Other Writing

Book of the Week

The Sunday Telegraph (April 10, 2011)

Erudite and scholarly, John Goodall’s The English Castle will be consulted for generations to come.

Earlier this year, I found myself in an inflatable dinghy, which crossed the Menai Strait and then tucked itself beneath the beetling towers of Caernarvon Castle. I felt some of the wonder and awe that visitors must have experienced when the fortress was constructed by Edward I…

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Stately Home Fit for a Royal Stag Party

The Daily Telegraph (April 8, 2011)

Hartland Abbey oozes history and, thankfully for Prince William, its owners are souls of discretion.

“Our mouths are zipped,” announces Lady Angela Stucley, châtelaine of Hartland Abbey. She and her husband, Sir Hugh, will neither confirm nor deny that their home, on the north Devon coast, was the scene of Prince William’s stag party…

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Intensive Care on a Plate

The Daily Telegraph (March 23, 2011)

With reports of little more than £1 being spent on some hospital meals, one NHS manager is leading a revolution in government catering.

Mike Duckett doesn’t seem like an obvious revolutionary. Softly spoken and grey-moustached, he has a year to go before retirement from his job as catering manager of the Royal Brompton Hospital in west London. But his approach could destabilise the received wisdom about feeding people in large organisations, through a truly radical concept…

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When It Comes to Heritage, I’m an Idiot, Too

(January 19, 2011)

It’s better to be a stick-in-the-mud, than a municipal vandal…

Fifty years ago, the 7th Earl Cadogan had an idea. It was to demolish practically the whole of Sloane Street, which formed part of his London estate, and replace it with concrete and glass blocks, linked by walkways; at two places, the project would span the road, with the traffic driving underneath…

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We’re Having a Quiet Christmas at Home

The Daily Telegraph (December 21, 2010)

If snow continues to fall this week, the holiday plans of millions could be scuppered. Would that be such a bad thing…?

On Saturday, I travelled from London to Ramsgate. It was largely an unnecessary journey, made to check that a new woodburning stove had been installed in time for Christmas. The weather forecast had said that the temperature in this pocket of Kent would not fall below zero; in the event, I walked from the station in a blizzard that made me feel like Scott of the Antarctic…

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On the Trail of the Missing

The Daily Telegraph (November 11, 2010)

A couple from Northumberland are putting faces to thousands of soldiers who were lost on the Western Front…

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What Next for Downton?

The Daily Telegraph (November 9, 2010)

The costume drama’s second series may be very different from the first, dominated by the tragedy of the First World War and its legacy, which changed country house life forever…

And so the long, post Edwardian, tea-on-the-lawn summer, peopled so charmingly by Downton Abbey, is over, and when the series returns to our screens, as we must all hope it will, the country house will be cast in a very different role…

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French Chic on the Beach – Magnifique!

The Daily Mail (October 9, 2010)

With its royal heritage, starry guests, manicured sands and spotless streets, elegant Deauville has style in spades…

Savvy holidaymakers don’t stray too far from home, but they do want something different. One answer is Deauville, a jaunty seaside and horse racing town where even the half-timbered architecture is striped…

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The Prince Who Proudly Dresses the Part

The Daily Telegraph (September 3, 2010)

The royal campaign for wardrobes that stand the test of time…

I have always admired the Prince of Wales’s dress sense. However the squalls of fashion may blow, he never wavers from the style he adopted about the time Harold Wilson was Prime Minister – far from groovy, even then…

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The Flemish Resort with Flair

The Daily Telegraph (August 28, 2010)

Enjoy the sand, cycling and foodie treats of Knokke, the Belgian holiday spot once favoured by Sinatra and Dietrich…

Imagine a seaside resort – leafy, architect-designed – where many of the richest families in Europe have houses. They aren’t enormous – they sit on suburban-sized plots – but they can change hands for up to (EURO)12million (£10million)…

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Why Are Our Streets A Tip?

The Daily Telegraph (July 20, 2010)

Rubbish has always provided archaeologists with rich pickings, but today’s take-away, disposable society provides so much more raw material. It’s no wonder it costs millions to pick it all up…

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The Last Thing Blackpool Needs Is Preserving

The Daily Telegraph (July 9, 2010)

Making the town a World Heritage site would prevent it from developing as a modern resort, argues Clive Aslet

Blackpool – the very name evokes a world of saucy postcards, knotted handkerchiefs and gorgonlike landladies. I first went there ages ago, with a group of architectural enthusiasts, bent on admiring the 1930s Pleasure Beach…

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Britain Is at Its Best from a Ferry

The Daily Telegraph (July 3, 2010)

Simple and timeless, there is nothing more uplifting than a journey by boat

I would like to propose a solution to what, for many families, will be the most pressing problem of the summer. Deterred from flying by ash clouds, BA strikes and tightened purses, they may well decide to holiday in this country…

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The Prime Minister Factory

The Daily Telegraph (May 15, 2010)

Eton produced 19 PMs before David Cameron. But does the school equip leaders for the 21st century?

Imagine. The prime minister is an Etonian. He has been in power for six months, but dreams of a political entente with his opponents have long since evaporated…

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The Rise of the Bollygarch

The Daily Telegraph (April 24, 2010)

Once it was the British who had their sights set on India. Now the tables have turned. Clive Aslet reports on the Asian billionaires with the longest shopping list in town

The star exhibit in the National Portrait Gallery’s current show, “The Indian Portrait”, depicts the 17th-century Emperor Jahangir, resplendent in curled whiskers, golden waistcoat and three dimensional jewels, holding a globe. The largest known picture from the Mughal period, it could also be a symbol of the most successful Indians today…

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Can We Love To Be Beside the Seaside Again?

The Daily Telegraph (April 1, 2010)

Setting up a Legoland is not the only way to revive Britain’s resorts, argues Clive Aslet

Say what you like about the Victorians, they knew a good place for a holiday. They had the pick of the coast, and used it to choose the best sites for their towns: Margate’s sandy bay, Eastbourne’s cliffs, and the picturesque harbours of Newlyn and other fishing ports are among the most beautiful spots in Britain…

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A Converted Nissen Hut Needs As Much Regulation As the Ritz

The Times (March 20, 2010)

Volunteers running the local pub? Pull the other one…

Things must be desperate: the Government is trying the old warm-beer-and-maiden-ladies-bicycling-tomatins routine. It is making a bid for that piece of the village green that is forever England (or Britain, if you must): the pub…

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Country Houses Still Provide a Gold Standard

The Daily Telegraph (March 12, 2010)

The restoration of Chatsworth shows these seats of privilege are in surprising good health

A good deal of satisfaction was given at Chatsworth House, the Duke of Devonshire’s palace in Derbyshire, recently. A team of restoration experts found traces of 17th-century gilding on the tops of the urns that grace the skyline… Chatsworth, after a refit costing £14million, blazes forth more magnificently than ever…

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It Would Be Such a Nice World if Everyone Was Like Joanna Lumley

The Daily Telegraph (March 11, 2010)

Kevan Jones MP must rue the day he insulted a national treasure

You can tell when a government is on the way out; it picks the wrong fights. Look at the way that odious Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham and seemingly, though no one knew it before, a Defence Minister, has had a pop at Joanna Lumley…

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A Highland Fling with the Mother Tongue

The Daily Telegraph (January 21, 2010)

As Burns Night approaches, meet the maverick laird behind Skye’s Gaelic revival

And now, after the kiltswirling and Auld Lang Syne-ing of Hogmanay, comes Burns Night, not only a festival in Robert Burns’s native land, but one of Scotland’s most successful exports, inflicting bagpipes, mashed neeps and the poet’s Address to a Haggis on the baffled peoples of the world…

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My Pilgrimage from Nazareth to Bethlehem… via Carmel, Bethesda and Bethel

The Times (December 23, 2009)

This is the Holy Land, but you will find it a lot closer to home than the Middle East

The first flakes of snow began to fall as I reached Nazareth. The man in the woolly hat, beating his hands together as I spoke to him in the overhung lane, directed me via Nebo – the mountain from which Moses looked out over the Promised Land…

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We Should Applaud Our Passionate and Prescient Prince

The Daily Telegraph (December 19, 2009)

Far from making him a meddler, the Prince of Wales’s letter-writing shows him to be a man of action and integrity…

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Nelson Was a Superstar Who Loved Adulation

The Times (October 23, 2009)

A national hero for our times

Some years ago, my three sons were often to be found digging up the garden square near our house in search of the chelenk – the plume of diamonds, turned by clockwork, that the Sultan of Turkey presented to Admiral Lord Nelson in gratitude for his victory at the Nile. He wore the ornament in his hat…

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Market Towns Have Cracked the Secret of Life

The Times (October 14, 2009)

Ideal places to live

The other day I was in Melton Mowbray in search of a pork pie. I arrived at one minute to five; the famous shop closed at two minutes to five. But I won’t hold this disappointment against it. Melton Mowbray has something. Not, perhaps, as much as Monmouth, Presteigne or Devizes; or come to that, Louth, Modbury or Helmsley. But let’s not descend to a beauty parade: all these market towns have cracked the secret of how to live well in modern Britain…

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Now That’s A First Lady

The Daily Telegraph (April 3, 2009)

The Obamas meet the Queen

Forget the G20. One glorious moment this week proved that Britain simply doesn’t need such jamborees to add – if in fact they do add – to our standing in the world. It was, of course, when the Obamas met the Queen…

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A Private Passion and a Public Disgrace

The Daily Telegraph (January 30, 2009)

The state of Britain’s parks

Hang on to your hollyhocks – someone’s having a go at our gardens. An American academic, if you please, is saying that we are making too much of them; that the energy we put into our own patches is sapping our attention, “holding Britain back” from concentrating on its public spaces…

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We Must Learn to Build a Better Britain

The Daily Telegraph  (December 4, 2008)

Can’t architects do better than Westfield?

Have you been to the new Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush, opened amid much hoopla a few weeks ago? I hadn’t until yesterday. From the pictures, it looked ghastly. Then I thought I better go and see it for myself, and I wish I could tell you that the earth moved. It didn’t…

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Speed Limits Are About Money, Not Safety

The Daily Telegraph (November 21, 2008)

The hypocrisy of speed cameras

I freely admit that I’m the most selfish man in Britain. I have children – three of them – so my DNA will be gobbling up more than its fair share of the Earth’s resources. In order to transport my family, I have an estate car. It’s a Mercedes – the sort of well-engineered, massive beast that my father would have liked, only German…

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Just Call Me Mr Romance

The Daily Telegraph (October 15, 2008)

What older men have to offer

It’s been a long time coming, but finally it’s arrived. It seems, at the age of 53, I have hit my romantic prime…

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This Will Set Neighbour Against Neighbour

The Daily Telegraph (September 12, 2008)

Planning rules that are a recipe for disputes

Remember the leylandii? In the 1990s, the hyperactive arboreal thug caused such friction between neighbours that a pressure group, Hedgeline, was formed to help victims of “hedge abuse”. One feud across the front lawn ended in murder and suicide…

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Folly of Surrendering Britain to the Sea

The Daily Telegraph (August 19, 2008)

We must defend our sea defences

Southwold always seemed an unlikely holiday destination for the Prime Minister: charming, upmarket, its development paternalistically guided by the Adnams brewery. The one thing he might have liked was the quiet. Except that, when Gordon Brown was there, calm was thrown to the blustery North Sea winds…

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In a Housing Crisis, There’s No Place Like Home

The Daily Telegraph (August 9, 2008)

Comfort during a property crash

Hide your eyes; don’t look at the headlines. If you’re a householder, this is a painful time. Sorrows are coming not just single spies, but brigade strength. House prices are tumbling faster than a Chinese acrobat…

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Can A Prince Change the Way We Build?

The Daily Telegraph (July 15, 2008)

An even more environmental Poundbury

Initiatives by the Prince of Wales don’t usually lack for publicity, but two projects have sneaked into the public domain without so much as a squeak…

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Talking Statues

The Daily Telegraph (July 12, 2008)

The extraordinary vision of Alexander Stoddart

Have we got the time right, I wonder as I meet Alexander Stoddart, Scotland’s great classical sculptor. I do not mean the hour of the interview. My doubts dawn on the era we are in when Stoddart opens the door of his studio – we have gone back to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, c1900, or even earlier…

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Brown’s Towns Certainly Won’t Be Green

The Sunday Telegraph (March 30, 2008)

Stop this planning greenwash

WHEN GORDON Brown declared his intention of building a series of eco-towns across Britain, nobody quite knew what to expect. Would each one be an assemblage of low-impact yurts and felt-covered benders, with the nearest lavatory being the ditch? Unlikely…

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Like It Or Not, Britain Is Going Green

The Daily Telegraph (February 28, 2008)

The fashion for everything eco

Weird things are happening. The other day, I saw someone negotiating Sloane Square in London on one of those electrically powered platforms, with the controls on a stick. At lunch, the waiter spontaneously offered tap water as the third option after fizzy or still. In Shepherd’s Bush, I met one of the young entrepreneurs behind Innocent Drinks, who explained how it now uses 100 per cent recycled bottles…

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Geneva Watch Museums

Vanity Fair On Time (Spring 2008)

Do you believe in miracles?  If you do – or even if you remain to be convinced – go to Geneva, there are several to be found in that city and the Jura mountains.  I am not referring to religion, although that is a big subject in a region which defined itself from the 16th century onwards by devout Protestantism.  Miracles didn’t feature in Calvin’s version of Christianity.  But, goodness, they do in watch making…

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Pillar Boxes Could Be Next To Go Missing 

The Daily Telegraph (January 22, 2008)

High commodity prices present a police challenge

During Gordon Brown’s busy schedule last week, I don’t suppose he had much time to consider the nation’s manhole covers. They keep going missing…

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Public Schools Will Be Even More Exclusive

The Daily Telegraph (January 15, 2008)

Education policies are making an elite even more so

London is already a magnet for the world’s billionaires; if school fees become dearer – the inevitable consequence of expecting schools to provide more bursaries – the super-rich will be the only people able to afford them…

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Oh, To Be in England When the Sales Are On

The Daily Telegraph (December 29, 2007)

Deconstructing a Christmas ritual

Don’t you think Britain is at its best during the festive season? Here we are, a hardy race, camping out on mid-winter evenings to be first in the queue at the sales. Our piratical character, which some might have thought to have been suppressed in the four centuries since Drake, rises from its atavistic depth, as doughty shoppers fight over a heavily discounted pair of jeans…

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One No Longer Knows What Knot to Wear

The Sunday Telegraph (December 23, 2007)

What does a chap wear these days?

The party season lurches to a close, and I for one won’t be missing it. I’m not a misanthrope, I just don’t know what to wear…

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Britain’s One Great Festival of the Table

The Daily Telegraph (December 18, 2007)

The Christmas blow out

The other day, I was being shown around a landscape park by a young conservationist working for the Forestry Commission. His previous job, which he had occupied for a dozen years, had been as a supermarket manager for Waitrose. Why did he quit? “Because I couldn’t stand the thought of another Christmas,” he groaned…

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The Manor Reborn

The Sunday Telegraph (December 2, 2007)

Shabby decor and tweedy owners have given way to cinemas and go-kart tracks as the super-rich take over country piles.

Twenty-six years after the last episode of “To the Manor Born” was screened on television, the BBC is reviving it. The one-off Christmas special features the original cast – Penelope Keith as the initially impoverished aristocrat Audrey fforbes-Hamilton and Peter Bowles as the parvenu millionaire Richard DeVere who bought her manor house. What, though, if a new series were set in the present?

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Reckoning Time for the Roots of a Nation

The Daily Telegraph (December 1, 2007)

Britain has some of the oldest trees in Europe, but they need our help

What is the oldest living organism in Europe? Clue: it lives in a churchyard in Scotland. No, it is not a time-travelling ghoul from Dr Who, but a yew tree. Or perhaps we should say what is left of one…

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The Empire Strikes Back

The Evening Standard (November 28, 2007)

The charm of old Vienna

There were only two imperial capitals worth their salt in 1900: Vienna and London. Both cities have balls, albeit of a different kind. Vienna’s are the sort you waltz to, and the season is about to begin…

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A Smash Awaits Our New Mr Toads

The Daily Telegraph (September 1, 2007)

The boom-time party has got end some time

Every time I go to a wedding, I hope for a cool day. It’s my morning coat, you see: a garment made, according to a label in the pocket, in 1909. When I was at Cambridge, you could pick up rags like this, in all their hand-stitched glory, in Oxfam shops. The trouble was to get them to fit…

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Hey, The Sun Does Shine Sometimes

The Daily Telegraph (August 25, 2007)

Don’t leave the country yet

I have a word of advice for the record number of Britons leaving the UK, and that is “Stop!” Haven’t you seen the weather forecast? I know that earlier this week it seemed like November, with damp shoes and failing light. Only on Wednesday, it was so dark outside I was putting on desk lamps in the middle of the day. With the prospect of a trip to the West Country, I packed heavy corduroys…

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Why Brown Brings Out the Martyr in Me

The Daily Telegraph (July 31, 2007)

I’ll stand in front of the Eco Town bulldozers

I am not one for martyrdom as a general rule. However, I feel a mission coming on. Whenever a sod of Gordon Brown’s first eco town in the English countryside is turned, I intend to be there, lashed to the spot…

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Can One Rich Man Turn Folkestone into a Global Success Story?

The Sunday Telegraph (July 22, 2007)

Roger de Haan is one of a new generation of philanthropists using their enormous wealth to do good works.

Folkestone is undergoing a renaissance. Renaissance? South coast resort? You may not think that the words go naturally together, but that is to discount the contribution of the unassuming billionaire who is making it happen: Roger de Haan…

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One Doesn’t Do Tantrums

The Daily Telegraph (July 13, 2007)

The Queen never loses her temper but has subtle ways of showing her displeasure

It was a glorious moment and it made me even prouder to be British. Annie Leibovitz, queen of photographers, paid pounds 50,000 a shoot, a woman before whom Hollywood’s greatest stars will strip naked, was confronted by a real queen…

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Trouble on the Home Front

The Daily Telegraph (May 26, 2007)

Microchips in our rubbish bins, smart meters that pass on information about electricity and water use, energy performance certificates, and councils that use military equipment to check emissions from our roofs – all new threats to our privacy…

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Aggrieved Motorists: 5, Meter Readers: 0

The Times (May 8, 2007)

Drivers fight for justice over unfair parking tickets -and quite a few win

Parking wardens and I have an uneasy relationship. It’s nothing personal: just war…

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Tackling the City of Light is Child’s Play

The Evening Standard (April 18, 2007)

Paris might be for lovers, but is also ideal for young families

“COOL LIFT”, said the boys, as they burst into the Hotel Bristol, off the Champs- Elysees in Paris. The arrival of the Aslet family with three energetic children under 11 puts any hotel through its paces. We thought we would up the stakes by choosing one of the swankiest, with, as it happens, a glass lift behind an Edwardian grille…

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Selling Out

The Daily Telegraph (April 14, 2007)

Today, one of Britain’s grandest and most important houses goes on the market: Dumfries House

After 30 years, I have finally got to Dumfries House. It was one of my ambitions to visit this notoriously secret, Scottish estate when I joined Country Life as an architectural writer in 1977. I have only done so, though, in dismal circumstances. The house – plus 1,900 acres of land – is today being put on the market, while its unrivalled collection of furniture will be auctioned separately at Christie’s in London in July…

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Cross Purposes Design for Living

The Daily Telegraph (April 14, 2007)

As Hampstead Garden Suburb – home to film stars, financiers and royalty – marks its centenary, perhaps it’s time to revive the utopian dream…

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The True Taste of Turin

The Evening Standard (March 21, 2007)

The home of Fiat is far more than just an industrial city

“You don’t see the Shroud,” trilled my art historical friend, on hearing I was going to Turin. “The Baroque case that surrounds it is what’s so exciting. The Shroud is only revealed on special days.” That is a bit like Turin itself. It isn’t somewhere which wears its charms on its sleeve. But persevere, because it is one of the most stylish and enjoyable cities in Europe…

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Cherchez LaFerme

The Daily Telegraph (February 24, 2007)

The French really know how to celebrate country life

There are times when you have to love the French. One of them is next weekend when the Salon International de l’Agriculture (SIA) opens in Paris. Now an agricultural show may not sound very promising if you know only the Royal Show or even the Bath and West, but the SIA is just so… French…

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A Lesson in Why Parents Find God

The Daily Telegraph (February 22, 2007)

The virtues of faith schools

About 10 years ago, a rather wonderful thing happened: I started going to church. Not that I had ever entirely stopped. The church where I grew up in Surrey was exceptionally beautiful and possessed good Elizabethan tomb effigies, somebody’s funerary helmet and the oldest monumental brass in the country. You just don’t get that sort of thing out of your veins…

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Sainsbury’s Is Too Clever for My Own Good

The Daily Telegraph (January 24, 2007)

Say what you like, supermarkets know their customers

A terrible thing has happened in my life. A few years ago, my family and I would often spend part of Saturday at Borough Market, that source of superlative, largely organic food in south London…

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Historic Gem (Needs a Little Polish)

The Sunday Telegraph (January 21, 2007)

Buying property in Krakow.

If only I had bought somewhere in Krakow when I first went there, three years ago. I was tempted. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Unlike Poland’s capital, Warsaw, which was destroyed by the Germans in 1944, it survived the war virtually unscathed, architecturally at least…

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In Search of Christmas

The Sunday Telegraph (December 24, 2006)

A tour to discover if the festival still has a meaning that we all share.

One of the few car parks in Britain to charge for every hour of the day, 364 days a year, lies under the walls of Canterbury Cathedral. I pondered this example of civic greed as I stomped round to the Tudor gateway into the cathedral precincts…

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Divided We Stand

The Sunday Telegraph (December 3, 2006)

Do the Scots and the English really so dislike each other that they want to go their separate ways?

It is St Andrew’s Day. I pull up the blind on the Caledonian Sleeper, expecting to see a glorious Highland panorama rolling by. The last thing that the window looked out on to were the concrete ramps of Euston Station in London the night before. We are now rattling towards Aberdeen. But Scotland is, figuratively, a different country from “down South”…

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Listing the Titans

The Daily Telegraph (November 27, 2006)

They may not be conventionally beautiful, but huge feats of construction are often awe-inspiring

NUCLEAR Power Stations may not be conventionally beautiful, but they conform to the aesthetic theorist (and Tory apologist) Edmund Burke’s concept of the sublime: the visitor experiences a frisson of pleasurable trepidation from the sheer, overwhelming scale of them…

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Cheaper Than Ikea

The Sunday Times (October 29, 2006)

Want well-made furniture for a few quid? Head for the auction room not the out-of-town shed

For the past couple of years we have owned a house in Ramsgate, Kent. It came modernised but empty, posing the question of how to furnish it. My answer to that question, with all due regard to the finer points of interior decoration, was: cheaply…

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Brilliant Wight

The Daily Telegraph (September 23, 2006)

The Island – as it likes to be known – has shed its bucket-and-spade jauntiness in favour of luring homebuyers to a sanctuary of calm and architectural delights…

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The Bucket Stops Here – At No 11

The Times (September 19, 2006)

I OWN A LAWN. It was laid this spring. At last I have achieved oneness with the national character. The lawn may be no bigger than a large table cloth but, goodness, how we prayed over it in July, as the turfs shrivelled and crisped. Then came August’s monsoons.Magically, brown turned to green…

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Seagulls: The Green Solution

The Times (August 29, 2006)

Surely there must be some recipe for the problem

WHAT ARE the things you associate with the seaside? Rubber rings, donkey rides, shrimping nets, seagulls -ah, seagulls. If we don’t like seagulls, why have we bought a house in Ramsgate? Because my wife and I did not realise that the seagull population, with its mournful kee-ya-ha-ha cry, has undergone an explosion since our childhood…

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Erotic Sale of the Century (Wife Says It’s Got To Go)

The Daily Telegraph (April 20, 2006)

The largest collection of ‘naughty’ art goes under the hammer

Christie’s in Paris is the sort of place where even Louis XVI would have felt underdressed. The glacial young women behind the desk, whose matching uniforms make them look like two of the early Supremes, are faultlessly coiffeured, sublimely correct. The austere neo-Classical architecture and wood panelling exude the very strong impression that vulgarity – let alone hanky-panky – will not be tolerated…

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Remove the Muzzle, Charles, and Speak Your Mind

The Sunday Telegraph (April 16, 2006)

The country needs to hear the Prince of Wales

The other day I was in a village hall in Cumbria, waiting for the Prince of Wales. One long side of the room was lined with trestle tables, piled high with scotch eggs and colourful sandwiches by the Women’s Institute. The very rafters shivered with expectation…

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Country Life and Me

Mail on Sunday (February 5, 2006)

Editing Britain’s most civilised magazine during a time of change

Thirteen years ago I slid into a mahogany Sheraton chair and inherited a kingdom the world of Country Life magazine, founded in 1897 that appeared to have been hit by a neutron bomb…

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Planner in the Works

The Daily Telegraph (January 29, 2005)

Conservation officers shouldn’t behave like architectural traffic wardens

Question: which is worse for the British countryside: a development of executive homes, or a wing built on to a listed country house, replacing (in virtual facsimile) one that has been torn down by a previous owner?

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The Horse with the Biggest Heart in the World

Daily Mail (November 25, 2003)

A farewell to Storm…

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Foxes Stir the Soul of a Nation: Saddam Doesn’t

The Observer (September 29, 2002)

Different tribes of Britons taking to the streets

THIS is a tale of two marches. Last Sunday, I walked up to the Liberty and Livelihood March from Victoria, but then had to double back from Hyde Park – the start – because of the huge crowd waiting to join. Having my seven-year-old son with me, I nipped in through the barriers, or he would have been exhausted before he had begun. Yesterday, I joined the anti-Iraq war march. It was noisy, passionate, full of people who were equally frustrated at the failure of democracy to take account of their views…

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Can It Be Right for Grown Men to Greet with a Kiss?

The Express (August 7, 2001)

Well, obviously not.

THE sight of Mick Jagger, his latex features puckered into something very much like a coquettish pout, being kissed by his old friend Elton John is not a particularly edifying one…

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