Making a meal of going Dutch 

It’s usually those with less money who order the more expensive items in a group that splits a restaurant bill

Where disloyalty is welcome

A good pair of shoes requires constant wearing, so that they develop proper creases and a sense of maturity

Why I don’t have a wine cellar

You can’t blame the person who orders more extravagantly than others because you could have done so yourself

Hair is a grey area for China’s leaders

Fortunately, none of Beijing’s bigwigs come from Wenzhou, a city where many men perm their hair (and wear high heels)

Nudists with altitude: how to fly naked

A gentleman needs at least two suits, two shirts, and always wears highly polished shoes. And, of course, black socks

Was Donald Trump’s hair born in the US?

When motionless, it looks like a caramelised, flattened Brillo pad — but does it disqualify him from running as president?

It’s the game of the name

People go sockless in those countries that don’t want to distinguish between going to work and going on holiday

Naturist dilemma laid bare

I wouldn’t want to roll around in bubbled nakedness at 38,000ft

Strong alms tactics to deal with beggars

A cancellation can work to your advantage . . . such as inviting somebody else who might be ‘better’

Too fat for first class

I don’t ever get into the airline sleeper suits because they are not large enough for my frame

Drop the racket at Wimbledon

The yobbish shouting in between points by spectators is egotistical, inconsiderate, selfish, vulgar and thuggish

Know your placement — and other table manners

The days when the row of cutlery either side of the plate was set as an obstacle course for the uninitiated are gone

What a knight at Bognor Butlin’s

Sir David Tang, agony uncle, solves you’re dilemmas: this week, why three-star beats five-star; and the myth of the ‘hard pillow’

Airport frisks ring my bells too

‘Because I am very ticklish, I get the giggles when told to extend my arms horizontally

Checkout time at the hotel snooty

Scratch the surface of a concierge’s snobbery, and you end up with a mediocre tourist guide with pedestrian knowledge

Elementary, dear reader

There are no ‘safety’ rules in commercial travelling for breast implants, so there should be no alarm over private jets

How to beat the system of restaurant reservations

Vulgar solutions are the most effective for vulgar dining places. Otherwise, forget about going to them

Forget ‘balanced’ decor in country houses

God forbid if Marie Kondo, the earthly goddess of Japanese minimalism, were let loose at Castle Howard or Blenheim

What to buy someone who has everything

For a rich man, how about getting a dozen rubber ducks with the name of his yacht on them?

Maximalists in cramped spaces

The Japanese will tell you they feel perfectly adequate living in a capsule, as long as they get into the right frame of mind


David TangDavid Tang, the FT's Agony Uncle, answers readers' questions about property, interiors, architecture and gardens although he often strays beyond his remit to debate concerns about everything from etiquette to grammar.

Tang is the entrepreneur who founded China Tang and iCorrect, and he has homes principally in Hong Kong, mainland China, London and Essex .

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