Will the US catch the birdie at the Ryder Cup? 

At last the Ryder Cup is here – well, in Rome – and with it Europe’s biennial chance to stick it to the Americans in a sport that matters in a format that we can all relate to. Even if you regard golfers as extremely well-off people largely determined to make themselves better off, the frenzied emotions and belting patriotism of the Ryder Cup should be enough to challenge even the most surly of gloomsters. And while Americans have to seek solace and comfort in the company of other Americans, it takes something special and inspiring when an Irishman can join forces with a Swede and be cheered on by

The lost magic of the Hamptons

Southampton, Long Island They’ve honed the skill of attracting attention by building some of the largest and ugliest houses this side of the Russian-owned Riviera ones, yet the luminous little village still retains signs of a bygone civilised era. A few grand houses built a long time ago are proof that not all Americans are nouveaux-riches, and some even have good taste in decoration – you know the kind: wicker chairs, yellow and white umbrellas, and long green lawns. I used to own a house like that, with swimming pool, tennis court and a cellar full of wine, but I sold it because of its proximity to a relative of

Abramovich sanctioned for ‘destabilising Ukraine’

Following criticism in recent weeks that the UK government has lagged behind both the US and the EU when it comes to sanctioning oligarchs, this morning the Foreign Office announced fresh sanctions for seven businessmen with alleged links to Vladimir Putin. On that list is Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich. The billionaire Chelsea FC owner is among those to have their assets frozen and facing a travel ban. Others on the list include Igor Sechin, Oleg Deripaska, Andrey Kostin, Alexei Miller, Nikolai Tokarev and Dmitri Lebedev – with the justification for each sanction available here. In the case of Abramovich, the UK government says that he has been ‘involved in

My password amnesia got me into hot water

Chelsea/Gstaad Oh, to be in England! But let’s start at the beginning. I challenge any reader to claim they are more technologically disadvantaged than yours truly. Or anyone not suffering from Alzheimer’s, at least. I resisted getting a mobile telephone until my days on board a sailing boat became a nightmare. I missed get-togethers, lost friends, and finally gave in around ten years ago. More trouble followed. For example, I get pings all the time and can see on screen the names of Pugs members sending messages to each other. But I don’t know how to put in my five cents. Prince Pavlos of Greece set my phone up so

The best restaurants in Chelsea

Chelsea is a rarefied end of town. The old streets behind Cheyne Walk and around the Physic Garden are some of London’s most charming, while the King’s Road has for a long time been known as the place to be seen. When it comes to restaurants, cheap eats are fewer and further between than other parts of London, but with hefty prices often comes quality. There’s a notable focus on organic produce and the countryside – possibly testament to Chelsea’s proximity to the M4 headed west. A few of the UK’s best known chefs have set up shop in the area and Chelsea is home to some of the city’s