the life and (drinking) times of phil chambers

Friday, 31 July 2009

Qype: Altonaer Fischmarkt in Hamburg

Hamburg - Shopping - Food & Drink - Fishmongers - Arts & Entertainment - Events - Shopping - Food & Drink - Farmer's Markets - Arts & Entertainment - Landmarks

How have I not reviewed the fish market?! If you have the energy, it’s great fun to join the hoards of stumbling bodies out of the clubs and bars of the Reeperbahn and down the hill to the fish market. You’ll find trailers galore packed with tasty fruits of the sea, which to be honest at this point I can never really stomach, so I throw mine to the seagulls and watch the sun come up.

Check out my review of Altonaer Fischmarkt - I am filchambers - on Qype

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Qype: Three Gorges Dam in Yichang


This is the big one. The world’s largest civil engineering project, the earth’s biggest dam, the greatest feat of hydroelectric endeavor in human history, yes, it’s the three gorges dam.

I had waited years to see this monster, and was not disappointed, it really is that big. Over 2km in width, and containing around 40 cubic km of water, generating over 22.5MW of power (around 3% of China’s total consumption!), it’s the kind of project that could only be built here. Casualties include quite a lot of people who had to move house, and the Yangtze river dolphin which hasn’t been seen since, but I guess in the grand scheme of things, this is doing quite a lot to prevent global warming.

Well worth a trip!

Check out my review of Three Gorges Dam - I am filchambers - on Qype

Monday, 27 July 2009

Qype: Dragon Bar in Yichang


Well well well, a bar showing the ashes coverage in Yichang?! Yes it was our own personal mecca as we didn’t really want the eclipse-watching madness to interfere with important sporting events back home, and we were literally amazed that it didn’t have to. The staff can be somewhat unruly, but they won’t close the bar until you leave, and by the end I’d taken control of the sound system and was mixing the cocktails too, so we were quite at home. Not so much in the way of other customers, but if you bring 13 friends, you’ll be OK!

Check out my review of Dragon Bar - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Taohualing Hotel in Yichang


Wow, what a hotel! Built in 1957 and without a single change since then, this is the place that really does have everything! Former guests include various cold war stars such as Kim Jong-Il, Kissenger, and Helmut Kohl, presumably in the 2 presidential suites up top. We didn’t stay there, but in the 'delux’ rooms at a whopping 15 quid a night, which include bedside lamp controls, an in-room PC and free internet, and A/C.

There’s a swimming pool downstairs, a dedicated card/poker room on the 8th, and some incredibly tacky gift shops in the lobby! Glass cabbage anyone? I was tempted.

The staff are really what make the place, incredibly friendly and attentive, and it’s possible to organise trips to all the local sights (three gorges dam, Yangtze river) from here. If you happen to be in Yichang for the next solar eclipse that passes through, you could do worse than to stay here!

Check out my review of Taohualing Hotel - I am filchambers - on Qype

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Qype: Bar 25 in Berlin

Berlin - Eating & Drinking - Pubs & Bars - Bars - Beach Bars - Eating & Drinking - Restaurants - International

Mixed feelings from the Qype crowd, but if you want to form your own opinion you better get down here soon since it’s finally closing down in August. Bar 25 certainly beats any beach club we’ve got in Hamburg, and I actually thought it was great despite being reasonably quiet on a Thursday night.

Where else can you find a really good restaurant, DJs, campfires, a sauna, swings all in one place?! Laid back vibe, relaxed dress code, and like everyone else says, the staff are fairly arsey! Still, unique, so it gets 4 stars from me.

Check out my review of Bar 25 - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Grüne Flora in Hamburg

Hamburg - Shopping - Florists

Fantastic florist and mini garden centre just next to Die Herren Simpel on Schulterblatt. They have a decent range of cheap terracotta pots, climbers, some trees etc.

The inside of the shop is a bit of a work of art, and would be a fantastic place to work for the smell alone.

Well worth a look. I’ll update you on my new clematis soon!

Check out my review of Grüne Flora - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Kögel Gartenmarkt Inh. Eric Rosenquest e.K. in Hamburg

Hamburg - Shopping - Garden Centres

Could this be the most expensive garden centre in the world?! Probably not, but it is pretty bloody pricey. On the plus side however, I can almost spit from here to back home, so when my arms are full of compost, acers and porcelain, I try to forget what I paid for them.

Kögel’s is a bit of tardis of a shop as there is an extensive area out back, where you can find water features, windbreaks, and the odd tree. Well worth a browse even before payday, if I ever get a mortgage, I could perhaps have a look at that lovely lemon tree!

Check out my review of Kögel Gartenmarkt Inh. Eric Rosenquest e.K. - I am filchambers - on Qype

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Qype: Mobile Blues Club (MBC) in Hamburg

Hamburg - Eating & Drinking - Pubs & Bars - Bars - Jazz & Blues

Fantastically weird and wonderful venue which is in a converted trailer in the Schanze. They have live music a few nights per week, and sometime arcane theatre performances with everyone crammed into this tiny space.

The outside garden is under the trees, and the candle-lit tables give a chilled, festival vibe. You almost forget you were in the city…

Check out my review of Mobile Blues Club (MBC) - I am filchambers - on Qype

Qype: Marylebone Station in London

London - Transportation - Public Transport - Stations - Underground Stations

Marlyebone is probably my favourite of all London termini, it’s lovely and small, and the ironwork glows beautifully in from the sunshine streaming through the centre of the arched roof. Of course, the real reason I’m always so excited to come is here is because I know I’ll be boarding the Class 67 hauled service of the Wrexham and Shropshire railway, and harking back to a golden era in rail travel…. but I’ll leave that for another review!

Check out my review of Marylebone Station - I am filchambers - on Qype