Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell is The Spectator’s social media assistant.

Spanish food is deliciously obsessed with death

The moral absolutist in me believes that in every city, with its finite number of restaurants, there is such a thing as the best of all possible lunches. I don’t have to find it, but I have to get close. Mediocre doesn’t cut it. In fact, on holiday, the idea of wasting a meal on

Biden’s social media needs a refresh

Joe Biden has a cold. That was the desperate message sent out by sources close to the president halfway through Thursday night’s painful debate. Biden’s sick-note recalls the first televised debate in 1960, when the incumbent vice president and Republican nominee Richard Nixon, recently hospitalised and still recovering from a staph infection, appeared pale and sickly

Real Americans drink and drive

Prius owners are always demanding more legislation against drink driving, but an advantage of living in America is that if you are too trashed to drive home, your 15-year-old kid can pick you up from the bar. The only problem with this is that we Americans love reckless driving too much to let anyone else

Will my generation still remember D-Day?

In the town of Sainte-Mère-Église, just inland of Utah Beach on the coast of Normandy, a crowd had gathered before an outdoor projector to watch the British, French and American heads of state pay respects to those who served and the thousands who gave their lives on D-Day. While the dancing and drinking and celebration

Botswana’s President: elephant hunting isn’t cruel, it’s necessary

Last month, Botswana’s Minister for Environment and Tourism Dumezweni Mthimkhulu threatened to send 10,000 elephants to Hyde Park. This week, Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi went a step further and suggested sending 20,000 elephants to Germany. These are strange and not entirely plausible threats, yet they reflect the frustration that Botswanan politicians feel over

Celibacy isn’t chic

Abstinence doesn’t typically come to mind when one thinks of Valentine’s Day. But this year it coincides with Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, when we traditionally give something up. (Bear in mind that Christianity recognises a very gruesome torture and death as the ultimate gesture of love. For us, a little bit of

Carbon capture: how China cornered the green market

30 min listen

On the podcast: In her cover piece for the magazine, The Spectator’s assistant editor Cindy Yu – writing ahead of the COP28 summit this weekend – describes how China has cornered the renewables market. She joins the podcast alongside Akshat Rathi, senior climate reporter for Bloomberg and author of Climate Capitalism: Winning the Global Race to Zero Emissions, to investigate China’s

Can I stay in Britain?

Brexit Britain, for all its flaws, has been welcoming to me. When the UK was a member of the European Union, the only way to control immigration was to crack down on non-EU visas. Ten years ago, Americans like me who studied in Britain and wanted to stay needed to earn £35,000 a year (which

Sofia Coppola made girls sad

When Cecilia Lisbon, the youngest of the five Lisbon daughters in Sofia Coppola’s film The Virgin Suicides, winds up in the hospital having survived an attempt on her own life, the doctor tells her: ‘You’re not even old enough to know how bad life gets.’ ‘Obviously, doctor,’ Cecilia replies, ‘you’ve never been a 13-year-old girl.’

Leave my pumpkin spice latte alone

It didn’t matter that it was 33˚C. Starbucks staff across Britain spent the beginning of September putting out pumpkin-themed menus, selling customers pumpkin spice lattes in pumpkin-shaped mugs, to be drunk alongside a slice of pumpkin-flavoured loaf cakes, a pumpkin seed cookie, or a brownie cut into pumpkin shapes and frosted in hazardously orange icing.

Is Scottish reeling the route to romance?

‘Remember to flirt outrageously.’ This essential piece of advice is imparted courtesy of Country and Town House magazine for its readers curious about Scottish reeling. The reel, a social folk dance, dates back to 16th-century Scotland and has remained popular for all this time, notwithstanding a brief hiatus in the 17th century when the Scots

Why religious art is as relevant as ever

In the heart of Shoreditch, a handful of arts students have strayed from their typical east London mould. Those who study at the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts are taught, through research and the practice of traditional arts and crafts, to ‘experience the beauty of the order of nature – a spiritual, sacred beauty,

Are surgical museums such as the Hunterian doomed?

I have a soft spot for specimen jars and skeletal remains. Museums of natural history, surgical pioneering or anthropological oddities have always struck me as equally suitable for lunch breaks and first dates as for serious study and research. As far as public and casually accessible encounters with mortality go, these kinds of museums are

The sex appeal of lobsters

The night before I moved a pet lobster into my flat, I ate agnolotti all’ aragosta for dinner. It was possible that my soon-to-be companion, Snips McGee – who I inherited from a friend – would outlive me (the oldest lobster on record was estimated to be 140 years old) and I wanted one last