Tag Archives: James Bond

Bond is back! He’s bold, brilliant and BLOODY LOUD

[no major spoilers but it is a film review all the same]

If this is Daniel Craig’s final film as 007 then it’s a great way to go.

Better than Quantum of Solace with its unfathomable plot; better even than Skyfall with its dodgy sexual politics, Home Alone exploding lightbulbs ending and its Tube line silliness: ‘Wait, the bad guy’s on the District Line! He must be going to Westminster to kill M!’, this is the fast and furious James Bond of Craig’s explosive debut Casino Royale – but turned up to the max.

This Bond doesn’t believe in leaving via the door when there’s a window to dive through or a wall to punch his way into and the soundtrack is pumping throughout. You will leave the cinema feeling exhausted (and possibly deafened) and exhilarated, and thinking: ‘Wow, does that guy look good in a suit.’ Bond must be the only hero who wears a jacket and tie for the most brutal of fights – my colleagues can barely be bothered to don a tie for formal meetings – and even when he’s just standing still, he can’t help but strut that suit. One hand in pocket, one leg just to the side, he assumes a stance which makes him look cool in the way George Osborne totally does not when attempting the same trick.

The pre-credit sequence alone is more exciting (and no doubt more expensive) than the whole of most action films, starting with an impressive opening tracking shot right from the heart of Mexico City’s Day of the Dead festival and leading to edge-of-your-seat helicopter acrobatics. This is classic Bond – just a few minutes into the film he not only has a sexy woman in tow but also a bad guy to kill and things to blow up – and both he and the city look terrific. Continue reading Bond is back! He’s bold, brilliant and BLOODY LOUD

A hat-trick of vodka martinis at London’s best bars

‘Don’t worry, you won’t get a hangover,’ insisted Pleurat Shabani, the maker of Konik’s Tail vodka and the host of our martini marathon. ‘I’ve never had a hangover drinking martinis.’

I wasn’t convinced – I once gave myself a three-day hangover while trying to perfect the art of making dirty martinis – and while the next day dawned much brighter than it usually did after an epic tasting, a martini headache did kick in at lunchtime. However, it was more than worth it – Pleurat is very entertaining company and the martinis made from Konik’s Tail were sublime, as were the surroundings.

Our schedule was simple: a martini at three of London’s top cocktail bars. We were to start at the Connaught Bar in the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, go on to the legendary bar at Dukes Hotel, St James’s and then cross Piccadilly once more to end the evening at Claridge’s.

konik's tail vodka
The martinis are all too drinkable…

While we supped our drinks (and I ate a lot of olives), we learned about Pleurat’s almost puritanical approach to his vodka (which is named after the elusive Polish Konik wild horses, which, if spotted, are supposed to herald a good harvest.)

It shouldn’t be mixed – even freezing it, as both Dukes and Claridge’s do, makes him wince – and the idea of a putting Konik’s Tail in a cocktail was practically unthinkable (he was so unimpressed by my love for dirty martinis, which after all just have a touch of olive brine, that I thought it best not to discuss his views on appletinis or vodka and coke…) Continue reading A hat-trick of vodka martinis at London’s best bars