5 of the best holidays for the price of a return rail journey from London to Manchester

Below we round up five holiday options which highlight how much further your 36,940 pennies can go – where your window view will be slightly more impressive than the industrial edgelands of Crewe or Milton Keynes, and where your dining... Read more

Why Disneyland Paris was almost built in Norfolk – and how wine saved it from ruin

Three decades can go by in a flash. Today (April 12) marks a precise 30 years since the opening of Disneyland Paris (disneylandparis.com) – the French-accented off-shoot of the American Dream that has become a bright dot on the Gallic... Read more

At the music hall with actor-turned-artist Walter Sickert

At the close of the 19th century, Britain went wild for music halls. In 1888, Parliament recorded 473 in London alone. Comic ditties were their bread and butter, though clog-dancers, flying children and strong-jawed ladies were equally likely fare. Initially... Read more

Don’t be put off by the current travel chaos – the good times are just around the corner…

Maybe you are struggling to find reasons to be cheerful at the moment. But take heart. We may be going through a spasm of chaos as airlines and airports try to adjust to a surge in passengers and shortage of... Read more

The grey guide to interrailing: why midlife is the time to travel Europe by train

From Patras, holiday options are numerous and include the Ionian islands themselves, such as Corfu, Kefalonia and Ithaca. On the mainland, head to Olympia, sail through the Corinth Canal, consult the oracle at Delphi, go rugged on the Mani Peninsula,... Read more

C’est si bon! Joanna Lumley falling in love with Paris is the pick-me-up TV we all need

Bonjour, my gorgeous darlings. We’re watching Joanna Lumley’s Great Cities of the World (ITV), and this first episode is in Paris. Oh, it’s heavenly. Divine. Just look at the fabulous architecture, the beautiful people, the scrumptious food. Smell the romance!... Read more

40 fascinating facts about the Eiffel Tower, the landmark that has just grown taller

The Eiffel Tower has grown. Thanks to a new antenna, the Parisian landmark is now 330 metres tall – six more than it was last week.  Interestingly (kind of), this is actually the fifth time the pinnacle height of the... Read more

Paris, 13th District, review: a sultry love story – and the birth of a new star

“Strong sex”, declares the British Board of Film Classification in their verdict on Jacques Audiard’s latest. And I’d have to agree: the sex here really is rather impressive. This shimmering romantic drama, shot on the eve of the second 2020... Read more

Julie Manet, the orphan raised by the impressionists

As a child, Julie Manet – the only daughter of the impressionist painter Berthe Morisot and the sole niece of Édouard Manet – counted Renoir, Degas, Pissarro and Monet among her closest friends. They painted her, taught her to draw... Read more

Police fire tear gas as anti-restrictions ‘Freedom Convoy’ enters Paris

French police fired tear gas at demonstrators on the Champs-Elysees avenue and other places in Paris on Saturday after a “Freedom Convoy” protesting against Covid-19 restrictions made it into the capital. Vehicles carrying protesters managed to get through police checkpoints... Read more

Suicide bombers won’t think twice about blowing themselves up if you convict me’ says IS survivor of 2015 Paris attack

But he has claimed he discarded his suicide vest and fled the French capital in the chaotic aftermath of the bloodshed, eluding an intense manhunt to return to Molenbeek, the Brussels district where he grew up. He told the court... Read more

Five Valentine’s getaways you can still book – in the UK and abroad

The rules: No Covid rules. Just bring your walking boots, spare socks and Scrabble. Book it: Canopy and Stars has a range of wonderful glamping options in the UK with availability over Valentine’s Day; there is rare availability at the... Read more

Five Valentine’s getaways you can still book – at home and abroad

The rules: No Covid rules. Just bring your walking boots, spare socks and Scrabble. Book it: Canopy and Stars has a range of wonderful glamping options in the UK with availability over Valentine’s Day; there is rare availability at the... Read more

Paris is no longer a city of culture. It’s a city of despair

Things have come to a pretty pass when the chief Paris arts fair, FIAC, held in its present form for almost half a century, gets kicked out by the Swiss.  Art Basel, now owned by a conglomerate, won a surprise... Read more

Reverend Richard Coles: ‘One of the lowest moments of my life was being pushed into a pond in Paris’

I found a cheap hotel in the least salubrious arrondissement in Paris, Barbès-Rochechouart. The hotel was basically a knocking shop and a rickety, dirty place that smelt really acrid and distinctly unpleasant. I rented a squalid room with thin walls... Read more

10 Paris hotels for all budgets this spring

This spring promises to be an exciting time to visit Paris. After two years of lockdown and reopening, or what was known here as ‘confinement’ and ‘déconfinement’,  there is a real buzz in the air, and plenty of culture to... Read more

Why Paris should be your first city break this year

It’s little wonder that some three million of us used to come each year. Reminders of our intertwined lives are everywhere, from the Hermès Birkin to restaurants that shaped Orwell’s memoirs and the Seine-scapes that inspired some of Turner’s most... Read more

The affordable travel trend that’s shining a new light on city breaks

When it comes to retail therapy, there is surely no greater joy than that of unearthing a rare find tucked away on a rail in a thrift shop; wondering what previous life, or lives, it led, revelling in the simple... Read more

‘Like a sexy Annunciation’: Alan Hollinghurst on Fragonard’s erotic masterpiece

Not long after I’d first seen the Fragonard Room at the Frick in New York, I was trying to describe the four great canvases of The Progress of Love to a friend. I found that the narrative itself had blurred;... Read more

‘Like the Loch Ness monster’: how Richard Rogers’s Pompidou Centre shocked Paris

Soon after the opening of the Pompidou Centre in 1977, Richard Rogers, who died at the weekend aged 88, was standing outside, looking up at the spaghetti tangle of blue pipes that cascade down its facade. A small, elderly woman... Read more

Emily in Paris, series 2 review: now as offensive to the British as it is to the French

As I keep telling my children, homework is important. And so, when asked to review the second series of Emily in Paris (Netflix), I felt duty bound to watch the first series, which I had managed to avoid until now.... Read more

Our ‘Chrexit’ plans have been scuppered by Covid

To travel over Yule is to take advantage of “free holiday”, a dead time when no one actually notices whether one is working or not. The truly sensible would jump ship around December 15 to re-emerge mid-January, and I swear... Read more

Parisian style star Jeanne Damas: ‘The perfect French girl thing is irritating’

When I ask Jeanne Damas for her tips on how to look sexy, there’s a baffled pause on the other end of the line. After a moment of silence, she says, “Bah, just be yourself. I mean, being sexy is... Read more

The history of Versailles in six remarkable events – and how to experience it today

How do you manage a site – and a sight – as vast as Versailles? The palace alone has 2,300 rooms. And there are two more châteaux – the Petit and Grand Trianon – in the grounds. Add to that... Read more

The history of Versailles in six noteworthy events – and how to experience it today

How do you manage a site – and a sight – as vast as Versailles? The palace alone has 2,300 rooms. And there are two more châteaux – the Petit and Grand Trianon – in the grounds. Add to that... Read more