Long Weekend in Prague

Prague Monument: The Charles Bridge connects the Old Town with the Lower Town.

© Shutterstock

Prague Monument: The Charles Bridge connects the Old Town with the Lower Town.

Prague Monument: The Charles Bridge connects the Old Town with the Lower Town.

© Shutterstock

Friday

On Friday we discover not only the old Prague, but also the new – on a creative tour through the culinary scene.

From Prague's main train station we head straight to the city centre for lunch because there's a lot to see and eat in Prague and no time to lose. We'll start with a relaxed lunch at Brixton Balls. This bistro specialises in meatballs of all kinds, we recommend the beef cheddar meatball. Depeche Mode fans should take something to sign. The meatballs are prepared there by their ex-producer Tim Simenon himself so it’s not a surprise that the background music is a little loud. 

Brixton Balls surprises with its colourful variety of meatballs.

Photo provided

Then off to the hotel. The easiest way to order a taxi in Prague is by app: Liftago or Uber, both operate in the city and so we arrive at our hotel, The Augustine, in Prague's Lower Town.

The hotel is an oasis of tranquility and is just a short step from the Charles Bridge. Its wonderful historic buildings, including a 13th century monastic library, date from 1284 and the hotel bar is located in the rooms of the mediaeval St. Thomas Brewery.

St. Thomas Brewery built in the 13th century is now a hotel bar.

St. Thomas Brewery built in the 13th century is now a hotel bar. 

Photo provided

In the evening we walk across the Charles Bridge and through the Old Town to feast on a culinary masterpiece at Sansho. Sansho restaurant is trendy and minimalist in design, so that nothing distracts from the fantastic experience of the tasting menu. Their philosophy is to process the whole animal from snout to tail.

The pork belly with watermelon and the crab with dumpling are just two of the many highlights. Although Sansho is still an insider tip, you should definitely make a reservation. On the way home we make a detour to the Public Interest Bar, where the selection of cocktails is limited but the drinks are perfect.

The former monastery dining room is now the Refectory Bar in Hotel Augustine.

The former monastery dining room is now the Refectory Bar in Hotel Augustine.

© Luminum Photography

Saturday

On Saturday we explore Prague's beer tradition and discover a new interpretation of Czech cuisine.

If you want an alternative to hotel breakfast you have to go in search of it in Prague, but it’s a good reason for a morning walk before hordes of tourists normally fill the streets. In Dlouhá Street, not far from the Jewish cemetery, you will find the Sisters sandwich bar serving unusual open-sandwiches (herring with wasabi mayo or ham with baked plums).

If that's too brave for you, at Café Imperial you'll find an opulent setting for a classic, luxurious breakfast – here the Eggs Benedict in the restaurant of star chef Zdenek Pohlreich is legendary. For lunch we stop at the Čestr, which can be found in the Brutalist 1970s building – the former socialist parliament – just a few steps away from the train station. The restaurant is named after Czech pied cattle and native breeds dominate the menu.

Čestr brings the Bohemian cooking tradition into the 21st century.

Čestr brings the Bohemian cooking tradition into the 21st century.

Photo provided

Čestr has brought Bohemian cuisine into the 21st century. Thanks to slow cooking methods, the meat literally melts in your mouth and their dishes are accompanied by the best Pilsner Urquell in Prague – served, of course, with historical tapping methods, such as the 'milk', where only foam is tapped. However, this is the last Pilsner Urquell we drink in Prague because the craft beer movement is beginning to make its mark.

Walking through the bourgeois district of Vinohrady with trendy cafés like Kaaba, we come across architectural jewels from the inter-war period, such as the functionalist apartment building on the corner of Italská and Na Smetance. In the Riegrovy Sady park you can admire the sunset over Prague before heading off to Dish for dinner. This burger bistro offers eccentric burger combinations; beef burger with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, rucola and fig mayonnaise or a Vindaloo burger with paneer cheese, vindaloo sauce, pickled peppers and onion bhaji. A stone's throw away we find Nota Bene, where we taste one of many craft ales on tap at the bar.

Must-visit: The National Gallery in the baroque palace curates not just the works of old European masters, but also contemporary artists.

Must-visit: The National Gallery in the baroque palace curates not just the works of old European masters, but also contemporary artists.

© ngprague

Sunday

After a walk through 'Little Berlin', on Sunday we enjoy international works of art both on the plate and in the museum. After two days on the right side of the Vltava river we leave the centre and head for 'Little Berlin', in the Letná district. We enjoy breakfast at The Farm, which we reach on foot up the hill – through Letná Park and past Sparta Prague Stadium. Recommendation: Eggs Florentine.

This district is well worth seeing and after our walk we strengthen ourselves in the hipster heaven Mr. HotDoG, where the humble sausage is declared a work of art. The pastry is fried in butter and the sausages are made of only the finest meat. This is accompanied by excellent Vinohrady beer.

The Cash Online Bar has a chic vintage look.

The Cash Online Bar has a chic vintage look.

© Martin Mojzis

The afternoon is spent in the Czech National Gallery, where Alfons Mucha's masterpiece 'The Slavic Epic' awaits us. In fine weather, the Letná offers one of the most beautiful views of the whole of Prague, either in the simple beer garden or in the restaurant of the small chateau, Letenský zámeček.

A quick stop for an afternoon coffee in the reliably good Bistro 8 and then on to the Prague market. After a visit to the farmer's market in hall 22 we go to the Asian-fusion temple, SaSaZu. Here, dishes from five countries of Southeast Asia are presented, served in perfect, small portions so that we can taste a wonderful wide variety.

And so that we don't have to take the remainder of our cash back home for it gather dust in the penny jar, we spend it all in the Cash Only cocktail bar, brightening the end of our day.

Cuisine from the Golden City

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