How to drown your sorrows

20 July 2024 9:00 am

Age. At the Spectator party last week, the editor asked me how long I had been attending the festivity. I…

The key to dealing with this election? Wine

6 July 2024 9:00 am

An old friend phoned. Normally cheerful, he was fed up. One of his business partners was being more than usually…

A lunch good enough to lift Tory spirits

22 June 2024 9:00 am

Things could have been worse. My host was determined to lunch al fresco, and after all it was late June.…

The joy of Portuguese wines

8 June 2024 9:00 am

There was a wonderful old boy called John – Sir John – Wordie, who was a quintessential member of the…

The best bottle to come from the Gigondas

25 May 2024 9:00 am

One needs wine more than ever, yet when imbibing, it can be hard to concentrate. So much is going on.…

How to become an old soak

11 May 2024 9:00 am

Drink and longevity: there seems to have been a successful counter-attack against the puritans, prohibitionists and other health faddists. Indeed,…

The real reason I don’t drink

4 May 2024 9:00 am

It’s been 30 years this month since I last touched alcohol and I still can’t face the prospect of a…

The case for Churchillian drinking

27 April 2024 9:00 am

Churchill. No disrespect to Andrew Roberts’s more recent work, but I set out to look up a point about drink…

The glory of German wines

13 April 2024 9:00 am

I have had three recent conversations, all lively if unrelated – and all well lubricated. The first concerned Anglo-Saxon England…

They call me the ‘problem teetotaller’

21 October 2023 9:00 am

My guts went on strike last July. I was staying in a hotel and I spent several days sprawled on…

Another tragic case involving medical incompetence and cover-up

26 August 2023 9:00 am

John Niven had to fight hard to discover why his suicidal brother was left alone and unmonitored in an Ayrshire hospital, with fatal consequences

In defence of drunken freshers’ weeks

19 August 2023 9:00 am

Students need a drunken freshers’ week

Going for broke

12 August 2023 9:00 am

The founding member of the Small Faces was playing an instrument from the age of six, but was forever haunted by the fear of MS, the inherited disease which eventually killed him

A farewell to alcohol

5 August 2023 9:00 am

Laikipia Some are saved by Jesus and they are sober. For others, drunkenness is as natural as love-making, roasted meat…

Our nanny state holds back Britain’s young

30 April 2023 3:25 am

Clever people often believe that their cleverness gives them the right to control other people. Nowhere is this more manifest than…

Smoking is more hassle than it’s worth

8 October 2022 9:00 am

I gave up smoking one year ago this week, as part of a series of pitiful capitulations to the forces…

Japan's cult of safetyism

29 August 2022 8:19 pm

The Japanese government has launched an initiative to encourage young people to drink more alcohol. Yes, really. The national tax…

Why we drink

26 March 2022 9:00 am

‘I like to have a martini,/ Two at the very most./ After three I’m under the table,/ After four I’m…

The blind spot in the SNP's 'war on drink'

19 August 2021 3:30 pm

Scotland’s grim reputation for abnormally high drug fatalities has become embedded in the public consciousness over the past year. The…

A taste inquisition on Stink Street

29 May 2021 9:00 am

Walking up through the Stink Street medieval arch with a bag of shopping, I spotted Michael between the oleander branches…

In defence of gambling

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Doing good doesn’t always work out as expected. A regular entering his local pub takes pity on an old lady…

My neighbour’s dinner party was a near-death experience

21 November 2020 9:00 am

At dawn, starving, I drove to a commercial laboratory in the town centre where five phials of blood were taken…

The joy of drinking alone

24 October 2020 9:00 am

Thanks to a combination of night-time curfews, social-distancing rules, pubs closing, restaurants failing, the ‘rule of six’ and compulsory mask-wearing,…