This year's European Capital of Culture, Istanbul, has just been inaugurated. A year of cultural events, including an exhibition on Iranian civilisation at the Topkapi Palace, below, is underway (en.istanbul2010.org).
This week... Master the art of the kitchen at a new cookery school in Paris. La Cuisine offers lessons on regional French and world cuisines, wellness cookery and kitchen fun from Tuesday (lacuisineparis.com). Closer to home, you can go Gallic at the France Show at Earls Court, London. The exhibition kicks off on Friday, with wine seminars, celebrity cooking theatres, live entertainment, property stands and regional guides, until Sunday (thefrance show.com).
In the diary... The Big Day Out festival sees the likes of Muse, Lily Allen and Ladyhawke playing in Auckland on 15 January, then moving on to five cities in southern Australia between 17-31 January (bigdayout.com)