A homeless person reads a book in Paris. Photo: ARNAUD GUILLAUME/AFP/Getty Images

What books mean to rough sleepers – and the library that helps them

15 October 2016 9:00 am

An afternoon with a mobile library for rough sleepers

BMW PGA Championship - Day Three

Today’s Kensington makes Daphne’s seem tasteful

15 October 2016 9:00 am

Daphne’s serves Italian food in South Kensington. (I like the name because Daphne was the name Jack Lemmon chose for…

Hectically busy: Beckett in 1976

Samuel Beckett’s letters reveal a fiercely private workoholic

1 October 2016 9:00 am

‘Krapping away here to no little avail,’ writes Beckett to the actor Patrick Magee in September 1969. To ‘no little…

Carlton House Terrace, where Egyptian billionaire Ashraf Marwan allegedly lived (Photo: Getty)

Why are Egyptian businessmen always falling off balconies in London?

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Ashraf Marwan was an Egyptian-born businessman, a son-in-law to Nasser and a political high-flyer in the administration of Sadat, who…


Bronte: soulless, stylish, and nothing to do with novel-writing

1 October 2016 9:00 am

I hoped that Bronte would be filled with Victorian writers licking ink off their fingers and bitching about Mrs Gaskell…

This general view from "The Peak" shows

Hong Kong shows what post-Brexit Britain could be

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Since he moved to Hong Kong three years ago, the Rat’s Cantonese has been coming on apace. This has rather…

The Debate Over The Third Runway At Heathrow Airport Continues

A free vote on Heathrow? Don’t be so wet, Prime Minister

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Hinkley Point — for all its flaws and the whiffs of suspicion around its Chinese investors — has finally received…

Hardy perennial: a crowd in the V&A Cast Courts

The best – and worst – places for a V&A assignation

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Thomas Hardy, while still married to his first wife Emma, but arranging assignations in London with Florence, his second-wife-to-be, used…

Old Photographs

A son’s search for the mother he never met

24 September 2016 9:00 am

To tell this story of his search for a mother lost to mystery in early infancy, its author uses the…

(Photo: Getty)

The joy as the zeppelin burned

10 September 2016 9:00 am

From ‘The burning of the Zeppelin’, The Spectator, 9 September 1916: Half London formed the vast proscenium for this tragedy…

Crossrail: A total of 26 miles of train tunnels are being built beneath the streets of the capital (Photo: Getty)

Time-travel along the Elizabeth line

10 September 2016 9:00 am

The year is 1963. A girl is walking around Stepney with a pack of index cards, visiting old residents in…

Scottish Grouse

The first grouse of autumn, and a debate begins afresh

10 September 2016 9:00 am

The autumn bank holiday is like the five-minute bell at the opera. The shades of the prison house loom. All…

(Photo: Tom Holland)

The bullet-ridden plaque to Nelson in Napoleon’s Corsica

3 September 2016 9:00 am

European unions come and go. Back in 1794, one of the more improbable ones was founded when Corsica joined Britain…

The Soho Hotel Botero

For actors and other children: Soho Hotel’s Refuel Bar and Restaurant

3 September 2016 9:00 am

The Soho Hotel is an actors’ hotel. They come for press junkets and interviews that reveal nothing because there is…

Where ‘taxi’ really came from

3 September 2016 9:00 am

Old Quentin Letts was on the wireless the other day asking ‘What’s the point of the London black cab?’ Between…

View from above the dinner table

In defence of the dinner party

13 August 2016 9:00 am

My wife prefers restaurants. She’s wrong

‘Ash Wednesday: 7.00am’, 2004/5, by George Shaw

In defence of suburbia

6 August 2016 9:00 am

The suburbs fuel creativity, says Philip Hensher. So why do writers and artists look down on them?

5th View isn’t a restaurant. It isn’t even a good café

6 August 2016 9:00 am

Eating on the top floor of Europe’s biggest bookshop should be a pleasure. Not so

Is that waiter fat-shaming us? Tanya Gold dines naked at the Bunyadi

23 July 2016 9:00 am

Bunyadi caters to folk for whom public nudity is somehow thrilling; I am here because A begged to go and…

war export - refugees import

Help! I’m falling out of the middle class

9 July 2016 9:00 am

For some of us to rise, others must fall. Apparently that means me


Trade deals in two years: ‘You’re joking, right?’

2 July 2016 9:00 am

Referendum day is as nondescript and wet as the day before, happily spent in Cambridge at my son’s Leo’s graduation.…

(Photo: Getty)

Three great myths of the sulking Remainers

2 July 2016 9:00 am

I think my favourite moment of the referendum campaign was John Major’s intervention, a couple of weeks before polling day.…

Tate Modern's new Switch House (Photo: Getty)

Not charging for entry has led to the National Gallery resembling Wembley on match day

2 July 2016 9:00 am

Tate Modern’s new Switch House extension in London has been greeted with acclaim. It is a building designed in the…

(Photo: Getty)

Why I took down my Vote Leave poster

2 July 2016 9:00 am

We fled Balham after the result, having been outed as the only Leave voters in Lambeth. The builder boyfriend and…


Britain’s great divide

25 June 2016 9:00 am

Brexit has exposed a huge rift between the metropolitan elite and the rest