London

Foxy Lady

The Tooting poisoner and the relentless rise of the urban fox

7 February 2015

Cowering in the corner of a pet shop, I edged towards the door to try to escape as a stranger yelled at me. The man’s face was so puckered up… Read more

Winston Churchill leaving Westminster Pier, with Harry Hopkins, John Winant, and William Bullitt Photo: Getty

Powers of persuasion: how Churchill brought America on side

7 February 2015
Sleep in Peace Tonight James MacManus

Duckworth, pp.368, £16.99, ISBN: 9780715649350

In time for the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death comes this pacy novel about his attempts to persuade the Americans to join the war. It is January 1941; President Roosevelt’s… Read more

Alain Ducasse Photo: Getty

Rivea: a London annexe to the world’s maddest expensive restaurant

7 February 2015

Rivea (stupid name) is in the bowels of Bulgari in Knightsbridge, a hotel which looks like a vast Virgin Upper Class lounge. It sits opposite One Hyde Park (stupid name),… Read more

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Quaglino’s, the vampire brasserie

24 January 2015

Quaglino’s is an ancient subterranean brasserie in St James’s, a district clinging to the 18th century with cadaverous fingers. It was founded in 1929 by -Giovanni Quaglino, who once wrote… Read more

UK Braced For Further Storms As Rain And Snow Bring More Flood Misery

How long will it be before the climate forces us to change?

17 January 2015

This time last year, homeowners in Oxfordshire and Berkshire were recovering after storms had brought down power lines and blocked roads. Soon, power cuts were the least of their problems.… Read more

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David Sedaris was right: litter is a class issue

17 January 2015

David Sedaris is my new hero. Not because he’s such a funny writer, but because he’s obsessed with litter. He told a group of MPs last week that he spends… Read more

Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, 18th Duchess of Alba Photo: Getty

Nicky Haslam

10 January 2015

I was once bundled into a police car in Palm Springs to explain why I didn’t have snow-tyres on my pick-up in the red-hot California desert. I don’t remember the… Read more

Enoch Powell

The deep instinct that Britain’s immigration debate still ignores

10 January 2015

The issue of immigration won’t go away, because it threatens the soul of the nation. Nobody in political authority uses such language today, because they are unsure of the validity… Read more

Cereal Killer Cafe, Brick Lane Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images

The real reason there’s a queue outside the Cereal Killer Café

10 January 2015

The Cereal Killer Café is a temple to cereal on Brick Lane, east London. It serves only cereal — and also Pop-Tarts, which taste like pavements smeared with chocolate — and… Read more

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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