Knockout lemon sorbet: Gelateria Bonaparte

Napoleon's birthplace feels more Italian than French

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Napoleon’s birthplace, Casa Buona-parte, in Ajaccio, Corsica’s capital, is pretty grand. It has high ceilings, generous, silk-lined rooms and a…

Michael Palin performs on the closing night of 'Monty Python Live (Mostly)'

The hell of being Michael Palin

4 October 2014 9:00 am

In these diaries, which I found excellent in a very specific way, Michael Palin tells us about his life between…

Nature comes first: Lower Mill Estate

On safari in Gloucestershire

9 August 2014 9:00 am

The heat was still sweltering as we headed off at dusk towards the hide to watch wildlife with our enthusiastic…


Four gadgets to take on holiday — and two to leave behind

2 August 2014 9:00 am

One inarguably good thing about electronic publishing is that it solves that old quandary about what books to pack for…

St Enodoc Church overlooking St Enodoc golf course and the sea beyond, Rock, Cornwall. John Betjeman lies buried in the graveyard

The ultimate guide to Cornwall

19 July 2014 9:00 am

Before writing this review I spent an hour looking for my original Pevsner paperback on Cornwall, published in 1951 (the…

Lake Lucerne Photo: Davide Seddo/Getty

The nervous passenger who became one of our great travel writers

12 July 2014 9:00 am

Sybille Bedford all her life was a keen and courageous traveller. Restless, curious, intellectually alert, she was always ready to…

Colonel James Tod, travelling by elephant through Rajasthan with his cavalry and sepoys (Indian school, 18th century)

From Scylax to the Beatles: the West's lust for India

7 June 2014 9:00 am

Peter Parker on the age-old allure of the Indian subcontinent

John Burnside Photo: Getty

My desert island poet

31 May 2014 9:00 am

If I had to be marooned on a desert island with a stranger, that stranger would be John Burnside. Not…


The gilded generation - why the young have never had it so good

10 May 2014 9:00 am

The statistics speak for themselves. Today’s gilded generation is the most blessed that ever lived


A secret from my African childhood has become a deeper mystery

22 February 2014 9:00 am

About 55 years ago, when I was about ten, my younger brother Roger and I discovered a slave pit in…

The Edith Maersk in the Suez Canal, October 2012

What seamen fear more than Somali pirates

1 February 2014 9:00 am

If a time traveller were to arrive in our world from, say, 1514 — a neat half-millennium away — what…


Clarissa Tan's Notebook: Why I stopped drinking petrol

25 January 2014 9:00 am

Florence was in fog the day I arrived. Its buildings were bathed in white cloud, its people moved as though…


The Navigators

11 January 2014 9:00 am

The 2014 winner of The Spectator’s award for unconventional travel writing

Woolley Grange

Tanya Gold: Child-friendly, sex-free, nut-heavy – just the hotel for my 40th birthday

11 January 2014 9:00 am

Woolley Grange is a child-friendly country house hotel that seems, at first, entirely monstrous — a grey Tudor house in…

American beat poet Allen Ginsberg Photo: Getty

American Smoke, by Iain Sinclair - review

23 November 2013 9:00 am

If you have read Iain Sinclair’s books you will know that he is a stylist with a love of language.…

W H Auden (Photo: H V Drees/Getty Images)

What would Auden have deemed evil in our time? European jingoism

9 November 2013 9:00 am

‘Goodbye to the Mezzogiorno’ was the first Auden poem that Alexander McCall Smith read in his youth. He discovered it…

Wall-painting in San Isidoro of a shepherd

Christopher Howse takes the slow train in Spain — and writes a classic

2 November 2013 9:00 am

This is probably not a book for those whose interest in Spain gravitates towards such contemporary phenomena as the films…

Ullswater towards Helvellyn, where Wordsworth wandered lonely as a cloud

England’s 100 best Views, by Simon Jenkins - review

5 October 2013 9:00 am

Sam Leith is transported by the finest scenery in England

Ruin near Kelso, Mojave Desert, California

Walking in Ruins, by Geoff Nicholson - review

5 October 2013 9:00 am

Geoff Nicholson is the Maharajah of Melancholy. The quality was there in his novels, it was there in his non-fiction…

Move Along, Please, by Mark Mason - review

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Mrs Thatcher was widely believed to have said that ‘any man over the age of 26 who finds himself on…

Outdoor Umbrellas

Jeremy Clarke: The day I walked into a postcard

31 August 2013 9:00 am

This time last year the postman delivered a picture postcard depicting a village square in Provence. The photograph on the…


Never seen the need for a class system? Take a long-haul flight

17 August 2013 9:00 am

Usually it is annoying when you have to board an aeroplane via a shuttle bus rather than an airbridge. The…

Island, by J. Edward Chamberlin - review

10 August 2013 9:00 am

‘Tom Island’ — that was the name I was given once by a girl I met on an island in…

Unassuming: Port-en-Bessin today

Notes on…Normandy

20 July 2013 9:00 am

There are some, I know, who for whom Normandy means the three Cs — cider, cream and calvados. But if,…

The Last Train to Zona Verde, by Paul Theroux - review

1 June 2013 9:00 am

Paul Theroux has produced some of the best travel books of the past 50 years, and some of the lamest.…