There’s no place like home

When we said we were thinking of moving to Urbino, our friends ooh-ed and aah-ed with envy. Urbino is a perfectly preserved mediaeval and Renaissance fortified town which sits on a hill in the Italian Marches commanding spectacular views over the surrounding fields and valleys. Its layout has hardly changed since the day when Duke

A place to plot

Some people dream of Palladian mansions in Wiltshire, of third homes in undiscovered parts of Puglia, of ozone pools in the basement. Others dream less majestically of mansards and conservatories and allotments. I, however, have a more modest fantasy. I work from home: a semi-detached dwelling I share with three children, an au pair, a

Ross Clark

Demolition crazy

While Tony Blair was making his valedictory speech to the Labour party conference in Manchester on 27 September, 60-year-old Elizabeth Pascoe was ecstatic. Not because she was impressed by the Prime Minister’s self-composed list of glorious achievements, but because the High Court had just stopped the government from running a bulldozer through her house. Miss

The renting makeover

‘Policy without principle is like a house without foundations’, David Cameron said in his ‘Bring me sunshine’ conference speech in Bournemouth. Well, he should know. The young Tory leader’s own recently acquired £1.1 million home in Kensington is literally being undermined so that a basement room can be added to the already substantial house. The