Coffee House

The Spectator Readers’ Tea Party, in pictures

4 July 2014

Last night’s summer party was only the warm-up. Today, we invited some of our subscribers over for a cup of tea in the garden here at 22 Old Queen St. It’s a chance for us to meet the people we work for – the best-read, best-humoured cohort of people in Britain (and beyond). Andrew Neil, Taki, Jeremy Clarke, Hugo Rifkind, ‘Dear’ Mary Killen, Peter ‘Ancient & Modern’ Jones and Rory ‘Wiki Man’ Sutherland were all there – with about 120 of our closest (yet un-met) friends. Spectator subscribers aren’t buyers of a product, they’re members of a club. To join them (and us) for just £1 a week, click here. Anyway, the pictures (all by Lara Prendergast):-


The Savoy Hotel kindly brought the tea and nibbles.

Heath & W

Fleet St legend Michael Heath, our cartoons editor, with Danielle Wall, deputy editor of Spectator Life



Our Low Life correspondent, Jeremy Clarke. Typical reader’s question: “How much of it does he make up? I mean, when he starts a column saying ‘I woke up at 4am on the pavement an Leicester Square’ he’s using artistic license, isn’t he?’ I suspected so too until I took this job, and got to know him a little. It’s all true.


Me with our youngest and oldest guests, aged 8 and 90. And below are some more readers…






Jeremy Clarke and his editor, the great Liz Anderson

Jeremy Clarke and his editor, the great Liz Anderson

Taki and Michael Heath (the only person who has been at the Spectator longer than Taki)

Taki and Michael Heath (the only person who has been at the Spectator longer than Taki) He’s brought a bottle of 1995 Lagavulin for me, to make up for the one he drank at the same event last year.

Alex Roebuck and Andrew Neil

Alex Roebuck and Andrew Neil (taken from Alex’s Twitter feed)


And this is ‘Dear’ Mary Killen. She does exist.

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  • Agrippina

    I like the pic of Fraser and the oldest and youngest guests. You should have captioned some of the commentators on here, if any were actually present at the party.

    From viewing these pics, is it a largely older demographic Mr Nelson or did you only invite the more mature folks, for fear us younger ones might have been troublesome?

    • William_Brown

      It would appear so – Not a skateboard installation in sight. Ageist b*stards!

  • eclair

    I think you should have invited Tellymachus. Every court needs its jester however lowly.

  • Cooper1992

    Next year I’m gatecrashing….!

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Well, this time next year, after Dave’s head is mounted on a spike, the Speccie kids’ paymasters may not wish to continue floating this rag, so there may not be a gate to crash.

      • Cim Thayne

        Erm, what?

    • William_Brown

      Yeah, me too. I suggest they double the security. (…and I will make jolly sure the iPhone’s charged).

  • Blindsideflanker

    How nice, some more party pictures, meanwhile Cameron is planning to hand over policing powers to the EU , and has secretly agreed to compensate Brussels if we vote to leave..&”@?*8….splutter splutter, what right does he have to do that? How dare he seek to compensate a foreign power for the British electorate expressing their will. Of course he dares because they are all mates in the Westminster bubble, politics and media, all having their pictures taken as they back slap each other at parties!

    PS I cynically thought Cameron was playing the man, Juncker , to hide what he was doing on policy. Its depressing when your most cynical thoughts are proven correct.

    • Kitty MLB

      Oh what a total humbug atleast they were not drinking
      exquisite French wines and a selection of Italian cheeses
      followed by a Lovely German cake.Darling person just
      lighten up a little a few people having their cake and eating
      it will not change the world..or make the wretched EU
      grow even larger.

      • Blindsideflanker

        I gather OK magazine has lots of pictures in it and very substance.

  • CraigStrachan

    I notice nobody was drinking tea at the summer party proper…

  • Smithersjones2013

    I know there are those amongst the Spectator family who are definitely revolting but was it necessary to demean one of Marc Bolan’s classics?

  • Chingford Man

    Was Sebbie on dishes?

    • Camilla Swift

      Sebbie was on a flight to Washington!

  • sarah_13

    When did we get this invite? I don’t recall receiving an invitation?

    • Fergus Pickering

      You weren’t invited, Sarah. And neither was I? It’s about time. Hold off much longer and I’ll be bloody dead.

    • Fraser Nelson

      The invite was printed in the magazine…

      • sarah_13

        I must have missed it. Thanks so much for responding.

  • Vinnie

    was hoping to see Lara Prendergast in a nice summery dress

    • Fraser Nelson

      she was taking the photos

      • Kitty MLB

        My invite was clearly lost in the post Fraser.
        I assume you would have nothing against a mysterious women floating in like a scented breeze.
        And Making a bee line for Rod. He’s very popular you see.

        • Fergus Pickering

          They are going to ask us next year, Kitty. And we shall meet!

          • Kitty MLB

            Well that’s good and will be nice.We’ll have to be
            on the best behaviour for an entire year to be
            exceptable in such polite company.And once there, go in search of telemachus and then we will drink all the tea to get over the shock of him.
            Hope they have nice cakes..

            • Fergus Pickering

              I don’t think tele is a subscriber. Far too mean.

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