High life

Why I prefer cows to humans

Gstaad   The cows are coming down, the cows are coming down, and I’m off to the Bagel. My Swiss neighbours have cut, raked and baled the grass that the sweet four-legged ones with bells around their necks will be eating all winter while indoors. They will parade through the town next week, and it

Low life

Real life

What Brexiteers can teach Remoaners about good manners

‘If we are going to Westminster to riot,’ I told my Brexit-voting friends over dinner at the Thai restaurant at our local pub, ‘then we are going to have to work out where to park. I don’t want to get a ticket.’ We shifted our noodles around our plates and chewed our sizzling beef strips

Wine Club

Wine Club 21 September

One of the jolliest of our recent Spectator Winemaker Lunches was that hosted by Maria Urrutia, fifth–generation director of the family-owned Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España, better known as CVNE, producers of exemplary Rioja since 1879. Fine Rioja is, famously, one of the most accessible of all wines and the most fairly priced, especially

No sacred cows

David Cameron is more authentic than Boris Johnson

I don’t recall exactly when I first met David Cameron, but it must have been in Oxford in 1985 shortly after the beginning of Michaelmas term. I was a third year at Brasenose studying PPE and he was a first year, also doing PPE. I remember him being friendly and down to earth and canny

Spectator Sport

Farewell, Garry Richardson. We’ll miss you

A day of sporting shocks this Sunday past. As if the news of Tracey Horrobin’s bewitching performance with the ball to give Ambridge victory in their grudge match against Darrington wasn’t enough, then out of a clear blue sky, one of the best broadcasters in the country announced that he’d be standing down. For anyone

Dear Mary


It’s so easy to go mad in Oxford: Chiang Mai Kitchen reviewed

Oxford is a pile of medieval buildings filled with maniacs, and is therefore one of the most interesting places on earth. It is easy to go mad in Oxford — it’s the damp — or grow other worlds, like John Tolkien, whose Middle Earth, I suspect, was largely an emotional defence against the conversation at

Mind your language