France

High mountains, deep pockets

Courchevel – from pickled cockles to the height of luxury

5 March 2016 9:00 am

The last time I stayed in Courchevel it was in a tatty roadside chalet a long way down the mountain.…

A gastronomic moron’s view of a legendary French brasserie

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Before we left for Sunday lunch at the Les Deux Garçons restaurant, Aix-en-Provence, I checked the reviews on Tripadvisor. I’m…

My afternoon with the French Foreign Legion

20 February 2016 9:00 am

In the Foreign Legion’s Museum of Memory at Aubagne, near Marseilles, I examined the kit, weapons and uniforms from the…

Portrait of the week

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that if Britain left the European Union, France could stop allowing British officials…

The perfect wines to toast the end of the hunting season

13 February 2016 9:00 am

A few years ago, a distinguished cove in the diplomatic service was made High Commissioner to Australia. To prepare himself…

François Hollande’s own personal state of emergency

6 February 2016 9:00 am

The terrorist attacks of 13 November have had an enduring effect on people living in Paris and France’s other big…

‘The Death of Sardanapalus’, 1846, by Eugène Delacroix

Eugene Delacroix foresaw the future of society not just art

23 January 2016 9:00 am

At the Louvre the other day there was a small crowd permanently gathered in front of Delacroix’s ‘Liberty Leading the…

We don’t need research to change banking culture. We need jail sentences

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Was the Financial Conduct Authority leaned on by the Chancellor to scrap its ‘review of banking culture’? Or did it…

Britain is absent from the V&A’s new Europe galleries. Are they trying to tell us something?

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Before cheap flights, trains were the economical way to discover Europe and its foibles. Personally, I enjoyed the old fuss…

Still standing: the Arc de Triomphe

Paris: go while it’s still friendly

2 January 2016 9:00 am

My word, I do like the French! That’s up there with things I thought I’d never say, like ‘Just the…

‘The Birth of Christ’, 1896, by Paul Gauguin

Why would a dissolute rebel like Paul Gauguin paint a nativity?

12 December 2015 9:00 am

A young Polynesian woman lies outstretched on sheets of a soft lemon yellow. She is wrapped in deep blue cloth,…

Glenda Jackson is brilliant in Radio 4’s Zola adaptation - and terrifying

5 December 2015 9:00 am

It was a stroke of genius to invite Glenda Jackson to make her return to acting as the star of…

It is political correctness, not maniacal bigots, that will end civilisation

28 November 2015 9:00 am

What does one do, attend or refuse a party after a tragic event such as the recent Paris outrage? My…

The pretend war: why bombing Isil won't solve the problem

28 November 2015 9:00 am

Not so long ago, David Cameron declared that he was not some ‘naive neocon who thinks you can drop democracy…

Caption: Who is Mary Magdalene exactly?

The GP charged around to my side of the table and roved her hand all over my pubic area

28 November 2015 9:00 am

On Friday morning I was peeing razor blades so I rang up the doctor and was given an appointment after…

France’s civil war — and the struggle facing Europe

21 November 2015 9:00 am

In the wake of the massacre in Paris, President François Hollande said that France was ‘at war’ — and that…

All hail to the Stig’s mum’s Seat Ibiza TDI Sport

21 November 2015 9:00 am

The car: a ’06 rosso red Seat Ibiza 1.9 TDI Sport, bought three weeks ago from a man who had…

Portrait of the week

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Home After the killings in Paris, David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that seven terrorist attacks on Britain had been…

François Hollande hasn’t seized the moment. Marine Le Pen might

21 November 2015 9:00 am

 Paris The terror attacks on Friday have given President François Hollande an opportunity to be statesmanlike, and he has tried…

‘La Mort de Louis XIII’, 1731, by Jean-François de Troy

The strange death of Louis XIV

21 November 2015 9:00 am

At the beginning of the summer of 1715 Louis XIV complained of a pain in the leg. In mid-August gangrene…

How they tried (and failed) to make ‘La Marseillaise’ nicer

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Friendly words England football fans sang ‘La Marseillaise’ in a friendly match at Wembley. The anthem has not always been…

Meet the intellectuals leading France to the right

29 October 2015 9:00 am

When President de Gaulle was asked to authorise the criminal prosecution of Jean-Paul Sartre for civil disobedience during the Algerian…

Heathrow’s third runway could still be halted – here’s how

24 October 2015 9:00 am

The Great British Runway final between Heathrow and Gatwick is beginning to look like a game of two halves. The…

Euroscepticism is growing all over Europe

3 October 2015 9:00 am

Europhiles have warned us for years of the dangers of Britain leaving the EU. But all the while a different…

Merkel’s grandstanding on Syrian refugees will lead to many more deaths at sea

12 September 2015 9:00 am

Of all the irresponsible decisions taken in recent years by European politicians, few will cause as much human misery as…