the life and (drinking) times of phil chambers

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Qype: The Jerusalem Tavern in London

London - Pubs & Bars - Pubs

The Jerusalem Tavern is one of the best pubs in London. As St. Peter's flagship, and indeed only, attached pub, you can be sure that you'll have a bitter experience bar none. The first time I went here and saw organic ale on draught, I was really very excited. They have faux-barrels set in the wall behind the tiny wooden bar, which is a nice touch. You can also procure a massive range of St. Peter's bottled ales you don't see anywhere else.

If you're lucky, the "upstairs" seating area will be free - this is like a small pulpit which can seat 4 small, or 3 medium sized people! And you feel quite special sitting at everyone else's head height...

Anyway, most times, to be honest you can't get a seat - so it's probably better for summer drinking standing out on the street. But full marks none-the-less. Great pub.
Check out my review of The Jerusalem Tavern - I am filchambers - on Qype

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Qype: BR101 in Berlin

Berlin - Pubs & Bars - Bars

Cheap. Cocktails. Made quickly, and with little fuss. You won't be getting an umbrella in your drink for this kind of money, but then, when it's dark and hailing outside, do you even want one?

The menu is extensive, with a huge section of their own creations, which are a little off-the-wall, but not at all bad. I had some whiskey-vodka brew which calmed the nerves in anticipation of meeting my hero, Andrew Bird in the Roter Salon later on.

I was happy to see a reassuring Qype sticker in the window too!
Check out my review of BR101 - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Berlin Hauptbahnhof in Berlin

Berlin - Travel & Hotels - Stations

I often feel like I'm living in the future when living in Germany. That is one of the reasons I like it so much. Part of this emotion is connected to the sometimes brutally, but always fantastically modern architecture, that is so popular here. Berlin Hauptbahnhof does not disappoint on that front. A triumph of towering glass and steel, with tracks above your head seemingly impossibly supported, and also below your feet, at different angles. The mainline platforms are so straight, that trains make no noise entering and exiting the station. There are numerous escalators to traverse your way up and down between myriad levels.

Of course, the other advantage of living in the future, compared to just thinking you live in the future, is that everyone would be clever enough to navigate round a building like this. If only I'd wanted a kebab at 7am and not a coffee eh? Still, small price to pay, for the future.
Check out my review of Berlin Hauptbahnhof - I am filchambers - on Qype

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Qype: Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in London

London - Pubs & Bars - Pubs

Hiding in a tiny alleyway half way down Fleet Street, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is a rare treat. It's cheap, being Sammy Smith's and all, and you feel like you're in a little miniature world. I suppose, back in the day, everyone was smaller, so pubs only needed to be this big. These days, it's a tight squeeze, but get your elbows in, and find a place at one of the bars, and you'll get served soon enough.

When you get sick of the being hemmed in/too hot, walk down to The Old Bank of England, a Fuller's ale and pie house a short hop from here and get yourself a pint of Discovery to freshen up.
Check out my review of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese - I am filchambers - on Qype

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Qype: Salisbury Pub in London

London - Pubs & Bars - Pubs

There is no better pub round here than The Harp. I mean why would you ever go anywhere else? They've got a breville out back and will do you a sausage... wait a minute... what's this?! The Salisbury?! My word. There is a pub which is (almost) on a par with The Harp around the Leicester Square/Covent Garden areas, and it is this one. And as an added bonus, there's plenty of seating, so you might even persuade the girls from the office to come with you.

Recommended ale: Morrisey Fox.
Check out my review of Salisbury Pub - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: The Hoxton Grille in London

London - Restaurants - International

Cracking food, great surroundings, crap service. This place is a bit desperately trendy, but has an interesting mixed crowd at lunchtime. It's owned by the same people who run Room in Leeds (which is somewhere I used to frequent!), and you can tell. My fellow diners were happy enough with their food, and my lamb shank was delicious (see photos), but the fact that it took an hour to arrive means, only 3 stars from Phil. Sorry guys.
Check out my review of The Hoxton Grille - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Bunker Bar in London

London - Pubs & Bars - Bars

Me me me, I've got an umlaut in my name. Check my diaeresis. I haven't actually, but the Beer Bünker has. Because of this, I walked past the "Bünker" sign and totally missed the entrance.

Anyway, I digress. It's a massive underground beer hall that stinks of chip fat and has a so-called microbrewery, although you wouldn't think so given the quality of the beer.

On the plus side, you're not likely to be short of room here, but I'm struggling to recommend it given the close proximity of The Harp...
Check out my review of Bunker Bar - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: The Real Greek in London

London - Restaurants - Greek

Hmmm, what to say? Incredibly incompetent service here at lunch ("I've lost my pen so I can't take your order?!!") - I even offered mine but he wasn't interested. It's also quite expensive for what you get. However, the food was delicious, and I really like the trad pub decor, so I'll give it 3. A big downer for me really though, is that someone has contrived to convert a lovely pub like this, into a bloody restaurant. A real Greek tragedy.
Check out my review of The Real Greek - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London

London - Nightlife - Clubs - Nightlife - Music Venues

This place is class. Worth every penny of the entrance fee everytime I've been.

It's a surprisingly small and intimate setting to see some really world class musicians. And, since it's now non-smoking, you can also chat to them whilst they're having a fag outside! I met Kyle Eastwood here and even resisted the temptation to mention his Dad...

Highly recommended.
Check out my review of Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club - I am filchambers - on Qype

Monday, 10 November 2008

Qype: Annette in Hamburg


Stodgy German eat-in takeaway which is EXTREMELY popular for lunch. You will struggle to get a seat in here for sure, so I was pretty excited about the food. However, it's not that great. The zigeuner schnitzel sauce is extremely sweet, like a chinese type sweet and sour, and tastes artificial. The breadcrumb was also quite soggy. The doner with jacket potato was nice though, with lashings of sour creme.

It's averagely priced, but has generous portions. Warning: you will come out of here smelling like a takeaway...
Check out my review of Annette - I am filchambers - on Qype

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Qype: Unicorn Gallery in Widnes

Widnes - Arts & Entertainment - Galleries

Fantastic art gallery in a really unlikely location! You'd never find it if you were passing through, so it's worth mentioning on Qype. They have a great range of paintings to suit any budget - and I've also been very pleased with the high-quality framing service they offer.
Check out my review of Unicorn Gallery - I am filchambers - on Qype

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Qype: Room Restaurant in Leeds

Leeds - Restaurants - International

Room is a great place to come on a date you want to impress. They are positioned as a modern funky place and have invested heavily in the right decor to prove it. Purple drapes, low light... candles, cool music. It's certainly the right ambiance.

The food is also good. My main gripe with this place is that it's just a bit snotty. In trying very hard to be cool and chic, it loses any sort of friendly vibe. It's also a bit of a ripoff - small-ish portions, although nice, and expensive wine.

Still, worth a look in.
Check out my review of Room Restaurant - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Oporto in Leeds

Leeds - Restaurants

At the trendier end of the spectrum of central Leeds bars, but none-the-less we've had some pretty good nights out in here. My main gripe would be the popularity of the place, you generally have to be pretty pushy to get served in any reasonable time on busy nights (Fri/Sat), and it's not cheap either. Obviously if I still lived in Leeds I would drink in The Grove and not here, but when you had to go out with a group of girls, it's far and away not the worst choice!
Check out my review of Oporto - I am filchambers - on Qype