Mark Palmer

Why Tuscany always beats Provence for me

14 December 2019 9:00 am

A family of peacocks is sunning itself in our villa garden. They all look extraordinarily happy and composed, especially the…

Top flight: A plane lands at London City Airport

The joy of flying from London City Airport

27 July 2019 9:00 am

The late Frank Johnson — former editor of The Spectator — had a thing about London City Airport. ‘I never…

The end is nigh: the rise of middle-class apocalypticism

29 June 2019 9:00 am

There’s a lot of anger about — and it’s not pleasant. But at least it means people are engaged as…


The problem with TV? There’s too much to watch – and it’s all too good

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Friends in Herefordshire said they were both fit and well but confessed to ‘watching far too much television’. I thought…

The Linz skyline

Tuning up to Linz

5 January 2019 9:00 am

You never know who you might meet on a river cruise. It was my 89-year-old father-in-law, Noel, who first recognised…

Homelessness isn’t a government priority. It should be

1 December 2018 9:00 am

King’s Cross station at 10.30 p.m. is not a happy place. Most commuters have long returned to their centrally heated…

Everything always tastes so much better in a car

The guilty pleasure of the McDonald’s drive-thru

10 November 2018 9:00 am

My wife and I have a set routine after landing back at Gatwick. We collect our bags, clear customs and…

Durban Notebook: a nation in paralysis

20 October 2018 9:00 am

No one likes uncertainty and in Britain we’ve got more than our fair share. But spare a thought for South…

Putin’s World Cup is the most political tournament ever

26 May 2018 9:00 am

Politics and sport should never mix is the hoary old chestnut — but they always do. It’s a thrilling concoction.…

Good grief: Death isn’t something you just get over

5 May 2018 9:00 am

Just over a year ago, my best friend dropped dead. He was in his early sixties and many of us…

No strings: padel is played with a solid racquet

Padel power! But will this crazy new sport ever be a hit?

20 January 2018 9:00 am

When we arrived, we discovered that our villa had a padel court. Few of us had seen one before and…

Low spirits

7 October 2017 9:00 am

You may have noticed that we’re in the throes of a 21st-century Gin Craze. It’s not as serious as the…

Would you prefer useless or expensive? The truth about tooth-whitening

9 April 2016 9:00 am

Ruby Wax makes the point (repeatedly but it still gets a laugh) that the British discovered the practice of brushing…

Banish the canapé and give me a cocktail sausage!

2 January 2016 9:00 am

Even the name is pretentious. And something of a misnomer, too. After all, a canapé comes from the French word…

On song: Bob Dylan performs at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in 2011; photographers are banned on his current tour

Never again, I told myself last time Bob Dylan was in town

29 October 2015 9:00 am

We were like four hapless contestants on University Challenge. None of us knew the answer. But just like they do…

Palaces and alleyways: Stone Town

The wonders of Zanzibar’s Stone Town

17 October 2015 9:00 am

Zanzibar has become a honeypot for honeymooners — with good reason. This exotic island is a mere six degrees south…

Bring back the bungalow!

17 October 2015 8:00 am

Sheila Pugh is 91 and in good health. She lives on her own in Congleton, Cheshire, where she takes pleasure…

Mario Balotelli (Photo: Jamie McDonald/Getty)

I've loved football for decades. Now I dread the start of the season

8 August 2015 9:00 am

What a terrific summer of sport it’s been: a wonderful Wimbledon, a rollicking Royal Ascot, an absorbing Ashes series that…

Letter from Cuba: The tourists are coming – but don’t expect Walmart just yet

4 April 2015 9:00 am

Sloppy Joe’s — which starred in the film of Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana — was always likely to…

Why I'm proud to have an England flag on my Audi

14 June 2014 8:00 am

World Cup fever has arrived. Every morning on the way to work, more little plastic flags of St George flutter…

View of Antibes

My mother's passport to the Antibes good life

3 May 2014 9:00 am

My mother always said she wanted to ‘die tidy’. But I never imagined she would file everything away quite so…

Warning: upspeak can wreck your career

15 February 2014 9:00 am

A few weeks ago, I accompanied my daughter to an Open Day at Roehampton College, where she is hoping to…