The two ways of Christmas

A SEASON FOR FAMILIES Toby Young Christmas is a bit like Marmite: you either love it or hate it. But…

Fit to Party

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

Rare Opportunity

What the hell are you talking about?These 17 chemical elements, with names such as neodymium, dysprosium and europium, are used…

Don’t call it Junk

How long would you queue for a hotdog? You must answer this question if you are planning to go to…

Zen and the Art of Scotch

Miranda Grant is enthusiastic about whisky. At last December’s whisky auction in Edinburgh, a bottle of 55-year-old Glenfiddich was sold…

A series of tubes: Google’s data centre in Douglas County, Georgia — one of eight in the US, Finland and Belgium

The Dirty Internet

Every revolution has its dissenters. And the more interesting the revolution, the more strident the dissent. More than 150 years…

William Welstead

I’ve known William Welstead ever since he started out as a jeweller about 15 years ago. He’d become interested in…

Bang for your Bucks

‘Do you shoot much’ asked Edward Walters, manager of the West London Shooting School (1901), the oldest shooting school in…

Cake Expectations

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

Party Time

‘What happens at Fight Club stays at Fight Club,’ said Brad Pitt to Edward Norton in the cult movie. The same closed-door…

A Barista’s Pupil

It was my idea to do a two-hour course of barista training. I was keen to learn how to finish…

Diner’s delight: Jeremy King and Chris Corbin

Chelsea Boys

During my teenage years, as a schoolgirl in Belgravia, my friends and I loved Oriel. The imperfect but glorious French…

An Island of One’s own

Every August, my family and I leave the city and head for our private island. There we spend much of…

Hannah Peel

Hannah Peel is a northern irish singer songwriter. She is listed under ‘alternative’. She describes her music as ‘wonky folk-pop’.…

Polo, Anyone?

There’s a moment when the day turns. The sun has gone down, the clonk of mallet on ball has fallen…

Cheaper by the Glass

The gavel struck the block. ‘Sold,’ said the auctioneer, ‘for £40,250.’ The date was Wednesday 8 February, 2012; the place…

Capital Gains

What’s happening with house prices in London?That depends what you mean by London. Last year prices in the best areas…

Less Muck, more Brass

Staying near Zutphen, Holland, recently, I came across a remarkably untidy Dutch farmer. With his ripped silage bags and rusty…

Painting by George Condo at the Arts Club.

Members only

Discretion. It’s what private members’ clubs are all about. And money. As a gossip columnist, I don’t have much of…

Chris Lilley

The first thing I like about Chris Lilley is his name. He’s not a Jimmy, or a Billy, or even…

Sold!

Everyone should have a hobby. It might be golf, stamp-collecting, painting, building model aircraft or beekeeping. Mine is auctioneering. I…

Golden Rules

Surely everyone holds gold by now? Strangely, they don’t. The price has gone from $250 an ounce to $1,700 an…

Louise Mensch, Tory MP for Corby andEast Northamptonshire, in a photshoot for GQ

Pretty Party

When I was at Oxford no one — as in no one who was anyone — would have dreamt of…

The Canaletto painting above is in London for the first time in 250 years as part of Royal River: Power, Pageantry & the Thames, an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, curated by David Starkey (27 April-9 September)

Send her Victorious

‘We need a theme,’ said one of the ladies at our first town meeting to discuss how we should celebrate…

The Unwhippables

On the night of the great Tory rebellion over Europe, David Cameron had good reason to think that Zac Goldsmith…