travel tips

Milan - dining and (record) shopping

Up next in our series of travel tips is the Italian city of Milan or Milano.

Known for fashion of course, and if you are into fashion, don't go there unless you can spend some money...

But even if you are not into fashion, there's plenty to see, do and especially eat :-) An overview, approved by WPH ;-)

- Scala Café (next to the famous opera house): Sit down, and order the BEST hot chocolate I ever drank!

- Obika, Mozzarella Bar: Fond of everything mozzarella? Find it here and go for the aperitivo first. The one on Via Mercato in Brera is a really nice one, but you can find some more spread out over the city.

-  La Cantina de Franco (Via Rafaello Sanzio 16): Situated in a more relaxed shopping area of Milan, this spot is perfect for tasting gorgeous wine and enjoying top notch dishes ranging from jamon Ibérico to French foie gras.

I was warned that Milan is not known for its record shopping, but after a few tips from locals I found some very decent vinyls at good prices in two different shops:

- Serendeepity (Corso de Porta Ticinese 100): One of the coolest streets and areas I was. Plenty of nice bars, alternative shops and this record shop that has a solid selection of new stuff and some good classics too. Found an old A Guy Called Gerald I never saw in here :-)

- Vinyl Brokers (Via Pericle, metro Precotto): In a more uptown area Vinyl Brokers offers a very good selection of second hand disco, soul, funk and house. All neatly ordered and everything in absolute mint condition, prices ranging from 3 to 7 euro for some very nice vinyls. That's what we call a bargain. They have a very nice selection on Discogs too, so check that out before you go and just ask!


Toronto Dining & Record Shopping

A couple of weeks ago San Soda and I played in Toronto at the 'Evening Standard' party, which went down at the lovely Drake Hotel. A killer venue holding two dancefloors, a bar, a restaurant and a hotel. Situated at 1150 Queen Street West, this spot is the perfect starting point to explore the more alternative side of Toronto. It was so alternative and fun we didn't even make it to downtown...

But this is about dining and record shopping right? Indeed it is! Dining in Toronto was a treat, with these two places deserving a special mention:

'Delux' Cuban dining at 92 Ossington Avenue. ( An absolute treat of a brunch in a very nice environment. Perfect wake-up call after the party night...

 'The Black Hoof' at 928 Dundas Street West. If you love your meat pure and cure(d), this is THE spot. In house cured meats of the highest quality, combined with very original tapas-styled dishes and accompanied by some very nice local beers, what self-respecting Belgian DJ could want more?

As far as record shopping went, we only went to the two stores of Cosmos Records on Queen Street West, but safe to say that they are all you need if you are looking for rare jazz, soul, hiphop and house. A true digger's paradise and a very knowledgeable owner. Records may be expensive, but they are second hand, and you can open your mouth now can you? It's called 'haggling', and it works as long as it's played fair on both sides :-)

All this free info was brought to you by WPH, lest you forget :-p


Berlin - Essen & Schallplatten

Is there anything we can say of Berlin that hasn't been said before? Is it the best city to enjoy underground music? Yes it is. Is it a nice place to walk and live in? Yes it is. Does it have a non-stop party scene for all creeds and colours? Yes it has. Is it a good place to enjoy great food at normal prices? Yes it is. And is it still a haven for vinyl diggers old and new? Of course it is. So I'm not gonna repeat all that... :-p Just a couple of addresses you might not know.

Killer food can be found at the legendary White Trash Restaurant near the Rosa Luxemburg Platz. If you have always looked for a spot that serves burgers in a place where you can find aquariums, rock bands, go-go dancers, pinball machines all at once, look no more... But do make reservations!

Discovered thanks to the Panoramabar people: restaurant Schneeweiss ( in Friedrichshain. Top notch restaurant with a top notch service and the very best Wiener schnitzel you've ever tasted!

Record shopping in Berlin is easy: Hardwax, Space Hall, Melting Point, Audio In and many many more, but a special mention goes to Oye Records in the Oderberger Strasse in Prenzlauer Berg. You'll be hard pressed to find a better selection of old and new than in this superb store. WPH approved all the way ;-)


Detroit Record Shopping

Any decent lover of house and techno has got to go to Detroit one day. The reasonable approach would be to go during the annual electronic music festival on Memorial Day, but you should really go there when nothing is happening to get the true vibe of this very special city. But this is about record shops and not politics, so let's cut straight to the chase: Detroit is a veritable heaven for second hand shopping! BEWARE: you NEED a car in Detroit...

Melodies & Memories, Gratiot Avenue 23000 something (in Eastpointe): the Dance Zone is closed but opened up on simple request, and a true treasury for all things house and techno. Sealed copies of things that go for too much money on Discogs, multiple copies of Detroit underground classics, white labels, etc, etc. Prices ranging from 4 USD to 10 USD at most for 12" ...

People's Records, Woodward Avenue, 3000 something: an orderly selection of funk, soul & disco, and a decent amount of house, techno & more 12"s. Check the state of the records, because they can be a bit overpriced. But the people running it are cool and will cut you a good deal. True diggin' style is needed here, but well worth the time.

S.I.D. store (Somewhere In Detroit), You have to make an appointment with this institute of Detroit underground music, but you cannot love techno without having been at the Underground Resistance HQ. Limited stock because they focus on their own products, but almost all of their releases are well worth having, and most are plain and simple essential. Low prices and be sure to get one of the UR t-shirts too. Bridgette who is running the store is the nicest of ladies and it just feels good supporting people that are - for lack of a better word - real.

Detroit Threads, Joseph Campau 10000 something in Hamtramck (a Polish neighbourhood to the east of Highland Park): another paradise for house and techno lovers. Too many good records for your bank account... Sealed copies of classic Detroit labels, racks upon racks of used vinyl, at very good prices, and a serious collection of Detroit t-shirts. Mike is the nicest of shopkeepers and a true legend among Detroit vinyl heads.

We didn't get to do Hello Records (on Bagley & Trumbull) and The Record Graveyard (on Caniff and Joseph Campau in Hamtramck), but apparently these would not look bad in the list we did do. 

Detroit, vinyl and WPH: one love!


Tapas de luxe in Amsterdam?

If you are in Amsterdam and feeling a bit peckish and you do not want to indulge in the local tradition of ATM-style food...

Envy on Prinsengracht 381 is your answer! Tipped by Bib Gourmand since years on end, this place is a veritable treasury of tastes you have never experienced before. Kinda like a DJ set by San Soda or Red D :-p

The concept is simple: tapas, but highest class gastronomy only! Top service as well, so just go for it, and don't forget to thank us for the tip :-)


Fancy Italian food in London?

Feeling a bit peckish and you don't wanna go Mickey D's/KFC or any of the thousands of cheap but very suspicious-looking restaurants in London? You like good food and brilliant service juxtaposed with a complete disaster of an interior? Look no further: La Forchetta on 426 Bethnal Green Road is your answer!

San Soda, Gratts & Red D approved ;-)


Are we a record label or a tourist guide?

Well, we want to be both. Because what does a DJ do when he is playing abroad and has time left in a city where he doesn't know that many people? The standard answer to this is probably stay in his ****-hotel and watch porn movies, but we get all the porn we want at home, and so we go out exploring. Records shops, restaurants, bars, anything that really strikes us. 

And so we will share all our discoveries with you through this part of the WPH blog, and make sure that whenever you visit a won't have to stay in and watch porn all day...


Why not start at home? Ghent restaurants we frequently visit...

As mentioned in the intro, the idea of this part of the blog is to give you travel tips from our various trips around the globe. But why not start the other way around and give you some hotspots of our beloved city of Ghent?

Music is a necessity of life, but so is eating, and even more so :-) So here are some of my personal favourites to have a good dinner in Ghent:

Martino, Vlaanderenstraat 125, 9000 Ghent: hotspot of Ghent nightlife, open from 18h till 1h, pure Belgian classics and steaks galore!

Thalia, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 138, 9000 Ghent: specialised in quiche and fajitas and very much good value for your money.

Frituur Bij Sint Jacobs, Bij St Jacobs, 9000 Ghent: wanna try real Belgian fries? This is THE spot! Not really a restaurant, but still :-)

Il Mezzogiorno, Baudelokaai 17, 9000 Ghent: small, intimate and very Sicilian, with offers you cannot refuse...