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London

letters

20 September 2014

Breaking the unions Sir: By the time this letter appears we shall know whether the land of my birth has separated from the land of my life. I hope not.… Read more

‘Moonrise and Pale Dancer’ by Derek Hyatt

The man who brought Cubism to New York

20 September 2014
Max Weber: An American Cubist in Paris and London, 1905–15 Ben Uri, 108a Boundary Road, NW8
Derek Hyatt: Time Glides in Secret Art Space Gallery, 84 St Peter’s Street, N1

The American Jewish artist Max Weber (1881–1961) was born in Belostok in Russia (now Bialystok in Poland), and although he visited this country twice (he came to London in 1906… Read more

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Rextail: a restaurant for billionaire children

20 September 2014

Rextail is a restaurant for billionaire children, such as Richie Rich. Its owner, Arcady Novikov, has already opened a restaurant for billionaire men and their spindly billionaire wives — the… Read more

Head of the French Socialist party Jean-Christophe Cambadelis Photo: Getty

Rona Fairhead will be good for the BBC – but who was so keen to nobble her rival?

6 September 2014

Hats off to Rona Fairhead, the former Financial Times executive who will succeed Lord Patten as chairman of the BBC Trust. It requires a brave spirit to take on this… Read more

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Fischer’s is like visiting Vienna without having to go to Austria (thank God)

6 September 2014

Fischer’s is Austria made safe for liberals, gays, Jews and other Untermenschen riffraff, because it is a restaurant, not a concentration camp, and because it is in Marylebone High Street,… Read more

(Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty)

The nun who took down an Isis flag – and stands up for east London's Muslims

30 August 2014

Not so long ago disaffected youngsters would take to a life of crime and hard drugs, a trajectory which would often kill them. These days, some young men from our… Read more

John Betjeman Photo: Getty

A.N. Wilson

23 August 2014

Like many inward-looking children, I always doodled stories and poems. Knowing one wanted to be a writer is a different matter altogether. That moment came when I read Lytton Strachey’s… Read more

Workers carry out cleaning and maintenance work on the clock face of Big Ben in 2007 (Photo: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

23 August 2014

Tough at the top The clocks on Big Ben were cleaned by abseiling window-cleaners. Some other big cleaning/painting jobs: — Repainting the Forth Railway Bridge used to be a metaphor… Read more

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Our boys in the Islamic state: Britain's export jihad

23 August 2014

It is the now familiar nightmare image. A kneeling prisoner, and behind him a black-hooded man speaking to camera. The standing man denounces the West and claims that his form… Read more

ca

Boris is back – and he has George Osborne in his sights

9 August 2014

So Boris has made his great leap. The blond king over the water has revealed his plans to cross the river, return to Parliament and assume what he believes is… Read more

Scenes In And Around London's Soho

L’Escargot is Soho as Soho sees itself

9 August 2014

L’Escargot, or the Snail, is a famous restaurant on Greek Street, Soho, opposite the old Establishment club; the oldest French restaurant in London, they say (1927), and who am I… Read more

Castro-for-Camilla-piece

Sloane Rangers vs Arabs – the battle for Chelsea

12 July 2014

Perhaps you’re aware that it’s Ramadan right now, the month in which all good Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight. What you might not know is… Read more

Kingston Crowds Wait For Haile Selassie I

Why I’m now scared of book clubs

12 July 2014

‘Hi Ian!’ the email began. ‘We are a group of mostly females who meet regularly in London to review really good reads. We are currently reading The Dead Yard, and… Read more

Conrad Black back on familiar territory at The Spectator on 3 July. Image: Alan Davidson

Andrew Roberts

5 July 2014

The former proprietor of this magazine, Conrad Black, is in London at the moment with his gorgeous wife Barbara, and I’ve got very bad news for those of his enemies… Read more

AOB

‘Dark pools’ are just another conspiracy of bankers against the public

5 July 2014

It was at the Mansion House dinner last year that a City gent two seats away announced himself to be the custodian of one of London’s ‘dark pools’. The phrase… Read more

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I may not know much about khat, but I know banning it is crazy

28 June 2014

Khat is a leafy stimulant chewed mainly, I gather, by Somalis. This week the government banned its possession and sale. And, for the life of me, I cannot figure out… Read more

bowling-alley

Discovering bourbon on Brick Lane

28 June 2014

When I was stationed in Kentucky I never drank bourbon. It wasn’t until I came to London that the drink became something special to me. I always passed a bowling… Read more

At the Chiltern Firehouse, smugness should be on the menu

28 June 2014

Here then is Gatsby’s house, after an invasion by the Daily Mail. It is called the Chiltern Firehouse. It is a restaurant in a newly opened hotel in a Victorian… Read more

Kensington And Chelsea Street, Egerton Crescent Named Most Expensive For Second Year Running

Young Italians flock to London – for just the same reasons it scares me

14 June 2014

Although I live in the country in Northamptonshire, I go to London often — almost once a week — and I find it more and more intimidating. This isn’t just… Read more

Party workers outside a polling station at the Christ Church Primary School in Brick Lane Photo: Getty

Labour has proved that it speaks for London – and nowhere else

31 May 2014

So, now almost all the votes have been counted — except for those in the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets, where the vibrant and colourful political practices of Bangladesh continue to… Read more

Thomas Piketty Photo: Getty

Fight Thomas Piketty or face a mansion tax

31 May 2014

The postman at the door is stooped by his burden like an allegorical statue of Labour Oppressed by Capital. His wearisome, low-waged task is to deliver a copy of Thomas… Read more

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The rudest restaurants in London

17 May 2014

Wong Kei is a mad Chinese restaurant on Wardour Street, Chinatown. Until recently it was considered the rudest restaurant in London and, because human stupidity is without end, it became… Read more

How DO you pronounce 'Marylebone'? 

17 May 2014

‘Take a trip to Marylebone station,’ chanted my husband. ‘Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200.’ I had been to the station to take the rather nice Chiltern Railways… Read more

Jack's back!

Jack Bauer hits, er, West Ealing

10 May 2014

Whatever worries Kiefer Sutherland may have had about reprising the role of Jack Bauer in 24: Live Another Day (Sky1, Wednesday), learning his lines for episode one won’t have been… Read more

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The only way to survive as a cyclist is to behave like you're suicidal

3 May 2014

I wonder how many cyclists are killed in London during tube strikes? I had a 10 a.m. meeting in the West End on Tuesday that I couldn’t cancel so made the… Read more