Zoe Strimpel

London’s best restaurants for British food

There was a moment, about 20 years ago, when Londoners began to realise, and then boast about, the transformation in our food scene. No longer deserving of mockery compared to other global centres, our restaurants were suddenly producing delicious food every bit (well, almost) as good as that associated with the likes of New York.

Swindled daters aren’t the only ones cynical about Tinder

Elliot, 28: ‘My greatest achievements in life are: drinking a bottle of Listerine in 10 seconds, beating my laptop at chess on easy difficult and surviving till the age of 28’.  Frank, 40: ‘Professional career, into extreme sports and stay fit, yet also enjoy the finer things in life like diner [sic] and a glass

Most-read 2021: The Netflix generation has lost its grip on history

We’re closing the year by republishing our ten most popular articles in 2021. Here’s number four: Zoe Strimpel writing in February about how popular portrayals of the past are being changed to fit the present.  The first thing you notice about Bridgerton, Netflix’s big winter blockbuster set in Regency England, is how bad it is:

The capital’s finest cocktail bars

We have finally arrived in the roaring 20s and the urge to drink ­­– after the year and a half we’ve been through – is strong. Lockdown provided ample opportunity to neck wine in the monotonous comfort of one’s own home, so the mood now is firmly for tipples in luxurious, and crucially, public indoor

How to spend 48 hours in New York

Armed with a US passport, I fly to New York for just two days to interview John McWhorter, an African American professor of linguistics at Columbia University. He is America’s fast-rising star of the anti-woke movement and I am there to talk to him about his brave and funny new book, Woke Racism. I zip

Where to dine in Hackney

Hackney’s rise in the 2000s from dangerous and affordable to cool, cooler and coolest eventually made it a kind of Chelsea of east London, with the expensive housing – house prices have grown 281 per cent between 2001 – and glamorous dining establishments to match. It may have become a magnet for Fullham exiles but

Why Venice and little-known Trieste are the perfect holiday pairing

Italy’s relaxation of its travel restrictions for double-vaccinated Brits has many of us eyeing up the options for an autumn getaway. And why not? Come September, cities like Venice are no longer tourist traps (Dolce & Gabbana fashion shows aside) and yet the balmy weather remains. Many visitors head to Italy for Venice alone but they

London’s best Indian restaurants

One of the great sorrows of the pandemic has been India. Its own harrowing experience of the virus has been dreadful to see. And less importantly but still poignantly, India’s disappearance from the list of possible destinations for travel for the foreseeable future has created a sense of morose yearning among those itching to get back.

Mesmerising and monstrous: @zola reviewed

The distinction between on and offline life blurred long ago. The greatest spats, sexual self-fashionings and mad soliloquies now unfurl on social media. The splenetic rhythms and fundamental shallowness of this medium make it a questionable source for art, but Janicza Bravo’s @zola — the first film ever released based entirely on a series of

Armie Hammer and Hollywood’s new moral code

I am always irritated by film versions of classic novels, especially when I’ve recently read them. I needn’t have worried about Death on the Nile. Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie adaptation, already subject to no fewer than six delays, has been pushed back yet again to the first quarter of 2022. By the time it comes

Why aren’t we teaching women self-defence?

Women all know that queasy shock of hyper-awareness when a man on the street or the Tube or bus begins to behave in a threatening way. It is a moment in which an action plan is hatched and, in the vast majority of cases, that action plan is to try and disappear. Walk, do not

Clubhouse left me with one question: why am I here?

For my 13th birthday in 1995 I requested — and got — my own ‘line’. This meant that I could jabber all night without taking the phone out of service for everyone else. Getting your own line was a rite of passage for teenage girls in America back then, and everybody just sighed and let

Bumble’s ‘feminism’ is half-baked

In 1965, a trio of Harvard undergraduates launched Operation Match, a computer dating service for horny undergraduates at New England’s single-sex colleges. A journalist for Look Magazine came to cover the sensation. ‘Call it dating, call it mating, it flashed out of the minds of …Harvard undergraduates who plotted Operation Match, the dig-it dating system

The Netflix generation has lost its grip on history

The first thing you notice about Bridgerton, Netflix’s big winter blockbuster set in Regency England, is how bad it is: an expensive assemblage of clichés that smacks of the American’s-eye view of Britain’s aristocratic past. The dialogue is execrable, the ladies’ pouts infuriating. But bad things can be good, especially when it comes to sexy

Black Lives Matter’s anti-Semitism blind spot

Charles Dickens was not a nice man. He was horrid to his family, remarking on the birth of one of his sons that ‘on the whole I could have dispensed with him.’ When he fell in love with Ellen Ternan, an actress 27 years his junior, he threw his long-suffering wife out, and sent her

Bad romance | 7 February 2019

I interviewed a prominent 1970s women’s liberationist recently and ended up discussing the sexual culture of her political heyday. ‘Everyone was sleeping with everyone,’ she said. ‘You had to have a good reason not to sleep with someone.’ I felt a stab of envy, a sharpened version of what I feel browsing black-and-white snaps from

Great expectations | 12 April 2018

In a 1974 interview celebrating the quarter century since the publication of her classic The Second Sex (1949), Simone de Beauvoir recalled a eureka moment in which she saw that ‘to change the value system of society was to destroy the concept of motherhood’. That ‘value system of society’ rested on what she saw as