Notes on…

Party time... blossoms at Himeji Castle in Japan

Let’s cherish the cherry blossom: its fleeting beauty is like life itself

25 March 2017 9:00 am

In what I like to think of as The Spectator’s back garden — most people call it St James’s Park…

We all love a winner: T.E. Lawrence

Will the tide ever turn on Lawrence of Arabia?

18 March 2017 9:00 am

The centenary of General Allenby’s capture of Jerusalem falls later this year. On 11 December 1917, the commander-in-chief of Britain’s…

The Suffolk side of the Stour

The beauty and heartbreak of Haywain country

11 March 2017 9:00 am

You’ve already seen a picture of the Essex-Suffolk border. Assuming you’ve seen Constable’s ‘The Haywain’, that is: the Stour (the…

The Irish Jewish museum in Dublin

Dublin’s Jewish museum

4 March 2017 9:00 am

I love small museums, and the Irish Jewish Museum in Dublin is a little gem, located in the neighbourhood once…

Good beer, cheap

The wonder of Wetherspoons

25 February 2017 9:00 am

Of all the stories I’ve heard about the fallout from Brexit — families divided, work jeopardised, friendships ended — the…

Rodin’s ‘Gates of Hell’: more than 300 figures, including a panther-like Eve

Why Auguste Rodin preferred to sculpt women who couldn’t sit still

18 February 2017 9:00 am

The girl who posed for Auguste Rodin’s figure of Eve on the ‘Gates of Hell’ was, the sculptor said, a…

Love unflinching: every child should know it

Why every child should know a dog

11 February 2017 9:00 am

Henry, our springer spaniel, has died, suddenly and prematurely. With the passing weeks, we are becoming accustomed to the strange…

A storm brewing over Hill Hill Hill

The magic and strangeness of British placenames

4 February 2017 9:00 am

British placenames are so good you can read the map for entertainment rather than navigation. Hardington Mande-ville, Bradford Peverell, Carlton…

The badge of an all-transcending fellowship

Corduroy

28 January 2017 9:00 am

Every Christmas, I ask my loved ones for at least two pairs of corduroy trousers. Off with a sigh tramps…

Going off-piste: some people just can’t wait

In praise of late-season skiing

21 January 2017 9:00 am

There’s trouble brewing in the Alps. Skiers arriving in the mountains over Christmas were greeted, not by snow-clad chalets and…

Let someone else do the polishing

Why I turned down two free cars

14 January 2017 9:00 am

On two occasions, sainted members of my family have offered me a car for nothing. Both times, I turned them…

‘Pub owners are particularly keen on quizzes, because quiz teams drink an awful lot’

How pub quizzes became normal

7 January 2017 9:00 am

For more than 20 years now, I have been trudging up the hill to the Prince of Wales in Highgate…

Bizarre marriage: Lord Byron’s wife Annabella

Stay in the mansion where Lord Byron met his wife

31 December 2016 9:00 am

I’m standing in milady’s boudoir, a room which would have delighted Liberace. Here, nothing is de trop and everything is…

She should have stuck to the vodka

A hangover survival guide

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Although drinking excessive levels of alcohol is up there with Olympic cycling and democracy as things the British excel at,…

‘Hello… can you put Nigel Slater on the line?’

The Princess and the Pea? I know just how she feels

3 December 2016 9:00 am

Have you, on hearing the story of the princess who felt a pea through 40 feather mattresses, ever thought that…

A visitor to Atlantis: Frank Zappa

Zurich’s hidden rock’n’roll side

26 November 2016 9:00 am

On the green edge of Zurich, where this neat and tidy city melts into neat and tidy countryside, an icon…

Ruby Walsh riding Al Ferof at Cheltenham

Put away your silly hat, and discover the joys of jump racing

19 November 2016 9:00 am

‘A more thrilling, uplifting, glorious way of living has yet to be invented,’ the jockey John Francome said of National…

The library photographed in 1958

The north London library that helped create the Russian Revolution

12 November 2016 9:00 am

There’s a small corner of Clerkenwell where the communist dream never died. The Marx Memorial Library has been in its…

Pumpkins and Trumpkins: autumn in California

5 November 2016 9:00 am

The mood in California was apologetic. Most people we met seemed embarrassed that their country’s dirty laundry was being aired…

Don’t whistle: Burlington Arcade

The two people allowed to whistle in Burlington Arcade

29 October 2016 9:00 am

It all began with oysters. Londoners used to eat them as they walked along, throwing away the shells much as…

Extra sparkle: the best stuff is saved for the Brits

The French say their best champagne goes to us Brits. It may even be true

22 October 2016 9:00 am

The British are notoriously cheap when it comes to wine; the average bottle price is around £6. On one wine,…

‘Y’all just follow me…’

Hospitality and historic horror in Mississippi

15 October 2016 9:00 am

Driving into Greenwood after dark, we pull into a gas station and ask directions to a late-night grocery store. ‘Sir……

Beer testing in 1937

The world's best ale comes from Yorkshire

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Down a lane in Keighley, in the old West Riding of Yorkshire, they brew the greatest ale in the world.…

The Dalmatian coast: old-fashioned glamour

Croatia

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Advocates of New Zealand often boast that the country is like Britain was in the 1950s. This is all well…

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…