Monthly Archives: November 2019

Scones in Another City: A Glorious Glutton’s Guide to Café Culture in Prague (part 2)

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Hello again, folks. We here at SITC (a.k.a. me, your intrepid guide and gastro-nerd) are continuing our exploration of the Czech capital one Makový koláček at a time. For the next couple of posts we will be focusing on Prague’s thriving café culture, exploring some of the most popular and delightful spots in which to marvel at Marlenka and bask in the perfect brew. Bottoms up! ☕

*****

Café Louvre (Národní 22)

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Possibly my favourite café in Prague, any establishment that can boast a clientele that included Einstein and leaves pencils and paper on the tables for diners to record their thoughts is alright by me (and by thoughts I mean profound ideas that shape literature and inspire nations, not games of Hangman or doodles of man bits and mammaries). Yes, it’s noisy and the first thing you encounter on ascending the stairs is a gift shop, but there is a jovial atmosphere and the food is plentiful and of good quality. It also helps that the waiters don’t all look like they wish you’d flush yourself down the nearest toilet rather than talk to them. For the Czech Republic that is high praise indeed

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Chicken in Peppercorn Sauce with home-made Spätzle 219 czk – A perfectly cooked breast of chicken with a pasta/noodle/dumpling/gnocchi ball, just in case you were planning to climb Everest and needed to stock up on a month’s worth of carbs

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Large Beef Goulash with Carlsbad Dumplings 229 czk – Tender chunks of beef marinating in a thick beef broth. The combination of the dumplings and the broth is magnificent. Without doubt my favourite meal to eat whilst in Prague. One day I hope to demolish all of those dumplings as currently my record stands at four and a half before hitting a starch wall. Some dreams just can’t be realised

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Apple Strudel 79 czk – An adequate dessert lacking the currants and cinnamon to make it truly memorable

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Mini Dessert Plate 149 czk – Tastes just as good as it looks

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Fresh Orange Juice with Strawberries 71 czk – One glass is never enough. The kiwi and banana option is also wonderful

Cafe at the Museuem of Alchemists & Magicians (Jánský vršek 8)

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Just across the courtyard from the Museum of Crackpots Alchemists, this is as close as you’re likely to come to finding a real-life replica of the potions classroom from Hogwarts

Kaldi (Vyšehradská 429/37)

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A lovely slice of spinach quiche and the kind of smooth, milky Cappuccino that could turn a dedicated teaholic over to the dark side

Leli’s Cupcakes (Vyšehradská 1446/53)

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Fruit tea 45 czk – Offering a lovely collection of reasonably priced cupcakes, I’m afraid I was only able to sigh and gaze longingly through the glass as there simply wasn’t enough room in my stomach for more treats. The café also has a great selection of toys for your munchkins to play with, making this that most frightening of places for the lone epicurean to visit: a family friendly hang-out (shudder)

Globe Bookstore & Café (Pštrossova 1925/6)

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Mexican Coffee with Kahlua 85 czk – The first English language bookshop established in Prague in 1993, you can overfill your hand luggage with Umberto Eco books (if you’re in Prague and decide to purchase Eco’s ‘The Prague Cemetery’ to suit your location be warned that almost none of it actually takes place in Prague. Instead, treat yourself to ‘Me, Myself and Prague’ by Rachael Weiss. All the Prague you can shake a Trdelník at. You’re welcome), use their free wi-fi, play a board game (they have ‘Countdown’, though no ten-foot clock or Suzie Dent in Dictionary Corner, so good luck with that), charge your various electrical devices and kick back in the characterful if draughty café for a cocktail or liqueur coffee. How good is the coffee with Kahlúa? I didn’t even bother to sip it to make it last longer. I downed it within two minutes and immediately ordered another

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Hot Pear Juice 49 czk / Stuffed Rolls 38 czk per portion – Favoured by bohemians and students trying to make a pint of beer last an entire semester, this cosy nook just off the tourist trail is warm and inviting with rustic interiors and a lovely ambience. I recommend a small salami roll to nibble on and a mug of piping hot pear juice (or two mugs. Or three, even. We’re on tour, folks! Do you think Keith Richards counts how many drinks he’s had when the Stones are wheeled out on tour? ‘Course not. You don’t get to looking like an empty walnut shell through moderation. Line ’em up and glug ’em down!)

Cafe Ebel (Řetězová 9)

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Ginger Tea & Chocolates 115 czk – Despite appearances I haven’t been served a cup of hot water. The ginger is hidden inside the pot. A cramped, rather echoey place with a number of marks and cracks defacing the mismatched crockery, Cafe Ebel is too cold and lacking in atmosphere for my taste, but the collection of cakes look nice and the pistachio truffles are a real treat

Pauseteria (U Radnice 11/4)

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English Breakfast Tea 89 czk – A trendy coffee shop just off Old Town Square, it is best to order a fruit tea or a drink that doesn’t come with too many different components. Waiting nearly ten minutes for a jug of milk when there are three baristas kicking their heels before closing time makes me want to claim back the 5 czk I left as a tip when they forgot to give me my change  

Kavarna Lucerna (Vodickova 36)

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Green Tea with Citron Tart 109 ckz – With views overlooking a man riding an upside down horse (a statue, obviously. In real life his bottom would be shoved against the horse’s… well, let’s not linger on that image too long), this classy café forms part of the glorious Kino cinema and is adorned with monochrome photos of Czech actors and actresses I’ve never heard of. The perfect place for caking-loving cinephile teaholics everywhere

Rainbow’s End Café & Art Garden (Mostecká 14)

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Ham & Cheese Quesadilla 119 czk / Caramel Walnut Pie 99 czk – Located just down from the Charles Bridge, this easy-to-miss gem is a hidden oasis right in the heart of the city. Wander down the enclosed alleyway and you are greeted by a gorgeous courtyard and lured in with the promise of cakes and tea and soupy substances. I opted for a lovely Quesadilla oozing gooey melted cheese (though a blob of guacamole would have elevated this from good to knockout status) and a mighty fine slice of caramel walnut pie, a dessert so good that I came back for seconds a few days later. A wonderful, wonderful place

That’s all for this week, folks. Be sure to pop back soon for more Prague food porn as we continue to devour our way across the capital. Till next time xx

All prices/information correct as of October 2019

Feel free to share stories, views and tips in the comments section below. Always fun to hear from fellow teaholics xx

Scones in Another City: A Glorious Glutton’s Guide to Prague (part 1)

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Dobrý den folks. Scones in the City is back on tour. Yes, the news that no one was waiting for (though stats indicate I’m developing a cult following in Albania. As you also took Norman Wisdom to your bosom you clearly have unusual tastes), we are visiting the Czech capital for more food adventures as I continue to gormandise the globe in my own erratic, befuddled fashion. To keep things moving at a nice pace (we have two weeks of foodie business to take care of and my attention span is only so long) we will be heavy on the visuals and a little lighter on the text, so expect a plethora of pithy reviews and all the food porn you can lust over. All prices are given in Czech Crowns so if you feel the need to calculate in Dollars, Pounds, Belarusian Rubles etc. you can give Google something to do that doesn’t involve typing in half heard song lyrics from car ads hoping it’ll tell you the name of the band singing it (it’s First Aid Kit, by the way. It’s always First Aid Kit). Welcome to Prague, folks. May the Kulajda flow like water and the Trdelníks be tossed into a skip. Užívat si! 🍭

*****

Sova (Balbínova 392/4)

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Pumpkin Soup with Mushrooms and Feta: 80 czk – Warm and creamy with a pleasant kick of crumbly feta

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Beef Tartar 180 czk – Delicious ground beef with herbs and inedible toasted shrapnel

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Turkey Fillet with Apple-Celery Mousse: 255 czk – A Christmas dinner in October! Well-cooked but bland meat served with rock-hard carrots, peas and sweet potato puree, which as we all know is the work of the devil. Not bad as such. Just not very interesting

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Dark Beer Ice Cream with Buckwheat Mousse 115 czk – Presented as though hoping to win a prize at a science fair this concoction is… well, lets be kind and say it has a unique taste. Maybe if I knew, understood or liked beer this would hold greater appeal, but watching the ice cream melt into a bitter alcoholic sludge did not make for a fun culinary experience. Oh well, two good dishes out of four isn’t bad

Perníkový panáček (Malá Strana)

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A cute cookie shop with imaginatively designed biscuits and the most amazing aroma as products are freshly baked on the premises. I just wished that the gingerbread men actually tasted like gingerbread and not like… well, like not very much, really. Visually arresting but lacking in taste and flavour

Chilli Point (Havelská 8)

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Crème Brûlée with Naga Jolokia Chillies 180 czk – Served with marinated apples, ginger ice cream, blackberries and lemon grass, this lovely dessert comes courtesy of Chilli Point, a restaurant devoted to putting chillies into food where chillies aren’t usually required. As I could happily eat chillies all day until they burnt a hole through my intestines this was a treat, though the presence of the Naga Jolokia chillies wasn’t as fiery as I had hoped for. Still, a beautiful creation

Café Savoy (Vítězná 124/5)

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Savoy Fruit Dumplings 258 czk – I know what you’re thinking. ‘Ahhhhhhhh, ‘ickle cute fruit dumplings. I bet they are delicious’. This was what I thought when they were brought to the table, and admittedly they do look enticing, but do not be fooled! These are balls of concentrated foulness. The fruit is bitter, the dumplings themselves are rubbery and the curds and cottage cheese are unpleasant to the extreme. I honestly have no idea if this was meant to be a savoury dish or a dessert. It exists in some culinary netherworld where it succeeds in fulfilling neither criteria. In short, bloody horrible. In the interest of fairness however I should point out that the green tea I used to swish around my mouth was lovely and the wooden interior of the cafe is stunning. They just need to sack the chef who spewed this out of the serving hatch

Petrin Hill

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A glass of green tea overlooking Prague Castle. When it became acceptable to serve boiling hot beverages in drinking vessels without handles I’m not sure. Maybe they just ran out of cups

Cafe Re:public (Petřínské sady 633)

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Hot Wine 79 czk / Green Tea with Honey 69 czk – I have to be honest here, folks; after a couple of glasses of mulled wine I’ve completely lost the ability to think, write or create an impartial review on this place without giggling (it took me three minutes to spell ‘impartial’, for heaven’s sake. My brain is clearly turning into a wine-sodden mulch) The cafe itself is located at the top of Petrin Hill, just behind the mini Eiffel Tower/radio mast/ugly pylon tourists inexplicably flock to (I paid to go in so I’m allowed to say that it is the type of afterthought knock-off Lidi would create if it was to move away from crap tinned ravioli and branch out into crap construction). The cafe is lively and the views are nice but it is the hot wine that is so… so… er, I just need to sit down a moment till the floor stops rippling. Every’fing all lovely an’ lovely Prague an’ great wine and feelin’ sleepy now…

Café Club Míšeňská (Misenska 71/3)

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Grog (hot water with rum) 65 czk – Want to know the best way to not feel bad after drinking alcohol? Keep drinking! I do love Lotus biscuits. Wouldn’t touch them if I kept a box at home but it is always nice to feel that you’re getting something for free

Apple Museum Cafe (Husova 21)

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Tea 59 czk – If anyone thought the idea of a underpants museum in Brussels was pointless, the idea of a museum devoted to Apple must rank as the most depressing. Pants, after all, are funny. Even the word ‘pants’ is funny. The idea of pants worn by famous Belgians stuck on a wall is funnier still. There is nothing funny about Apple. A museum about Steve Job’s journey from a selfish titamaboob into a rich selfish titamaboob is frankly off-putting by dint of its very existence (unless the admission fee goes towards backdated child support to the daughter he denied fathering. If so, keep that display case of Apple Pippin’s in good order). Anyway, I couldn’t be bothered to visit the musuem but I did drop by the cafe to soak up the non-existent atmosphere and to sit awkwardly in the grim courtyard at the back. The tea – perhaps unsurprisingly – is terrible, and because they’ve clearly put thought into the ethical nature of the products sold (lots of vegan smoothies on the menu, a strange selling point as all smoothies are vegan in essence. It’s very hard to find one with a hint of black pudding, that’s for sure) they don’t burden you with a cardboard sleeve so you can hold your take away cup properly. I imagine if I’d asked they would have claimed it was to cut down on waste and reduce carbon footprints. I would suggest that cutting off the electrical supply and closing the place forever would help the planet enormously

Four Seasons Hotel (Veleslavínova 1098/2a)

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Assorted Cookies & Macaroons 120 czk / Lemon Verbena Tea 175 czk – The technical name for this tea is the “Life and Beauty” herbal infusion. Considering this is about £6.50 in English money I would expect everlasting life, flawless beauty and all the miniature pots of honey I could squirrel away in my tote bag. The biscuits aren’t worth the money but the lounge is comfortable and there is free Wi-fi, so you can sit in clinical splendour to update FB and listen to English pensioner’s bemoan the large influx of tourists as though they themselves haven’t just floated in on a Viking River Cruise

Dancing House (Jiráskovo nám 1981/6)

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This is beer. I had to buy it so I could get onto the viewing platform at the top of the Dancing House. I should have brought a smoothie. That’s as enthusiastic as this review is going to get

Be sure to pop back soon when there will be more posts from the city of a hundred fake cannabis shops. Till next time, folks xx

All prices/information correct as of October 2019

Feel free to share stories, views and tips in the comments section below. Always fun to hear from fellow teaholics xx