Melanie McDonagh is a leaderwriter for the Evening Standard and Spectator contributor. Irish, living in London.

What children should read

The other day I found my Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes and, whoosh, I was back in my five-year-old self

3 Sep 2020

The heartening boom in handwriting

If there’s one upside to lockdown, it’s our return to pen and paper.

11 May 2020

The best films about faith to watch this Easter

Forget the biblical epics – it’s the unexpected portrayals of faith that often prove most poignant on film.

9 Apr 2020

A foodie’s guide to a traditional Halloween

Forget trick or treating for sweets and instead eat apples, nuts, Irish Barm Brack and Boxty for a traditional Halloween

30 Oct 2019

Why millennials are drinking fine tea

Across the generations, Britain is forgoing its historic love of the tea bag for teas of a finer variety

28 Jun 2019

The return of the pilgrimage: walking from Canterbury to Rome

The Via Francigena and Spain’s Camino are attracting growing numbers of modern pilgrims

8 May 2019

The perfect pairing: fine tea is the new wine

Forget builder’s with milk and sugar, now it’s all about blue, white and green tea and what you eat with it

19 Sep 2018

How we fell out of love with fruit cake

In our over-sugared times, traditional fruit cakes are being ditched in favour of sickly-sweet sponges

29 Mar 2018

The ultimate guide to Christmas chocolate

We asked one of London’s finest chocolatiers to review high-street Christmas chocolate.

19 Dec 2017

Auf wiedersehen, Blue Nun: Brits have rediscovered the joy of quality German wine

The current popularity of German wine is picking up where British drinkers left off a century ago

20 Oct 2017
French President Emmanuel Macron visiting Amiens during the election campaign

Amiens: The city that made Macron

The French president’s quiet hometown is a wonderful destination for a weekend break

2 Jun 2017

Did Cadbury turn Easter into an orgy of chocolate?

Chocolate is pretty much all the Resurrection of Christ means for lots of Brits

4 Apr 2017

Dry January is finally over. Let’s ditch it for good next year

The winter months are the time to be compensating for the weather with red wine and spirits

30 Jan 2017

London’s best Christmas afternoon teas

Six of the capital’s most indulgent festive teas

15 Dec 2016

Theresa May’s recipes embrace margarine and the Middle East. What’s not to like?

She covers all the ground on the culinary-political front

4 Oct 2016

The French don’t need British jam

The art of jam making is known to every European culture

3 Oct 2016

The Sunday roast is dying – and the Tories are to blame

Mrs Thatcher introduced the first bill to allow for Sunday trading in 1986; then the change ultimately happened under John Major.

22 Aug 2016

Cake expectations: A guide to afternoon tea

It’s one of the great English contributions to civilisation, this mid-afternoon break for tea and cake.

9 Aug 2016

Theresa May’s Ottolenghi revelation is gobsmacking

Forget footwear. The most telling thing about Theresa May, as suggested in interview with Robert Peston, is her cookbook collection…

5 Jul 2016

Even Lord Winston has seemed confused about mitochondrial transfer

One expert who sounded off to great effect in the run-up to yesterday’s vote on three parent babies was Robert…

4 Feb 2015

There’s an ethical debate to be had about ‘three-parent babies’ but nobody seems keen

There doesn’t seem much doubt about which way the Commons vote today on ‘three-parent babies’ will go, does there? A combination…

2 Feb 2015

The horrid, helpful egg-freezing scheme at Facebook and Apple

Was the chief operating officer of Facebook, one Sheryl Sandberg, involved, do you reckon, in the company’s exciting invitation to…

16 Oct 2014

Fit to Party

We all know about detoxing, right? Old-style detoxing is about laying off the toxins after the party season; the pretox…

1 Dec 2012

Cake Expectations

Afternoon tea used to be a fairly sedate affair, where you knew pretty well what you’d get on your cake…

22 Sep 2012