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London

diary_simon_heath

Simon Jenkins's notebook: Why a wind farm will never be as beautiful as a railway viaduct

12 October 2013

Until I plotted a book on England’s best views I had not realised how much people cared. Ask them to nominate a favourite church or house or even town and… Read more

What a coincidence

12 October 2013
Three Brothers Peter Ackroyd

Chatto, pp.240, £14.99, ISBN: 9780701186937

If you are going to read a novel that plays with literary conventions you want it written with aplomb. In Three Brothers we are not disappointed, as Peter Ackroyd shows… Read more

This isn’t a property bubble – it’s a reason to improve London’s transport

28 September 2013

Everyone —including me, if I’m honest — has been talking about a new property bubble. But is it for real? London house prices are rising at an annual rate of… Read more

Andrew Marr Appears At The Edinburgh Book Festival

Andrew Marr

31 August 2013

It’s been a strange summer. After a stroke, holidays are not what they used to be. We went to Juan-les-Pins for a week in a hotel. It seemed perfect because… Read more

London Luxury Homes Seen Losing Luster

A windfall tax on monster basements could solve London’s housing problem

31 August 2013

The mega-rich are best housed behind high fences, on wooded estates patrolled by dogs; that way, they don’t have to annoy the rest of us. But I can see how… Read more

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Melissa Kite: Spare me from successful neighbours

24 August 2013

At last. I’ve waited a long time for this moment. I’ve been through years of torture at the hands of excitable twenty-somethings, experimental thirty-somethings and Booker-prize-winning forty-somethings. I’ve had nothing… Read more

17 August 2013

Absent friends Sir: Alec Marsh (‘Welcome to Big Venice’, 10 August) accurately observes that Londoners are priced out of central London by largely foreign buyers of second homes. Wealthy foreigners… Read more

Notebook_heath

Welcome to Big Venice: How London became a tourist-trap city

10 August 2013

Queuing to gain admittance to the pavement of Westminster Bridge on a ferociously hot Sunday afternoon recently, I found myself trapped. Pinioned by a road to one side, a stall… Read more

‘Good things come to 
those who wait' Photo: William Brinson

‘Like a concentration camp run by KFC’: Tanya Gold visits Shake Shack

10 August 2013

Shake Shack is a hamburger restaurant in Covent Garden market. It came from New York and it is as needy and angry and angry-needy as America itself; it is, I… Read more

This photograph brought to you by Dairylea. (Also: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Tanya Gold on eating at the Shard

27 July 2013

What to say about the Shard that isn’t said by the fact it is 1,020 feet high and looks like a slightly elongated cheese triangle, and that it is designed… Read more

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Rory Sutherland: Don't abolish The Knowledge

20 July 2013

Now that most taxi drivers use satnavs, should ‘the Knowledge’ be abolished? Shouldn’t we ditch the requirement that all London black cab drivers spend several years acquiring an insanely detailed… Read more

Inside The Victorian Graveyard Of The Glasgow Necropolis

Recycled graves – coming soon to a cemetery near you

15 June 2013

Two marble graves are side by side. One is grey and encrusted, with moss growing over the top. The other is smooth and shiny white. It looks new but, in… Read more

The figure of the flâneur, captured by Degas in ‘Place de la Concorde’, had its origin in Mr Spectator

Tales of Two Cities, by Jonathan Conlin - review

15 June 2013
Tales of Two Cities: Paris, London and the Birth of the Modern City Jonathan Conlin

Atlantic Books, pp.320, £25, ISBN: 9781848870260

In Jonathan Conlin’s Tales of Two Cities the little acknowledged but hugely significant histoire croisée of two rival metropoles gets a long overdue airing. For, like it or not, London… Read more

25 May 2013

Stay Conservative Sir: Dr John Hyder-Wilson wrote (Letters, 11 May) of my calls to ‘shift Tory party policy rightward’ to meet a threat from Ukip, which he felt was inconsistent… Read more

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Tanya Gold reviews STK London

18 May 2013

STK is a steakhouse at the bottom of the ME Hotel on the Aldwych. (This is a real name for a real hotel. The cult of individualism has finally reached… Read more

Grocery

18 May 2013

Was Margaret Thatcher brought up in a grocery? I wouldn’t say so. The Americans would. I’d call her father’s shop in Grantham a grocer’s. He sold grocery. Yet I saw… Read more

The symbolism of the cemetery: the draped urn, popular among the Victorians, is usually taken to mean that the soul has departed the shrouded body for its journey to heaven

How to Read a Graveyard, by Peter Stanford - review

4 May 2013
How to Read a Graveyard Peter Stanford

Bloomsbury, pp.263, £16.99, ISBN: 9781441174777

Peter Stanford likes cemeteries. Daily walks with his dog around a London graveyard acclimatised him, while the deaths of his parents set him wondering about customs of mourning and places… Read more

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Tanya Gold reviews Potato Merchant

4 May 2013

Exmouth Market is a small collection of paved streets near the Farringdon Travelodge, which specialises in monomaniacal restaurants and has a blue plaque dedicated to the dead clown Joseph Grimaldi.… Read more

Barry Humphries

13 April 2013

Whenever feminists have complained in my presence about neglect of female high-achievers, other than rock singers and courtesans, I always like to mention brilliant Margaret Thatcher. It always makes them… Read more

Ali G at MTV Europe Awards 2001

From Cockney to Jafaican

23 March 2013

My mother always had a keen ear for slang and lazy pronunciation when I was growing up. Because my siblings and I were working class and attended an absolutely dreadful… Read more

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The birth of the Walking Book Club

9 March 2013

In they stride, in muddy trainers or wellies, swirls of cold air caught on their clothes, children in off-road buggies, dogs bedraggledly in tow. I’ve always been thrilled that so… Read more

INVESTMENT

Investment special: Gaining from a housing recovery

9 March 2013

The long period of dormancy for Britain’s housing market looks as if it is coming to an end — though there are huge regional differences. Central London remains exceptional, with… Read more

Tanya Gold reviews Balthazar

9 March 2013

Balthazar is a golden cave in Covent Garden, in the old Theatre (Luvvie) Museum, home to dead pantomime horses and Christopher Biggins’s regrets. It is a copy of a New… Read more

At least Prince Charles should be happy with the roof of the new Design Museum in Holland Park

The new Design Museum: Prince Charles will prefer it. But should we?

2 March 2013

Twenty-five years ago I went to St James’s Palace to ask the Prince of Wales if he would open the new Design Museum. Before us was the model of the… Read more

Hailo matters more than HS2 – but we just can’t see it

2 March 2013

One of Britain’s exam boards was attacked last year for a question in a GCSE religious studies examination: ‘Explain briefly why some people are prejudiced against Jews.’ Is this really… Read more