High life

We’re all victims in the Bagel now – even me

 New York That Kim Kardashian dame being fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission for a ‘pump and dump’ scheme should help add victimhood to her other assets. Everyone in this country revels in being a victim, or so it seems when watching the news or reading the papers. Here’s our own Jeremy Clarke, as

Low life

The 100-year-old opiate had lost none of its potency

Our neighbour Michael is a keen and knowledgable attender of vides-greniers, the equivalent of our car-boot sales. His focus is on old bottles, full or empty, and old china, but he’ll pick up anything that piques his fancy. Some months ago, for example, he bought for €1 a glass tube of opium tablets issued to

Real life

More from life

Moules mouclade, as big a hit as Beyoncé

Mussels were probably the first thing I ate as a child that I knew at the time was ‘an acquired taste’. They made me feel impossibly grown up, coming with a brigade of bowls, one for the mussels themselves, one for chips, one for bread, one for empty mussel shells, and a little lemon-scented bowl

Wine Club

Wine Club: bottles from some of the best vineyards in South Africa

Order today. Our fabled Spectator Winemaker Lunches are heavily oversubscribed and little wonder. We have the finest producers and merchants clamouring to visit and we’ve never yet managed to knock back less than a bottle a head. Our readers take their studies seriously. One of the most popular of recent lunches was hosted by Sebastian

No sacred cows

Will I be PayPal’s downfall?

Dan Schulman, the president and CEO of PayPal, gave an interview earlier this year entitled: ‘The thing that separates good companies from great ones: trust.’ He told the audience that companies need to do more than deliver an outstanding product to build trust. In addition, they need to ‘stand up for social issues that are

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: how can I snoop on my neighbour’s house?

Q. I am at the stage of my life where I am often sending presents to newborn babies. These presents are almost never acknowledged: the parents believe they will get round to posting me a handwritten letter, complete with a picture of the child in the outfit or under the mobile or reading the book


A wine company after Roger Scruton’s heart

‘Golden’ is often used to describe the hue of some wines in the glass. But there is another resemblance. Gold is a beautiful metal as well as a store of value. Wine, covetable for its taste, can also be a store of value, at least for many years. So it inevitably attracts the attention of

Mind your language


Ever After

I’m convinced he would like a quiet wife. One who would sit on her chair and eat granola and sip carrot juice wearing a ring on only her wedding finger.   How peaceful to be concerned by nothing more than juice, dried fruits and nuts, and natural yoghurt! The mind like a quiet seed in


A restaurant paper placemat is the best place to compose a poem. There’s nothing venerable about the surface, slightly rough, perhaps a stain of sauce or tea. You can try yourself out on a paper placemat, not take things so seriously. Thoughts fill the squares and dimples while a meal fills the stomach. The pen

The Wiki Man

The genius of bottomless brunch

I’m rather fond of the many service stations on the M4, since I am convinced they are all named after Jane Austen characters who never made it into the final drafts of the novels. But as an alternative, west of Lord Chieveley and Lady Membury and just east of Sir Leigh Delamere, you can try

The turf

The making of a Classics winner

For a Radio Four programme she was hosting Clare Balding once had the idea that it would be fun to apply the techniques of horse breeding to the political world. Strolling around the parade ring at Newbury we duly recorded an item imagining gene mixing between the will to win of a Margaret Thatcher and