When Barbora Jarešová, the head of marketing at a Prague global real estate services firm, started blogging about cool places, hip design and trendy restaurants in the Czech Republic, it was mostly for her own pleasure and to inform close friends of what’s happening in Prague and other Czech cities. On her website, ProtiMysl, readers can see gorgeous photographs of little-known and unique locations – and to many foreigners, it comes as quite a surprise that there is more to Prague than dumplings, beer and art nouveau buildings. Barbora talkedabout
On the border of the districts of Vinohrady and Žižkov is where you will find The Tavern, a cosy bar and burger restaurant that has become a big hit since it opened just over a year ago. Indeed, a leading Czech food critic recently offered a simple explanation as why to The Tavern is always full: Because it has the best burgers in Prague. It’s owned and run by Lori Wyant Selby and her husband Dean, an American couple who are long-term residents of the city.
It’s the Czech answer to Aspen or St. Moritz – the Czech ski resort frequented by local celebrities, tourists and well-off Czechs. Špindleruv Mlýn or Špindl –as it is commony called –offers more than good skiing and excellent services, it offers the chance to party and socialize in cosmopolitan surroundings.
On Christmas Eve, most Czech families will like every year sit down to special dinner before rushing to the Christmas tree. They will unwrap their presents and some might sing a few carols, and even engage in some traditional Christmas customs such as floating walnut shells, halving an apple or even pouring melted led. But most people are just likely to sit back and watch TV which each year features all the popular fairytales. But what happens in families with mixed backgrounds? How do they celebrate Christmas and explain the different traditions
Collecting as a hobby is popular in the Czech Republic as it is throughout the world: the country has no shortage of those who collect prints, coins, stamps, and works of art. But the country also boasts a high number of collectors focussed on more unusual items: from pocket diaries to fruit & vegetable labels, from historic puppets to paper tissues. The country’s Curiosity Collectors’ Club, based in Prague, was founded more than 40 years ago, and now has 1,000 members. Recently, I caught up with the group’s chairman Ladislav Likler to learn more
In our age of celebrity chefs and cookbooks for all skill levels and wallet sizes, we may sometimes forget that food was an important element of life surrounded by special rituals, beliefs and values for many a decade. In this edition of Czech Life I decided to find out what importance food had a hundred or so years ago in this region. In order to do that, I headed to the ethnographic department of the Czech National Museum, where the exhibit Krmě - jídlo – žrádlo, or Dish-Meal-Grub is currently on display.
It is the country’s most smelly specialty – Olomoucké tvarůžky – dubbed by foreign visitors as “the stinky cheese of Olomouc” is not something you can easily overlook. Its pungent odor hits you the minute you open the fridge and will render you a social outcast several hours after consuming it. However many consider it to be one of the country’s biggest delicacies and the Czech Republic fought and won a six-year war with Germany and Austria over a protected geographical status trademark.
Sofia Smith, who is half-Irish and half-Asian, has been cooking in Prague since the late nineties. Angel restaurant, where she was the executive head chef, received much critical acclaim – its opening was written about by Fodor’s as “the culinary event of the year” – and as a freelance chef, Sofia Smith continues to put a smile on the faces of Prague’s food lovers. Most recently, she has been hosting themed nights at Prague’s James Joyce Irish Pub and teaching cooking classes at the capital’s Cocina Rivero cooking studio. She speaks about what she
In the early 1990s it wasn’t just political change that was on Radio Prague’s agenda. In many ways the social changes under way at the time were just as radical. Dogs had always been popular in Czechoslovakia, and in 1992 - by which time I had been working at Radio Prague for about a year - I had a look at how life for dog owners and breeders was changing, starting in Kampa Park in Prague’s ancient Lesser Quarter, where I persuaded a fox terrier owned by an enthusiastic old lady in a fur coat, to give me a sound effect. Here is an extract from that
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”