Tis the season to be silly I suppose and to make some admissions - give me a time machine, let me set the time and destination and it'd be an opium den, probably somewhere in Shanghai, probably around 1906. You can keep your Yates's Wine Lodges, All Bar Ones and other endless corporatised pubs selling me only the drugs the government says I'm allowed - give me a good old-school opium den every time!
As you may have noticed I've been researching old
But opium dens only live on as bars now selling all forms of corporatised alcoholic drinks, overpriced food and supposed bohemianism but mostly just glorified pubs and Chinese take-aways. And so a guide to opium dens you can visit today:
Chinois exoticism lives at
Honolulu has an opium den targeting American tourists with drinks in large glasses and with paper umbrellas in - which for many American tourists I accept is probably a very daring night out on their annual 3 day holiday or whatever they get over there
Then there's the Opium Den Chinese restaurant in Oxford - who says Oxford's lost its edge and just become a holiday home for posh kids and full fee paying overseas students who buy the heritage and get awarded the degree however bad their English cause they paid wads?