking landscapes under an expanse of ominous cloud. But while the inclement weather of the low countries may have left an  unmistakable stamp on a whole body of work, it has also unfortunately closed down a Brussels exhibition showcasing one of the forefathers of the movement.

Brendan Gleeson, left, as Ken and Colin Farrell, right, as Ray in ‘In Bruges’

Not in Bruges: Mayor calls for crackdown on filming in city

Mayor Renaat Landuyt could well have had Colin Farrell’s inept assassin Ray in mind when he decided that the medieval city of Bruges should be a little more discerning about how it is portrayed on celluloid.

Postcard from... Brussels

Postcard from... Brussels

Calling in sick with a hangover or to enjoy unexpected good weather may soon be more difficult in Belgium, where the Government has proposed a law requiring that employees taking a sick day stay at home for a medical check-up.

Stephanie Flanders, BBC journalist

Page 3 Profile: Stephanie Flanders, BBC journalist

Ah, it’s Stephanie Flanders, the BBC’s trusted economics editor. Another banking crisis?

Postcard from... Brussels

King Albert II and Queen Paola in Liège yesterday

The Belgian King’s brief? Unite a divided nation

The new Belgian monarch is a former fighter pilot – and he will have a scrap on his hands trying to maintain the unity of this hybrid country

Delphine Boël claims she was born as the result of a royal affair

Artist claims she is Belgian king’s daughter, court hears

Delphine Boël, 45, wants a Brussels court to order Albert II and two of his three children to undergo blood tests to prove they are related

Riders become tangled up during the Tour of Flanders

Cycling: Cancellara triumphant on a grim day for Sky

Fabian Cancellara powered to victory as he claimed his second Tour of Flanders title ahead of main rival Peter Sagan on a disappointing day for Team Sky in Belgium.

Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan was caught pinching the bottom of a podium girl today

Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan criticised for pinching the bottom of podium girl after Tour de Flanders

He is an athlete more normally known for his dedication to his sport – and his talent on a bike. In fact, before today, perhaps the most notable thing about Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan was his reputation for wacky victory celebrations: doing the running man or impersonating the Incredible Hulk to mark a win.

Newcastle United's Vurnon Anita celebrates with teammates after scoring against Club Brugge

Vurnon Anita impresses Newcastle manager Alan Pardew

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is hoping to see the best of summer signing Vurnon Anita after witnessing a significant breakthrough in Belgium.

Gabriel Obertan grins after giving Newcastle the lead last night

Rebecca Tyrrel: Stephanie and the two Labour Eds would not make for a happy ménage à trois

Who knew that the economics editor of the BBC is so well connected that if anything happened to Kevin Bacon, the dinner-party game could be remodelled as Six Degrees of Stephanie Flanders? Stephanie's stellar achievement in the sphere of unlikely inter-connection already dwarfs anything managed by Bacon.

Maison Zenasni's cosy sitting room

North African hospitality meets Flemish history

An 18th-century townhouse has been turned into a warm and elegant residence by its Algerian owner, says William Cook

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links