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Prague

Prague

Just got back from Prague. It has been a good few days away and I am glad to see that the weather in England has also cheered up a bit. Our trip to Prague was essentially with the aim of sight-seeing and doing all the touristy things at the forefront of our itinerary and all the foodie activity secondary. That is not to say that we did not have some good food. In general I was very impressed with the quality of food that we encountered, especially given that it is not renowned as a gastronomic capital. I will of course write about the places we ate in more detail when I have fully recovered and have things in order but before then here are a few quick thoughts on our recent trip:

  • Prague is an absolutely beautiful city, almost straight out of a fairy tale book and most of the key attractions are within walking distance – just remember to pack an umbrella!
  • Do not head to Charles Bridge at mid-day. You have been warned.
  • We stayed at the Intercontinental which is conveniently located near the shopping district and Old Town Square.
  • Dining out is comparatively a lot cheaper, especially when you are used to eating out in other big cities like London, Paris or Hong Kong. This may in part be due to the good £ to Kc exchange rates.
  • The level of cooking here is generally quite good. There were quite a few hidden gems that we chanced upon – not necessarily going to win 3*s but still very good for what it was.
  • Degustation menus in Prague are very different from those found in England or France. You choose any number of courses you would like to eat and decide based on a list of dishes which looks vaguely like a 3 course a la carte menu. Both guests do not have to choose the same dishes, or can have the same dishes in different orders. Must be hell for the kitchen!
  • Most restaurants don’t cater for vegetarians. Even the two Michelin starred restaurants in the city do not have a vegetarian menu. One of them did at least make an effort to cobble something together last minute. If you are a vegetarian, best look for vegetarian only restaurants.
  • There is also very little in terms of fish on the menu, given that the Czech Republic is landlocked. Interestingly, Halibut seems to be the fish of choice seen on every single restaurant menu we visited.
  • Service is not included in the bill, so tipping is at your discretion. Generally 10-15% is the norm if at a nice restaurant, or rounding up to the closest figure if at a simple eatery.
  • I have heard very little about Czech wine prior to my visit. My wine atlas has very little on that subject. On this trip I managed to try some with a meal pairing. I don’t think I will be rushing to the shop to buy a few bottles based on what I tried.
  • Although I am glad I have managed to try some potato dumplings, there are only so many dumplings I can eat in one trip…