Drink

Found in a friend’s cellar — the wines of a lifetime

16 December 2017 9:00 am

In longevity, great wine can march with human life. Creating (better still, maintaining) a fine cellar really is a compact…

Glad tidings from a parish in Burgundy

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Advent: I am sure that all readers deplore the vulgarly commercial aspects of the pre-Christmas season as much as I…

Gender comes in fluid form

18 November 2017 9:00 am

I have lost faith in British boyhood. In mixed schools, young males have failed to seize an opportunity that previous…

We discussed wine, horses and painting at Franco’s in Jermyn Street

4 November 2017 9:00 am

An artist ought to draw on broad human sympathies and an intense commitment to his craft. In both respects, Charles…

A Dutch treat from Bordeaux

21 October 2017 9:00 am

In 1995, a young Dutchman completed an MBA. Banking beckoned. An internship was arranged. But Alexander van Beek thought that…

The pride of Australia

5 October 2017 2:00 pm

When she graduated from university in Australia, Sarah Crowe decided to travel. So she sold her car, raised whatever other…

All’s fair in love and Waugh

23 September 2017 9:00 am

I was reminded of Wild West films from boyhood. Then, the beleaguered garrison scanned the horizon; would the US cavalry…

Thank Evans for good wine

9 September 2017 9:00 am

There was an entirely forgotten leftist called Allen Ginsberg, a so-called beat poet (surely an oxymoron) who once produced a…

The countryside’s eternal youth

26 August 2017 9:00 am

I once witnessed a rarer spectacle than Halley’s Comet. I heard Ted Heath tell a funny story. It related to…

The romantic king of clubs

12 August 2017 9:00 am

We were discussing romanticism, with me arguing that it should be confined to the boudoir, the bedroom, the library or…

My beef with David Cameron

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Insufficient attention has been paid to the history of naughty girls, who deployed allure to prosper in a male-dominated world.…

I nourish my dream of a fat pill

15 July 2017 9:00 am

As good conversation should, the talk meandered from the serious to the playful. One of the serious topics was overseas…

A toast to the new Scottish dawn

1 July 2017 9:00 am

‘Stands Scotland where it did?’ As the bottles circulated, we were able to answer Macduff’s question in much more optimistic…

Uncorking the past

17 June 2017 9:00 am

I have been thinking about the Dark Ages. This has nothing to do with Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn. A…

Rosé-tinted glasses

3 June 2017 9:00 am

It was a typical bank holiday. Usual English weather: glorious, until you leave home without a brolly. Then fickleness supervenes…

French fancies

20 May 2017 9:00 am

‘That sweet enemy, France.’ It takes a poet to summarise centuries of military and diplomatic history. On a prosaic level,…

A very British bildung

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Over the long weekend I read a couple of bildungs-romans; one a revisit after many years, the other a recent…

A glimmer of hope

22 April 2017 9:00 am

I argued that it was unnecessary to have made sacrifices during Lent in order to celebrate its conclusion. It is…

A toast to unsung heroes

8 April 2017 9:00 am

We were talking about war, the desert and God. In the early Seventies, one of our number, Christopher James, had…

The fall of Paris

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Paris used to be the most self-confident city in the world. Brash, assertive, boastful: Manhattan claimed to be the best.…

A vintage that tastes of Old Possum

11 March 2017 9:00 am

Eliot. After 50 years trying to make sense of his verse, and at the risk of admitting to rampant philistinism,…

A vintage that tastes of Old Possum

9 March 2017 3:00 pm

Eliot. After 50 years trying to make sense of his verse, and at the risk of admitting to rampant philistinism,…

Cats and clarets

23 February 2017 3:00 pm

Call me a sentimental old whatever, but watching a four-year old hearing The Tale of Samuel Whiskers for the first…

Cats and clarets

23 February 2017 3:00 pm

Call me a sentimental old whatever, but watching a four-year old hearing The Tale of Samuel Whiskers for the first…

Bloody Marys and glorious Jean

11 February 2017 9:00 am

To the Western Isles, or at least to its embassy in Belgravia. Boisdale restaurant always claims to be extra-territorial. There…