Lara King

Lara King

Lara King is online editor of Spectator Life and production editor of The Spectator.

Pay and dismay: the nightmare of ‘smart’ parking apps

In Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson bemoaned the ‘wilfully unhelpful’ ticket machines in car parks: ‘You go hunting for some distant pay-and-display machine, which doesn’t make change or accept any coin introduced since 1976, and wait on an old guy who likes to read all the instructions before committing himself and then tries

How to treat your dog to afternoon tea

We’re in the elegant 1820s parlour of a five-star, Grade II-listed hotel. There’s music playing softly, and opposite us, one particularly well-groomed guest is wearing a bowtie.  A three-tier cake stand is brought to the table. On the top tier sits a selection of homemade biscuits and a fluffy cupcake finished with a swirl of

The snobbery of ‘staycations’

Last summer, when Covid forced the cancellation of our holiday, my husband and I had a staycation. We read books, played games, drank Pimm’s on our patio and invented ever more imaginative ways to avoid our DIY to-do list. Each morning brought the usual bills and junk mail to our door rather than a hotel

The Sarah Everard case has shown how frightened women really are

Muggers don’t carry umbrellas. Murderers don’t carry briefcases. Kidnappers don’t carry Tesco bags. These are the sorts of utterly illogical things I have been known to tell myself on a ten-minute walk home from the Tube station in the dark (past well-lit houses, on familiar roads, in a ‘nice’ part of London) as I try

The political power of America’s First Dogs

From the moment Donald Trump’s presidency began, he was lacking something. But Joe Biden is about to make up for it — twice over. Trump was the first president in more than a century not to have a dog in the White House. Biden’s German shepherds Champ, 12, and two-year-old Major will be filling the

The politics of handbags

‘Of course, I am obstinate in defending our liberties and our law — that is why I carry a big handbag,’ Margaret Thatcher once told an interviewer. That handbag was part of the Iron Lady’s suit of armour; a fashion accoutrement turned into a political prop. But an accessory that became instantly recognisable on the

Home advantage: not going to school was the making of me

At last, school’s out for summer — although this might be a strange concept for children who have not set foot in a classroom for months. If social media is anything to go by, home-schooling is hell. Since March, the internet has been awash with panicked parents sharing mock timetables with slots for ‘mum quits’