Driven by instinct

I first discovered Moravec’s Paradox when watching Brief Encounter on television. I was watching the film with my daughter, who…

30 Nov 2014
Prince’s Lodge at the Connaught hotel

Inside man

Fera, the restaurant that opened at Claridge’s this spring, looks at first glance like a space untouched since the 1930s:…

30 Nov 2014
Big Ben, 1959

Ding Dong!

In the 21st-century world of hand-held infotainment devices which pack more computing power than the space rockets of yore, the…

30 Nov 2014

Patron Saints

The Spanish Steps; the Trevi fountain; the old Cinecittà studios on the outskirts of Rome; 12 galleries of the Uffizi; Tintoretto frescoes…

30 Nov 2014
Vallée de Joux

Cows and clockwork

In a cosy attic above Junod, Lausanne’s oldest watch shop, there’s a museum which charts the story of Switzerland’s obsessive…

30 Nov 2014
Clockwise from top: Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th Tribute to Felix Baumgartner, £6,500; Romain Gauthier 950 Platinum Ruthenium dial, £45,650: Girard Perregaux 1966, £18,850, both available at William & Son

The Wish List

Clockwise from top: Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th Tribute to Felix Baumgartner, £6,500; Romain Gauthier 950 Platinum Ruthenium…

30 Nov 2014
Winner Arnold Schwarzenegger with Tom Parker Bowles and Mehmet Kurt

Smoke ring

The nominees for Spectator Cigar Smoker of the Year 2014 were: Ricky Gervais, Ralph Fiennes, Laurence Fishburne, Boris Becker, Jeremy…

30 Nov 2014
One of the five Jaguar C-X75s ever built.

Batteries Included

Boris, like Churchill, is a fountain of big ideas, some good, some not so good, some plain bonkers. Banning diesel…

20 Sep 2014

Jane Again

It took all of two minutes of deep thought — well, of thought — to answer the question put to…

Crash Course

The question came to me the other week when I read about a youngish graduate in London living in a…

20 Sep 2014

The Wish List

1. Vintage sapphire ring with diamonds in platinum, £POA, Boodles; 2. Sarah Ho collection rose gold ring with a cabochon…

20 Sep 2014

Lovely Squares

There’s a surreal sight at the western entrance to the gardens of St James’s Square these days. An isolated set…

20 Sep 2014

Riot act

Where better for Spectator Life to meet Max Irons, star of The Riot Club, Lone Scherfig’s film loosely based on…

20 Sep 2014
Max Irons as the likeable Miles

Buller Bull

Spoiler alert: the first five minutes of The Riot Club are so dreadful that you’ll wish you hadn’t gone. It…

20 Sep 2014
Madeline Weinrib’s New York loft

Pattern Recognition

I am lucky enough to work at House & Garden, where photographs of houses much more sophisticated than my own…

20 Sep 2014
Gohar Dashti, ‘Today’s Life And War #5’, 2008

Between two worlds

For anyone in the art world, one of the places to be this month is Istanbul, which is fast becoming…

20 Sep 2014

Don’t reach for the stars

‘Meeting Kylie at her intimate gig,’ runs the Mastercard ad. ‘Priceless.’ Wrong: vaguely unfulfilling. And that’s at best. At worst…

20 Sep 2014
Left: Lod floor mosaic, late 3rd century. Centre: plaster bust of Alexander Pope by Louis-François Roubiliac, c. 1760. Right: Jewish embroideries c. 1700

Full house

At the heart of a turreted manor in Buckinghamshire, the young man sits alone, concentrating on building his house of cards.…

21 Jun 2014
Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Belle Fleur

Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s first glimpse of her character in the British film Belle came on a postcard. It was of a…

21 Jun 2014
The Rooftop Film Club on top of the Bussey Building in Peckham

Moving pictures

For a little while in the middle of the last decade, I was proud to be able to call myself…

21 Jun 2014
Peaches Geldof

Peaches and me

One of the first things I told her was that I knew very little of her back story, and Peaches…

21 Jun 2014

Trouble Building

On the first-floor landing of my new house stood Martin the structural engineer, giving an inch-wide crack the sort of…

21 Jun 2014

Perfectly Suited

The last time I had seen Peter Mandelson had been at a dinner given by Evgeny Lebedev. This was at…

21 Jun 2014

Out & About

1. Fera, Mayfair Fera, designed by Guy Oliver, is Claridge’s star vehicle for Michelin-starred Simon Rogan. The name means ‘wild’…

21 Jun 2014

The Wish List

Clockwise from left: Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Titanio, £6,800, Panerai; Grande Seconde SW Acier, £11,600, Jaquet Droz; Annual…

21 Jun 2014

Dancing on the edge

Mikhail Baryshnikov is annoyed with himself. When we meet, it’s at the world premiere of his play The Old Woman,…

30 Mar 2014