the life and (drinking) times of phil chambers

Friday, 26 September 2008

Qype: Rüdiger Maerz GmbH in Hamburg

Hamburg - Services - Computer Service

Friendly but cunningly located Canon service centre in Hamburg. I think this is the only one in the centre. They can repair anything from compacts, to SLRs and 35mm lenses. On Tuesday I will be taking my 20D in there for a new shutter, which is €220, just about worth it. They're also going to fix my EF-S 10-22mm and have a look at the flare problem on my EF 24-105mm IS, so that should be fun.

Free sweets on reception too!
Check out my review of Rüdiger Maerz GmbH - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: spiegel-kantine in Hamburg

Hamburg - Restaurants - Canteens

OK - this is a private restaurant of Der Spiegel, so you can't go here! But if you do you'll be treated to a heady mix of ruthless German efficiency dressed up in 70s modern chic. On entry, you type your pin number into a computer and choose your food, and go and sit down in some state of disbelief at the decor. The food will arrive alarmingly quickly at your table! And it's fairly good too, for a work canteen.

Apparently the subsidy makes a hot meal and drink around €2.70 here, and people still complain... they don't know they're born...
Check out my review of spiegel-kantine - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Fleetschlösschen in Hamburg

Hamburg - Cafes & Coffee Shops - Cafes

Lovely little cafe on the edge of Hafencity which looks like a tiny former chapel or something. It's a charming building anyway, with friendly service, superb coffee, and some nice outdoor seating (a couch) !

They do do food too, it looked good, but I didn't try it yet.

Check out my review of Fleetschlösschen - I am filchambers - on Qype

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Qype: Pauli Pizza in Hamburg

Hamburg - Restaurants - Italian & Pizza

And so I did check it out! Pauli Pizza is definitely my new fave take-out pizza place! The menu is only DIY, and I was very overwhelmed by the choice. Fortunately the creative pizza genius of Lea was on hand to produce a pizza to savour. Two eggs? Yes please!

Highly recommended for pizza, beer and chat.
Check out my review of Pauli Pizza - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Vass Bar in Lefkas


Absolutely cracking bar on the quayside in Vassiliki, which is a small harbour on the southern tip of Lefkas island in the Ionian. A popular haunt of the sailing crews that frequent Vass, you are almost guaranteed a great night here. I have had 2 of note.

The first, set against the background of England's 2005 ashes triumph, was a real classic. We were kicking our heels and generally feeling upset at not being able to watch the cricket, when low and behold Vass Bar came up trumps with South African satellite coverage showing channel 4 with no ads! Better still, there were 3 Aussies at the bar. A rare day out.

Then just last week I made a return to visit Yannis and his Polish barstaff for a session which lasted until 7am and resulted in me carrying home a crew member. I trekked up there the next morning and shared a free coffee with the man himself. Highly recommended, but don't try the tequila shots in a beer...
Check out my review of Vass Bar - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Sidmouth Beach in Sidmouth

Sidmouth - Arts & Entertainment - Beaches

A rocky affair on the south coast in sleepy Sidmouth. It's famous for the boxing day swim - an annual event held to raise money for the RNLI. Every year, hundreds of people dressed in various costumes dive into the freezing waters of the English channel, and paddle around a bit. It's quite hilarious to watch. I won't be participating myself however, since I can't swim...
Check out my review of Sidmouth Beach - I am filchambers - on Qype

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Qype: The Bull in Richmond

Richmond - Pubs & Bars - Bars

Recently rebranded as "The Bull", and famous for once having been a venue of The Rolling Stones, you wonder why Mick Jagger didn't pop down from Richmond Hill to do the occasional gig right?

This is the worst place you can drink in Richmond. Friday nights are particularly bad, when the lowlife from darkest Surrey (actually, probably Houndslow) decend on Richmond for for a good glass fight.

I did win a pool competition in here once, but being forced to drink disgusting lager meant I forfeited the grand prize and left to drink somewhere civil. Avoid like the plague.
Check out my review of The Bull - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Maroush IV in London

London - Restaurants - Middle Eastern - Lebanese & Syrian

Ah, Maroush. Yes, it's a London legend, and quite a tradition to pop in after a fairly heavy day on the cava at Lords. I must warn you though, despite what Rhodri says, this place is actually nowhere near the home of cricket, and you'll need at least one bottle of wine to drink on the street as you trek there.

Once inside, I was quite overwhelmed by the events of the day, and promptly fell asleep on the table. So, no real commentary on the food. I have the say though, the one on Old Brompton road is spot on for a chicken schwamer... (sp?!)
Check out my review of Maroush IV - I am filchambers - on Qype

Monday, 22 September 2008

Qype: Hasenschaukel in Hamburg

Hamburg - Restaurants - Vegetarian - Cafes & Coffee Shops - Cafes - Pubs & Bars - Bars - Nightlife - Music Venues

Really really really nice venue just off the Reeperbahn. It's the most quirky place you could imagine, straight out of alice in wonderland - from the decor to the staff! It's also a cracking live music venue. I saw Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond here, and well... she blew me away. I'll be back for sure.
Check out my review of Hasenschaukel - I am filchambers - on Qype

Friday, 12 September 2008

Qype: Cimetière de Montparnasse (Cemetary) in Paris


Expansive and impressively well-kept cemetery in Montparnasse, that is a bit of a who's-who of famous French people. Sartre, Citreon, Serge Gainsbourg, and Larousse to name a few. It's not all French though - Jim Morrison isn't here, but Samuel Beckett is.

The family tombs are generally huge, like mini-churches some of them, nothing like a cemetery in the UK. I wonder how much a new plot goes for?!

Check out my review of Cimetière de Montparnasse (Cemetary) - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Rose and Crown hairdressers in London

London - Beauty & Wellness - Hairdressers

Cracking hair salon which I like a lot because it sounds like a pub. Rik is a fascinating character who has mated around with many of Manchester's musical heros, and knows everyone in Soho. There's a fish tank with 2 fish, decent tunes on the sound system, and the results aren't half bad either. Great stuff.

Check out my review of Rose and Crown hairdressers - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Les Jardins du Luxembourg in Paris

Paris - Arts & Entertainment - Parks

Bloody nice gardens! I had a lovely time walking round here last weekend - they are deceptively big, and there is a lot to see. Fountains, square trees, outdoor and indoor art exhibitions, sailing boats, chairs, ducks... it's all here.

Check out my review of Les Jardins du Luxembourg - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: le Quebec in Paris

Paris - Shopping - Tobacconists - Pubs & Bars - Bars

Must be the cheapest bar in the 6eme, and it's not that cheap! The rose was just about passable, although it was my first after a delicious sancerre which nearly broke the bank in a bar down the road, so... anyway. The bartender is absolutely mental, but fairly entertaining. It's a great place to sit and watch the queue of Parisian smokers line up for ages outside as there's nowhere else to go!

Check out my review of le Quebec - I am filchambers - on Qype

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Qype: Course Camarguaise in Noves


Ever since I got into Hemmingway, I've always wanted to drink more absinthe, do more fishing, and go to a bullfight. On my recent trip to Provence, I got the chance to sort the latter out.

We were trundling along the road from Cabannes to St. Remy, which goes round the non-descript village of Noves. When traversing the town centre, we noticed a lot of cars parked around a stadium-type structure, which could have been a flapping track in the UK, were it not for the lack of flat caps and drizzle. To my amazement, there was a lorry parked outside with a ramp down leading into the arena, and I began to realise that we'd accidently stumbled across a bullfight!

Well, this 'course camarguaise' was just about to start, and after slightly struggling to find the ticket sales windows (about 3x3cm big - no bull would get through them), I practically sprinted through the gates and strove to get a decent vantage point.

The provencal-style game is not at all like the Spanish you might be fearing. A bull will be let into the arena, and a team of 8 tracking-sporting blokes of varying fitness will attempt to run past it, get chased, and try to prise a piece of string from around its horns without getting killed. They inevitably have to perform a death-defying leap out of the stadium towards the crowd with the bull in close pursuit, and indeed, it doesn't always stop there!

One particular beast was a little more feisty than the others and proceeded to jump out after one of the blokes, and nearly gored him through the back. I spoke to some of the other spectators there who told me they'd witnessed the very same last year, and the guy had died. So, it's not without its risks. Still - at 2€ for each ring off the horns - rich rewards!

A cracking afternoon out - I will remember this for years to come.

Check out my review of Course Camarguaise - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: L’Encierro de Noves in Noves


Bullfighting arena in the centre of sleepy Noves. There is ample carparking, plenty of seating, and good views from all around. Refreshments consist of soft drinks or beer, and everything is only €2, with entrance being €8. Great afternoon out!

Check out my review of L’Encierro de Noves - I am filchambers - on Qype

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Qype: Au Pied de Fouet in Paris

Paris - Restaurants - Bistros

Looking for cheap eats in the 6eme? Look no further! Au pied de Fouet is undoubtedly popular, so get in there early, and show your face to the manager - then go for a drink elsewhere. This gives you a strong hand to play when there is a huge queue of hungry diners waiting outside, and you can waltz past them all.

The food is basic, but good. I'd be yearning for a few geziers after being in France for a week, and they came up with the goods for only €3. The main of rare beef with mash was good, but not mindblowing, but it was also 1/3 of the price of anywhere else. The wine was solid, and again very reasonably priced. With cool decor, and cozy dining arrangements that can see you meeting others at the next table - I'd recommend it.

Check out my review of Au Pied de Fouet - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Hôtel Elysées Régencia in Paris

Paris - Travel & Hotels - Hotels

Superb hotel in the centre of Paris - why stay anywhere else? The guys really get it right here, excellent service, gorgeous rooms (wooden floors throughout, even in the bathroom), full of great touches. My girlfriend became somewhat obsessed with the soap, actually, I quite liked it too!

Within walking distance of all the action, the great Chez Savy is just around the corner, as are many bars, clubs, and various monuments to the great French military victories that we didn't learn about in school....

It's not particularly cheap, but where is in Paris?

Check out my review of Hôtel Elysées Régencia - I am filchambers - on Qype

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Qype: Combettes SNC in Cabannes

Cabannes - Health - Pharmacies & Medical Supplies - Pharmacies

Just been illegally swimming in what is soon to become a trout lake and got a massive bleeding cut from some broken glass in your toe? This is the pharmacy for you! A wide range of plasters at competitive prices, including flexible, cushioning and much much more! Beware the upsell - stick to the €2 ones...

Check out my review of Combettes SNC - I am filchambers - on Qype

Monday, 8 September 2008

Qype: Three Tuns Brewery in Bishops Castle

Bishops Castle - Arts & Entertainment - Day Trips - Food & Drink - Wine, Beer & Spirits

Had a great day out today fulfilling my yearning for some serious real ale action after months of life in Germany. To that end, I visited one of the UK's oldest independent breweries, Three Tuns. I'm not sure how old the existing building is, but it's a gorgeous red brick affair that was threatened with residential development in 2002. Fortunately, common sense won out and the brewery began producing again in 2003.

The current output can only be described as fantastic. I drank Three Tuns all over mid-Shropshire today, and each pint was magical. From the first extremely hoppy XXX, to the pint of Stirling after lunch in the adjacent Three Tuns Inn, to the pint of Curate straight from the barrel. I ended up going home a happy man carrying 12 pints of the amber nectar with me.

Unfortunately, brewery tours have to be booked in advance, and it's best to arrange for a Saturday. I shall do just that!

Check out my review of Three Tuns Brewery - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: The Three Tuns Inn in Bishops Castle

Bishops Castle - Pubs & Bars - Pubs

Lovely period inn in Bishops Castle, right next door to the brewery of the same name. Actually, for one reason or another the two are not affiliated now, but of course they stock of range of the legendary bitter in tip top condition. The pub is rather quaint on the outside, but fairly spaceous and airy inside, having evidently had a fair bit of work done. It's all very pleasant, and the menu looked great, although I didn't indulge.

Check out my review of The Three Tuns Inn - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Little Bay Restaurant in London

London - Restaurants - French

I really like Little Bay. It's not that often you can eat out in London and feel like it was really good value, but here you definitely can. They are a small chain of about 6 places now, I think this may have been the first one. The decor is quite boho - reminds me a bit of Beach Blanket Babylon or Les Trois Garcons, but a whole world cheaper. The cuisine is French, and good at that. Everything I've had here has been delicious. Prices as in the previous review, but actually, if you get here before 1800 - it's even cheaper than quoted!


Check out my review of Little Bay Restaurant - I am filchambers - on Qype