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London

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Twentysomethings: you won’t miss being poor. But you will miss not knowing what you’re doing

13 December 2014

What I miss most about being very young is the cluelessness. It’s enormously liberating, cluelessness. The boundaries of life are simply not comprehended. The boxes into which others will put… Read more

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Penelope Lively’s notebook: Coal holes and pub opera

13 December 2014

I have been having my vault done over. Not, as you might think, the family strong room, but the place beneath the pavement — the former coal cellar — pertaining… Read more

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Edie Campbell’s catwalk notes: the joys of the hunt ball, and mystery of Grozny fashion week

13 December 2014

It seems as though I have just been on some grand tour of the absurd. It helps that I work in fashion, quite possibly the most absurd of all industries.… Read more

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The most preposterous restaurant to have opened in London this year

13 December 2014

Somerset House, a handsome Georgian palace on the Thames, was once the office of the Inland Revenue, and the courtyard was a car park, but that particular hell is over. Instead… Read more

Beer

A middle-class show-off’s guide to craft beer

6 December 2014

Looking back, it seems astonish-ing that the metropolitan middle classes took so long to embrace beer snobbery. The craft beer habit combines the characteristics of three long-established sources of small-scale… Read more

‘Do you come here often?’ A theatre bar goes on stage in a revue from 1933

A critic’s guide to theatre bars

6 December 2014

Head upstairs. That’s my tip for thirsty play-goers during the interval. Most West End theatres are sunken affairs built in scooped-out craters, and this quirk of their design places the… Read more

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At last, trendy gins are tasting like gin again

6 December 2014

I blame my mother. Although gin wasn’t her ruin, I have to admit, she did enjoy a gin and tonic. And as any student of the spirits industry will tell… Read more

The Old Coastguard

The hotels trying to turn Cornwall into Kensington

29 November 2014

Mousehole is a charming name; it is almost a charming place. It is a fishing village on Mount’s Bay, Cornwall, beyond the railway line, which stops at Penzance, in an… Read more

The Olympic Stadium and the Orbit Tower seen from Green Way

You’re paying £175 million to give West Ham a new stadium

22 November 2014

In 2006, on the day that the government’s estimated cost for the 2012 Olympics was jacked up from £2.75 billion to £4.25 billion, I promised to eat my hat on… Read more

The real French embassy is a restaurant

22 November 2014

Semper eadem. There is some basement in a Mayfair street that is forever France. It is not far from the American embassy, a strong candidate for the all-time monstrous carbuncle… Read more

Chancellor George Osborne Meets Women Leading The Economy

Say no to devolution without democracy

8 November 2014

Imagine if, in one of her first acts as First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon announced that, in spite of the result of September’s independence vote, Scotland was to declare… Read more

11/00/2001. Film "Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone"

Barry Humphries

8 November 2014

Do fish have loins? Last Tuesday, in a pretentious restaurant, I ordered a ‘loin of sea trout’. It looked just like an ordinary piece of fish — a bit small,… Read more

Increase In Council Houses Being Brought Through Right To Buy

Buy-to-let has a dark side for landlords, too

8 November 2014

Among the villains of modern life, buy-to-let investors feature somewhere between people who text while they’re eating and dog-walkers who leave bags of poo dangling from trees. If you are… Read more

Nigel Farage with Mark Reckless Photo: Getty

It's not immigrants that Ukip voters hate: it's London

8 November 2014

It is interesting that neither Scotland nor Wales have been much bitten by the Ukip bug. The supposedly sensible view is that both of these countries are more kindly disposed… Read more

The late Emilio Botín of Banco Santander Photo: Getty

How Italy failed the stress test (and Emilio Botín didn’t)

1 November 2014

Continuing last week’s theme, it was the Italian banks — with nine fails, four still requiring capital injections — that bagged the booby prize in the great EU stress-testing exercise,… Read more

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Want to shake hands with your dinner? Beast is your kind of restaurant

1 November 2014

Beast is next to Debenhams on Oxford Street and it is not conventionally beast-like; rather it is monetised and bespoke beastliness, which is not really beastliness at all. It is… Read more

Griff Rhys Jones Photo: Getty

Griff Rhys Jones

25 October 2014

In order to promote the Dylan Thomas in Fitzrovia festival, I am trying to persuade Jason Morell, the director, that he must help me come up with stunts. ‘It’s stunts… Read more

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It’s time to shave that beard: the decade of the hipster is over

25 October 2014

Calling all hipsters, it’s time to get the razor out! You have hit peak beard. You’ve had a decade of getting away with those narrow, short trousers and the studiously… Read more

TUC Demonstrate For 'Britain Needs a Pay Rise'

Hello trees, hello sky, hello armoured riot police

25 October 2014

What a beautiful day, I thought, as I nodded to the porter in the bowler hat and stepped out of the Westminster hotel into October sun and wind, with a… Read more

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The best navigation idea I’ve seen since the Tube map

25 October 2014

I stopped using London buses when some coward put doors on them. Twenty years ago, you could board any bus headed in the right direction and when it diverged from… Read more

Gymkhana

Gymkhana is morally disgusting – and fortunately the food’s disgusting too

18 October 2014

Gymkhana is a fashionable Indian restaurant in Albemarle Street. It was, according to its natty website, ‘inspired by Colonial Indian gymkhana clubs, set up by the British Raj, where members… Read more

In need of a revamp: London Trocadero

Anthony Horowitz

11 October 2014

It was quite fun being named as the new writer of 007 — although actually I’d make a lousy spy. As my family knows, I’m hopeless at keeping secrets and… Read more

A Norwegian troll – not a Swedish one

11 October 2014

How to deal with a troll In Scandinavian mythology, trolls were shady creatures who lived below ground and varied in size from giants (in Iceland) to dwarfs (in Sweden). They… Read more

casino royale reshaped

A casino clash worthy of James Bond reaches its climax in the High Court

11 October 2014

It is said that all you really need to know about casinos is that the house always wins. I wouldn’t bet on it this week. The supposed iron law of… Read more

(Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty)

Jeremy Vine

4 October 2014

Last Tuesday I tried to sign up to a new life. My wife and I argued, slightly. ‘I don’t think this will work!’ she laughs, and I reply feebly: ‘But… Read more