A little blog you've probably never heard of

  1. Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida

    Ida, a starkly-presented, brief, almost minimalist piece, is one of the most subtle, compelling and smartly-handled films I've seen this year, at times feeling more like a fable than the gritty realist drama it is.

  2. The cinema at the end of the world

    Welcome news this week that the Shaftesbury Avenue Cineworld, a cinema that looked and felt like it had only narrowly survived the apocalypse, is to close and be refurbished into a seven-screen Picturehouse, the only other option being to take off and nuke the site from orbit, just to be sure.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.