Notes on…

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…

Farringdon Road at the Holborn Viaduct, 1900

The hidden rivers that shape London's streets

17 September 2016 9:00 am

I found my first of London’s many lost rivers when I walked across Holborn Viaduct, looked down at the sweep…

Don’t fear to tread: vineyards in the Douro Valley

The delicious secrets of the Douro Valley

10 September 2016 9:00 am

They’re called quintas, Joana tells us, because the rich families who owned the land along this stretch of the Douro…

Rievaulx: only swifts and pigeons break the silence

Stay amid the stones of Rievaulx

3 September 2016 9:00 am

We’re so used to looking at the abbeys smashed up by Henry VIII — particularly Rievaulx and Byland, in north…

Would you recognise this face? Mussolini back in 1924, on a drive with his pet lion cub, Ras

A beautiful place to die: Mussolini at Lake Como

27 August 2016 9:00 am

If your destiny is to be shot dead with your mistress, where better than Lake Como, which, in the words…

A collector of genius: Peggy Guggenheim

Peggy Guggenheim, collector of genius

20 August 2016 9:00 am

She had come a very long way from the shtetl, but Marguerite ‘Peggy’ Guggenheim was still the poor relation of…

Cabbies’ enemy: a cable car across the favela

The first favela – and what it can tell you about Rio’s history

13 August 2016 9:00 am

Where are you going?’ demanded the boy on the wall. A walkie-talkie clipped to his denim shorts crackled, but there…

Sudden beauty (crowd not pictured): the Quiraing

Can there really be glamour at a campsite on Skye?

6 August 2016 9:00 am

Glamour. It’s Marcello Mastroianni drinking negronis on the Via Veneto; it’s Audrey Hepburn, George Clooney, Sinatra on the Vegas Strip…

The taste of freedom and sunburnt holidays

The taste of freedom, sunburnt holidays and pocket money to burn

30 July 2016 9:00 am

It was a mistake to tell us about the gelati-to-sightseeing ratio. This was the formula my father, his younger sister…

Ruins and romance (Monty Don not included)

Meeting Monty Don in the world’s most romantic garden

23 July 2016 9:00 am

I’ve just been given a personal tour of Ninfa by Monty Don. True, I had to share the thinking woman’s…

Be like Jimmy Stewart: rediscover a classic

The secret to better holiday reading: don’t take too many books

16 July 2016 9:00 am

Holidays are a welcome chance to lose ourselves between the covers of a book, especially for those of us who…

Bologna’s core: grand in the renaissance manner

Bologna with Gilbert & George

9 July 2016 9:00 am

Sooner or later, no matter where you are travelling on Italian railways, you are likely to pass through Bologna Centrale.…

Extraterrestrial invader: Lance Armstrong

Why it’s still so hard to cheer for the Tour de France

2 July 2016 9:00 am

On Saturday at Mont St Michel, the 103rd edition of the Tour de France begins, and the favourite to win…

Warning: black tie will not make you feel like this

Black tie is an infallible sign of a bad party

25 June 2016 8:00 am

Men don’t look good in black tie. They might think that they look like Sean Connery in Dr No, but…

Capability and mustard: Gatton Park

A Capability Brown jewel hiding just outside the M25

18 June 2016 9:00 am

Gatton Park is probably Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s least famous landscape. It is tucked away near Reigate Hill, just beyond the…

Not quite Dubai yet: Ascot racegoers last year

Betting on Royal Ascot? Here’s how to get an edge

11 June 2016 9:00 am

It’s time to scuttle under a rock if you are a Folkestone or Cornish crab: 7,000 of them will be…

Live like a laird: Brodie Castle

The saddest, most romantic view in Britain

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Is there a more forlornly romantic spot in Britain than the moors east of Inverness where the Jacobite dream died?…