Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Missing Blogmas Day 11 Post: The Food of Prague

So in the stress of trying to catch up with the posts I missed in Prague and writing two a day for the last week, I forgot to post this one, so I'm having to go back on my word about my last Prague post, because it's actually this one (sorry). 

When you think of Prague, it's beer and fairytale buildings that come to mind. At least that's how it was for me. I asked as many people who'd been to Prague as I could about the food, but no one really had anything to say, which was strange considering I loved it so much I wanted to dedicate a post to it. 

I was so pleasantly surprised with the variety, the flavours and the combinations and I just wanted to stay until I'd tried every dish possible. 

From street food to traditional stews and back-street cafe treats, this post will have you salivating. 

Street Food

When doing my Prague research, I'd read that the place to find the staple street food was the hot dog stands, and I instantly thought of New York hotdogs. You know, the ones that are pretty grim but everyone says you have to try at least once. Well I couldn't have been more wrong. These were proper bratwurst sausages wrapped in the traditional rohlik (long bread roll). This was the first thing we ate upon landing in Prague, and it filled us right up. 

That cute little swirly roll-thing up there is called a Trdelnik. It's made from rolled dough which is very similar to that which makes a pretzel, wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with sugar and sometimes walnuts. These were everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Every second stall at the Christmas market was selling them, and you couldn't walk down a single street without coming across a shop dedicated to selling only them. Having tried one though I can understand why. They're so moreish and will appeal to anyone with a sweet tooth. 

Staromacek Restaurant 

Tucked down one of the backstreets of Old Town was this cosy, little place. A lot of the restaurants around Old Town are quite touristy and don't offer a lot of authentic Czech cuisine, and they're not cheap either. This place was packed and the menu was both authentic and reasonable. Kurtis ordered 'Meat on a Pin' not knowing what to expect. When the above showed up, we were the centre of the whole restaurants attention. That's one fancy kebab. 

I ordered pork stuffed with ham, leeks and Roquefort cheese. It was so scrummy but didn't really look that appealing to the eye, so I thought I'd leave the yummy ingredients to speak for themselves. 

Kolonial Restaurant

This was my favourite meal of the entire trip. After a good 5 hours of sight-seeing on the coldest day (-4) we were starving and desperate for somewhere warm and something to eat. We weren't picky. But we were so lucky to stumble across this gem in the Jewish Quarter. It's actually a cycling restaurant, as you can tell by the quirky decor. Random, yes, but it'll definitely stay with me. I loved how they'd used bike parts to make up dinner themed artwork on the walls, and the hanging bike chains above the bar. 

For starter we ordered the cheeseboard. We weren't aware however that as you progressed up the board, the stronger the cheeses got. That 3rd cheese, OH MY LORD. I love my cheeses but that was stronger than I could handle. It tasted amazing, but was definitely best in moderation. It also made me fingers smell like feet. I loved their take on a classic cheese on toast, with spring onions and sweet chilli, and the jar contained Camembert with garlic. 

For main, I had the classic, traditional goulash in a bread bowl, and Kurtis had Babicino "Hoopla Popl"which was cubes of roasted potato dumplings with homemade boned duck, smoked pork flank and white cabbage. 

As hungry as I was, there's no way I could have finished mine, even though it was the tastiest thing I had out there. Just like the British beef stew really, but containing caraway seeds and both sweet and smoked paprika, giving it a warm, spiced taste.  

I only had a spoonful of Kurtis' but the rabbit (which I'd never had before) was so good, and the dumblings were just like gnocci, but with a crispy outside.  

This is definitely one meal I won't ever forget. 

Christmas Market and Cafes

The best thing about the Christmas markets for me is the variety of food and sweet treats on offer. From roasted nuts and marzipan in every flavour you can imagine to hog roasts and giant rounds of cheese, it's no place for anyone on a diet. The spectacle itself is a feast for the eyes. 

As you'll know I love baking, and I'm so interested in cakes from different countries. I can't quite remember the name of the swirly pastry packed full of cream, but it was hella tasty. 

The last cake is honey cake (Medovnik) , and you can buy it from any cafe in Prague. It's butter, nut and honey heaven. 

As you can see, we well and truly embraced the food of  Prague, and I can't wait to go back and try even more food! 


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Belated Blogmas Day 12: Prague: The Best Bits

This'll be the last Prague post I promise (unless I go back : p ) 

Prague has to be the most photogenic city I've ever been to, so you can't really blame me for getting a bit camera happy. 

From the views and buildings to the quirky shops and Christmas markets, everywhere I turned I was confronted with a scenic, picture perfect moment. 

From top to bottom: 

The Dancing House ( or Fred and Ginger after Astaire and Rogers) 
Charles Bridge entrance and statues 
Old Town Square
Astronomical Clock
View of Old Town Square from top of Old Town Hall Tower
View of Prague from Prague Castle
St Vitus Cathedral
Franz Kafka's house on Golden Lane 
Golden Lane Armoury
The Gingerbread Museum


Saturday, 13 December 2014

Belated Blogmas Day 10: Baby It's Cold Outside

Vintage Fur Jacket - Canterbury Vintage Market - £60
Dogtooth Dress - Primark

I was definitely well prepared for Prague when it came to clothes. This was on the coldest day where it dropped to -4 degrees. I'm so happy I took my fur coat with me. I worried I'd be overdressed, but almost everyone was wearing something similar. 

Teamed with my fluffy headband, my boots, multiple socks and a thermal t-shirt under my dress, I was unbelievably cosy. 

I've also fallen in love with my new satchel bag. I needed something small because none of my other bags would be allowed on the plane, so I just grabbed this bag from Tescos last minute, but it's so handy and really quite stylish. 


Belated Blogmas Day 9: Eurostars David Hotel, Prague

When travelling, I feel the hotel is all part of the experience and is just as important as the location itself, especially if you're going on a romantic trip. It doesn't have to cost you the world either. 

Last weekend, me and the boyfriend went on a short trip to Prague to see the Christmas markets, and we managed to get a really cheap deal that included flights, a 4* hotel and buffet breakfast every morning thanks to Lastminute.com. 

If you're prepared to book a trip 2 weeks in advance, then you're going to save so much money, and actually get to experience hotels that would usually be out of your price range. 

You can choose from a variety of flight and hotel combos, and we chose the Eurostars David Hotel, in Prague's New Town. 

As you can see, the hotel was incredible well decorated and was impressive to say the least. 
The amazing thing with Prague is that even though every building is steeped in luxury, it doesn't feel pretentious. Eurostars David Hotel channels its own identity through it's decor that is warm and friendly, just like the staff. The modern yet cosy interior made it such a welcoming place to be. We really didn't want to leave. 

One thing that stood out to me was the small book on the bedside table called Short Nights. It's a selection of best pieces from the Eurostars Hotels Short Story Competition. I thought this was such a nice touch, and just added to the bohemian vibe of Prague. 

The breakfast was incredible too. I can always go to town on a buffet, but when you're on a touristy holiday it's actually so practical to get a hotel with buffet breakfast included. You can eat till you're about to bust, and it'll set you up for the long day of sightseeing that you'll have ahead. We were so full from breakfast that we didn't need to eat a proper meal again until evening. The hotel had everything you could imagine: cereal, fruit, yogurt, sausages, eggs, toast, croissants, strudel, jam, cold meats and cheeses. We were spoiled for choice. 

All of this, combined with free wifi meant that we had such a relaxing stay. I'm missing it so much already. 

Stay tuned for more Prague posts