A little blog you've probably never heard of

  1. Breakfast at Koya Bar

    The English Breakfast at Koya Bar is a trap. This is a Japanese restaurant serving Japanese breakfasts, so it's mostly all rice and miso and pickles and fear of the unknown, but there's an English Breakfast option that lured me in. It's going to be ok, the menu said, there are eggs, bacon and mushrooms here. You're going to be fine.

  2. Amsterdam

    After four barely-tolerable days in Brussels, taking in all the graffiti and scaffolding that the city had to offer, I did better with four days in Amsterdam, trading concrete and roadworks for picturesque canals and a laid-back, friendly, tolerant atmosphere. Finally, here was a city I could feel at home in; a city where everyone would leave me alone because they were all too busy getting high or getting laid.

  3. Brussels

    To sum up Brussels with one anecdote: the Palace of Justice, built between 1866 and 1883 by Joseph Poelaert and the largest building constructed in the 19th century, sits opposite my hotel, covered in scaffolding and seemingly disused. The renovation of this building has been so slow that in 2013 it was discovered that the scaffolding itself was now also in need of renovation.

  4. Breakfast at Ottolenghi’s

    I wrote about Yotam Ottolenghi's Nopi a while ago when I visited for lunch but I mostly went there for breakfast. A cool, calm, sophisticated place that usually had a table by virtue of being in a slightly crappy dead zone in between Regent Street and Soho. I'd never been to Ottolenghi's Islington restaurant apart from occasionally stopping by to buy a ruinously-expensive salad, full of pomegranate, sumac and regret, and having now paid a visit for breakfast I can't imagine ever going back.

  5. James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy

    Part of the success of the Marvel film series comes from following the structures set down by much of contemporary TV: the Marvel films from Iron Man to Avengers Assemble are like the first season of a big-budget TV series with a story arc built through each episode and culminating in the Avengers getting together in the finale. Guardians of the Galaxy plays like that whole series concentrated into one film; it's a dense, colourful and playful piece that's just a little back-heavy and slightly forced. It isn't as sharp as Whedon's Avengers Assemble but it's certainly sharp enough.

  6. Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    Rupert Wyatt's Rise of the Planet of the Apes was unexpectedly excellent, revitalising a franchise that had been worn into the ground with a great blend of story, character and action. Matt Reeves' sequel is enjoyable but doesn't expand enough away from Rise to feel like anything more than an extended epilogue, focusing exclusively on a single group of surviving humans bumping up against the ape society. While this keeps the film tightly focused, it also doesn't tell the audience anything we couldn't have assumed for ourselves. There's some solid direction, a great score, and great performances from the ape cast, but the end result feels a little inessential.