How to save Islam from the Islamists

It’s time to reclaim Islam from the Islamists


The battling brilliance of Burgundy

There is only one answer to the question ‘Burgundy or claret?’ ‘Yes, but never in the same glass.’ Yet I…


The eurozone is strong enough to kick out Greece if Syriza wins

Ever since European Central Bank president Mario Draghi declared himself ready, in July 2012, ‘to do whatever it takes to…

Winter Hits Germany

The charming little airport that ruins thousands of holidays

The charming little airport that ruins thousands of skiing holidays

Outsize origami: Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton

Le French bashing has spread to France. Are things really that bad?

The popular sport has spread to France. Are things really that bad, wonders Jonathan Meades


Cognac and the Viking connection in la France profonde

The chestnut trees were still resplendent in yellow leaf along the banks of a misty autumn river on its glide…


Is Nicolas Sarkozy headed back to the Elysée – or to jail?

Destiny is calling Nicolas Sarkozy. But it’s not clear whether he’s heading back to the Elysée – or to jail

Three glamorous guests, 1921

A miracle: French hotels actually like dogs

The first time I checked in to a French hotel with a golden retriever — his name was Gregory, predecessor…

The real French embassy is a restaurant

Semper eadem. There is some basement in a Mayfair street that is forever France. It is not far from the…


Wear a veil if you like – but don’t treat women like that

What sort of clothing do you wear when you go to the opera? I assume some of you do go…

Proof that the Japanese know how to make great Bordeaux

Château Lagrange, a St Julien third growth, has the largest acreage of any Bordeaux classed growth. For much of the…


In praise of the Loire - cradle of civilisation, and wonderful wines

Rivers are the cradles of civilisation and the Loire is an outstanding example. It is one of the head-waters of…


Countries shape character (so get ready to like Scots less)

Is national character real? If so, how is it formed?

Lu Kongjiang, taking part in a ‘bee beard’ competition in Shaoyang, Hunan Province, China, 2011 From In Praise of Bees: A Cabinet of Curiosities by Elizabeth Birchall (Quiller Publishing, £30, pp. 255, ISBN 9781846891922)

Bees make magic: an inspirational case for biodiversity

The importance of biodiversity, a handy concept that embraces diversity of eco-systems, species, genes and molecules, has been promoted for…

Head of the French Socialist party Jean-Christophe Cambadelis Photo: Getty

Rona Fairhead will be good for the BBC – but who was so keen to nobble her rival?

Hats off to Rona Fairhead, the former Financial Times executive who will succeed Lord Patten as chairman of the BBC…

Spectator letters: Indian soldiers in the first world war, public relations PR, and why Nineteen Eighty-Four?

Placing refugees Sir: Tony Abbott seems to have fooled The Spectator. Your editorial (23 August) gives plaudits to the Australian…

Martyr village of Oradour-sur-Glane Photo: AFP/Getty

Andrew Marr’s diary: Seeing shadows of Syria in Limousin’s ghost village

No, no, no, you don’t want a house abroad — the paperwork, the taxes, the piping, the cost of the…

Spectator letters: Indian soldiers, wigs, PR and 1984

We do remember them Sir: I applaud Tazi Husain’s defence of the role played by Baroness Warsi at Westminster Abbey…

Mario Draghi Photo: Getty

Europe's leaders worship Mario Draghi. They should listen to him instead

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi secured a place in history by his demonstration, on 26 July 2012, of the…


It’s not just left-wingers who think the bosses’ pay boom is unhealthy

The FTSE100 index stands precisely where it did in the first week of December 1999. Whichever way you look at…


Why a City job should be graduates’ last resort

August is the season for conversation about career choices. Every holiday party seems to include new graduates or next year’s…

Centricas new boss: Iain Conn Photo: Getty

The man who could sell the British public on fracking

Iain Conn, who will succeed Sam Laidlaw as chief executive of Centrica, would have been a dead cert for the…


A world crisis with no world leader

No one wants to pay the price of speaking for the free world

Photo: Alex Kouprianoff

How Napoleon won at Waterloo

If you visit Waterloo today, there’s no question which general comes out on top

A meeting between the Vichy and Nazi chiefs, 1941 Photo: Popperfoto/Getty

The cold, remote plateau of Vichy France where good was done

It is with a heavy heart that I pick up anything to do with the Holocaust. Not because it’s wearisome…