Today: Check into the new Champs-Elysées Mac Mahon, a four-star hotel whose windows frame views of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It's well placed for last-minute shopping and the city's Christmas market (

This week: 2011 has been the year of the pop-up restaurant, and Milan gets in on the act with The Cube, opening Monday. Award-winning and Michelin-starred chefs will be cooking and diners can also feast on views of the Piazza del Duomo; until 26 April 2012 ( Istanbul gets a new link to the UK from Gatwick on Tuesday (

In the diary: Cathay Pacific is to introduce a premium-economy class on long-haul routes from March 2012. The new class offers priority check-in and boarding, a bigger seat pitch and better luggage allowance, plus champagne and meal selection. Initially, it's only for departures from Hong Kong to Sydney and Toronto, but the plan is to roll out more routes later (