Lara Prendergast

Lara Prendergast

Lara Prendergast is executive editor of The Spectator. She hosts two Spectator podcasts, The Edition and Table Talk, and edits The Spectator’s food and drink coverage.

The abortion debate returns

I don’t like talking about abortion and so rarely do. I have never written about it before. I am uncomfortable doing so here. It feels trite even to rehearse some of the debate. Can you simultaneously believe in a woman’s right to autonomy over her body and a baby’s right to life? Can you decide

Skiing without the crowds? Go to Japan

When trying to imagine what it would be like to ski in Japan, I pictured a minimalist ski resort. I saw chic local skiers in monochrome outfits elegantly swishing down the slopes, before stopping for sushi and ramen. I assumed revellers would drink whisky, sake and beer in the evenings, although perhaps not to quite

The day my self-defence classes paid off

Marlborough College has developed something of a reputation for churning out wives for the great and the good. It is wrong, though, to assume the place operates like a ‘girls in pearls’ finishing school, where everyone practises their deportment or learns how to arrange flowers, while waiting for their prince to arrive. Instead, Marlborough girls

Beauty tips every man should know

British men are getting into ‘beauty’. ‘Now it’s men’s turn to hog the bathroom,’ reports the Times, as spending increases 77 per cent year on year. Beauty industry types argue that all men should want to look more groomed, even Anglo-Saxons. What’s wrong with some light fluffing up here, a bit of patching up there?

The unfashionable truth about motherhood

At The Spectator’s Parliamentarian of the Year awards, ‘Speech of the year’ went to Theo Clarke MP for her account to the House of Commons of the birth trauma which almost killed her. Credit to her, of course, for confronting her pain. But childbirth and early motherhood has always been traumatic and difficult. What has

Meet Millennial Millie, the new swing voter

An election looms and political parties are already talking ‘voter demographics’. Every few years, the wonks of Westminster pick a social stereotype and decide it represents a crucial group of swing voters. We’ve had Mondeo Man, Waitrose Woman and Pebbledash Person. Who will it be in 2024? It could be Deano, a snooty term used

Is milk racist?

I was tired when I went to see Milk at the Wellcome Collection, having been up for much of the night feeding my baby. In European and Christian imagery, one sign said, ‘a lactating woman often represents fertility, charity and abundance’, but I was not feeling full of the milk of human kindness. Nor was

The beauty of the Easter lily

The Easter lily, or Lilium longiflorum, grows from a bulb buried underground to bear white, trumpeting flowers which face outwards and smell divine. One doesn’t need to be an expert in semiotics to see why it came to be associated with the resurrection. In Christian tradition, lilies were said to have grown in the garden

In defence of hot baths

I admire stout oldies who, even in good times, refuse to put the heating on unless it’s absolutely necessary. They can’t under-stand why we younger, healthier people are fussing over our energy consumption right now. Do we not know there’s a war on? Even the boomers appear to be making a token effort: stoking their

How Carrie helped blow it for Boris

Of course it is sexist to blame the woman. But, in the case of Carrie Johnson, it cannot be said that she has helped her husband’s cause all that much. Looking back on the scandals that engulfed his government, she was often heavily involved in them, even if she disliked people pointing that out. No.

Beware the sex party bores

You know you’re getting old when your friends start going to sex parties. In our twenties, there were parties, and sometimes people would have sex at them. But they were never known as sex parties. Now we are firmly in our thirties, the phrase ‘sex party’ is creeping into everyday conversations alongside mortgage rates, nursery

The finest hotels in Marrakesh

British travellers have found solace in Marrakesh for many years. In early February, I visited the city and happened to be on the first flight out of the UK to Morocco after travel restrictions were lifted. The plane was full of all sorts of characters – old hippy types desperate to feel the thrill of

The enduring appeal of school name tapes

I hadn’t thought about Cash’s name tapes for many years. My mother used to sew them into clothes I planned to take to school. Occasionally I find one in a sock or a threadbare T-shirt and feel wistful for the years past. My name tapes were white, with a navy, serif typeface. The other day,

The London hotels that make you feel like you’re abroad

Travel abroad is now possible, but is less fun than it was. There’s the litany of Covid paperwork. Tests must be ordered from companies with odd-sounding names that seem always to end with an ‘X’. Once abroad, there is the constant worry that you may test positive for the dreaded virus and find yourself banged

Lara Prendergast

The curious rise of cottagecore

Cottagecore, not to be confused with cottaging, is an aspirational lifestyle trend. The word is relatively new —although you’ll find it used all over TikTok — but the idea isn’t. If you have ever dreamt of leaving behind the urban sprawl for something more bucolic, or donned a cheesecloth dress and flower crown in the