High life

High life | 9 November 2017

A dinner in honour of Arki Busson hosted by Michael Mailer in his brilliant Brooklyn flat on the banks of the East River and overlooking the Statue of Liberty a quarter of a mile away. His father, Norman, had some pretty brainy people living it up in these premises, and Michael has continued the custom

Low life

Low life | 9 November 2017

We had a hyperbole competition, the taxi driver and I, over the climbing full moon, clearer and brighter than either of us had seen it for as long as we could remember. Did I know, he said, that the gravitational power of the moon on the Earth was just enough to stabilise the Earth’s wobble?

Real life

Real life | 9 November 2017

When it comes to horses, troubles come in multitudes. Multitudes of lame legs. Gracie, the hunter pony, kicked things off by deciding she didn’t want to be caught. A pony who is running at full pelt round a seven-acre field at the sight of you with a headcollar hidden in a feed bucket is a

More from life

The turf | 9 November 2017

Imagine Ryan Moore getting caught on the line by a rival’s late spurt at the end of a Newmarket race and being so upset that he goes to bed without supper, crying like a baby. Then imagine him offering to recompense the owner personally for his lost bets. That is how the popular George Fordham,

People in glass houses…

Stories about members of the establishment using offshore tax shelters — ooh er missus! — come along about once a year, thanks to the efforts of the liberal media. Cue a chorus of disapproval from Jeremy Corbyn, Vince Cable, Margaret Hodge and other left-wing panjandrums who demand that the government ‘seize’ Britain’s overseas territories and

Wine Club

Wine Club 11 November

It’s the turn of FromVineyardsDirect this week and, just to keep things simple, FVD’s Esme Johnstone and I decided simply to offer readers FVD’s six best-selling wines. FVD’s customers love them, I love them and I trust you’ll love them, too. I even persuaded the normally unpersuadable Esme to knock off 50p here and £1

Spectator Sport

Football needs more Pep talks

So West Ham took the least surprising option and sent for David Moyes. Same old same old. I have a feeling that if Theresa May fell on her, or anyone else’s, sword, we’d send for David Moyes and that familiar figure would be shuffling up Downing Street with his wrinkly-eyed grin, proclaiming outside No. 10:

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 9 November 2017

Q. We have a family friend we don’t see nearly as much as we’d like. This is because he’s so near perfect — clever, funny, civilised, and also single with an interesting job — that he’s in great demand as a guest. When we do bag him before somebody else does we adore his company


Half-baked Hollywood

Knead is the first of Paul Hollywood’s new strain of bakeries that sell coffee, and which will encircle capitalism. This one is outside Euston station and I think the name — Knead, meaning squashed under fists, specifically Paul Hollywood’s fists — is designed solely to make you think of his big hands. Lots of people

Mind your language


‘When is physical contact “unacceptable”?’ asked Charles Moore in the Daily Telegraph. He may well ask. Sir Michael Fallon said after his resignation that some things were acceptable ten or 15 years ago that weren’t today. But the panel of Any Questions? last week were invited to say whether inappropriate behaviour wasn’t always unacceptable. It’s