High life

How to have an affair

Gstaad After six-and-a-half months apart, I had no trouble recognising my wife. Out she came on to the driveway to greet me as Charlie the horny driver brought a sleepy Greek boy home after a long flight from the Bagel. I pretended not to know her and embraced the maid instead, but it didn’t work.

Low life

Help! I’m restaurant-phobic

Vernon fancies this new age elfin-faced French woman who owns and runs a restaurant. She’s hard-working, she’s a reader, and she has a great library, he says. He would chuck his Stetson into the ring, he says, but every now and again she comes out with some bonkers new age or woke statement that makes

Real life

Why I’ve gone off country sports

‘Oh, I do so love to see all the lovely pheasants running around the place,’ said the lady walking the Alsatian up the farm track. The huge dog was straining at the leash, pulling her along, but she was trying to stop for a chat with the builder boyfriend as he mended a fence. I

Wine Club

New vintages of old favourites plus bargain bin-end magnums

We’re looking back so as to look forward this week. It has been such a rotten 18 months that in order to greet our longed-for freedom in appropriate bottle-draining style, we’re revisiting highlights of past FromVineyardsDirect offers. Previous vintages of all the bottles below have been huge hits with readers and I have every confidence

No sacred cows

My battle to be top dog

Even a small dog can be quite high maintenance. No, I’m not talking about Mali, our one-year-old cavapoochon, but Bertie, a six-month-old cavapoo. Bertie is Mali’s best friend and — I regret to say — almost constant companion. The reason they spend so much time together is because his owner, a close friend of Caroline’s,

Spectator Sport

The real sporting star of this summer

Think of a punishing distance for a bike race. Double it, multiply by ten, throw in two of the world’s great mountain ranges — and now you have the course for that epic examination of man’s very being known as the Tour de France, a ruthless appraisal of his heart, mind and soul. Not to

Dear Mary


An utterly convincing dreamworld: The Ritz reviewed

The Ritz is still here, and still gaudy. No grand hotel in London feels quite so complete, if pink; as if it landed like a Tardis on Green Park. There is no real life here, and there shouldn’t be. Each guest travels with their own novella. There are jewels in the window and brides on

Mind your language

Do the England team play football, footer, footie – or soccer?

I have never been a soccer mom, described in the Washington Post as ‘the overburdened, middle-income working mother who ferries her kids from soccer practice to scouts to school’. That was in 1996, during the American election campaign when Bill Clinton wished to appeal to this stereotype. I admit there have been days devoted to


Cinema Paradiso

When Alfredo lets the film fly on its beam of light, I Pompieri di Viggiù comes to roost on a tenement block, rippling the hard lines of masonry. Isn’t love sleight of hand after all? You and I, in rainy Islington, among discrete coughs and rustles, spoon Sicily’s raw energy into our souls. Giant faces

The turf

The 4,000 spectators at Sandown Park weren’t short-changed

When only four horses were declared to contest this year’s Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park, there were the usual mutters. Since owners and trainers are always complaining (with justice) about the low levels of prize money in British racing, why weren’t more of them sending their charges to compete for the £640,000 on offer?