Monday, June 2, 2014

When in Prague...

Did you know that people from Prague are called Praguers? It doesn't have quite the same ring as 'Parisiennes' but that's OK! Ciaran and I spent a lovely weekend exploring the Czech capital last month and this is what we found...

There is so much good food to be eaten in Prague!

For breakfast try Cafe Savoy. The beautiful carved ceiling dates back to 1893 and you can have the biggest and best breakfast of your life for around £10. I ordered the Savoy Breakfast which included a slice of home made nut marble cake, fresh bread and fruit compote, organic emmental cheese with local ham and eggs, all washed down with velvety rich coffee. If you're feeling especially hungry try the French Breakfast, I dare you... All the bread and cakes are baked daily and when you go downstairs to the loos there is a mezzanine level with a glass wall that allows you to look down into the pastry kitchen. When I visited the bakers were all hard at work filing big cake tins with that magical marble cake mixture and piping out what looked like Viennese Whirls onto a giant baking tray. The cafe itself has a lovely, refined vibe and is the perfect place to get your visit off to a good start!

Sansho is an awesome nose to tail restaurant serving up fresh and tasty Asian food.  Go for the tasting menu - my personal highlights were a delicious pork knuckle taco, beef rendang curry and deep fried soft shell crab steamed bun burger! The restaurant has a nice and relaxed (and slightly East London) vibe.

Try La Bottega Di Finistra for wafer thin prosciutto and for plates of deliciously fresh and juicy salads (perfect if you happen to have eaten veal escalopes deep fried in dripping the night before...). They also serve freshly squeezed carrot juice and make sure you get an ice cream to take away with you for desert!

You must must must also go to Bakeshop for gorgeous, velvety coffee and croissants. We also bought a bag of their Delicious fresh baked cookies to have with a cup of tea at home!

We hopped on a tour bus and whizzed around the city for an hour (I'm 31 weeks pregnant OK!) and wondered about the old town gazing at the pretty roof lines (make sure you check out the old astronomical clock in the old town square - on the hour every hour it plays a little tune and a saint pops out from behind a door. It was built in 1410 and the city councilors were so impressed with it they blinded the inventor who made it so that he couldn't make another one for anyone else ever again...)

You can walk over the famous Charles Bridge and up the hill to the castle and if you stand at the top and look down the hill you'll see some sweet little gardens which admittedly don't look like much from above (see photo below) but as you're winding your way down through them you'll find hidden rose gardens, herb gardens, statues, fountains and even an orangery built back into the hill (the smell inside was incredible and as a native of a cold and wet country I always get a kick out of seeing nobbly bobbly citrus fruit growing on trees). This was probably my favourite bit of Prague!

We arrived at lunchtime-ish on the Friday and flew back on the Sunday evening which was the perfect amount of time. There's probably about two days worth of sightseeing to do and some great places to eat - all cheap as chips too!

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