Today: The 200th anniversary of the first Oktoberfest is celebrated at noon in Munich, when the mayor of the Bavarian city opens the first barrel to begin the 16-day event; a litre of beer costs around €8.50 ( In London, peek behind the ordinarily closed doors of the capital's residences, spaces and buildings with Open House this weekend. Highlights include Casa Abierta: an art exhibition celebrating Argentina's bicentenary at the Ambassador's official residence (

This week: Tomorrow is National Day on the island of St Kitts, now served by extra British Airways flights from Gatwick ( On the same day in the UK, National Cruise Week gets underway: expect special offers, advice and value-added deals on anything from Caribbean cruising to European routes ( In Paris, check into the newly opened Hotel Athénée. Not to be confused with the Plaza Athénée, this more intimate hotel has been sumptuously designed by Jacques Garcia (of Hôtel Costes fame) and is a short stroll from the gastronomic hub of Place de la Madeleine (hotel-

In the diary: If you're inspired by our special Caribbean issue today, begin your exploration of the region closer to home, in London. Bankside's Vinopolis venue is hosting a "rum and rhythm" event next Saturday 25 September with tastings, music and Caribbean food (