Sunday, August 26, 2012

JUST BACK FROM...CZECH REPUBLIC


The stunning Charles Bridge above the Vltava river, dividing Prague into the "new town" and "old town", was constructed in 1357

 

Every hour on the hour, the Prague Astronomical Clock in the old town square features a spectacular show, with trumpeters,  and various figures of the apostles moving to strike the time, like a large cuckoo clock


The Vyšehrad Cemetery, which is the resting place of many notable Czech writers, poets and artists featuring beautiful gardens.  The day CSL visited a wedding was being held at Church of St. Peter and Paul.  Vyšehrad castle was built in the 10th century

  

 The 'best suite in the hotel", the tower suite, which CSL was privileged to stay in, at The Augustine, featuring a 360 degree view of Prague, including an unparalleled view of Prague castle, especially beautiful at sunset and sunrise.  The Augustine hotel was originally a 13th Century Augustinian St. Thomas Monastery, and several practicing friars still live in a separate part of the monastery, adjacent to the hotel grounds. Certainly one of the most enchanted hotels in the city

 Brewed especially for The Augustine, St. Thomas beer, originally brewed by the monks was one of the signature beers CSL tasted on this trip; dark, chocolatey and full bodied.  It is the best beer in Prague (notice we have omitted any conditionals in this sentence) and worth a trip to the hotel just to pick up a bottle (it is only available at The Augustine Hotel).  This was not just our opinion, several locals attested to this being the best beer in the city

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Lichfield Cafe and Bar is modern, with inventive cocktails, like their signature ’’Angel Cocktails’’: Raphael, Michael, Gabriel, and Jophiel

 

 The Jewish quarter has many synagogues, including one of the most beautiful, The Spanish Synagogue, a wonderful example of Moorish influence designed by Vojtěch Ignátz Ullmann

 Awarded a Michelin Star in 2012, CSL's meal at Alcron at The Radisson Blu was spectacular. Though Executive Chef Roman Paulas was traveling abroad in Switzerland, Chef Lucia Gregusova and Pastry Chef Drahomir Peterka executed exceptionally beautifully crafted plates during CSL's four course dinner

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 Alcron's seared Norwegian langoustine tail with Japanese bouillabaisse and fennel puree, another standout dish.  Dessert featured a table side 'painted dessert', in which sweet artwork was constructed in minutes before our eyes.  Truly a memorable experience


 A tiger walks toward us at the Prague Zoo before feeding time.  One could roam around the zoo for hours, exploring

 

 Zbiroh Castle, with tales of The Knights Templar, the SS Army and mysterious radio waves.  The fortified castle has a lot of history, and was founded at the beginning of the 13th century.  The property today, also features a hotel, conference/meeting space and small eatery and as such is an ideal setting for a wedding or gathering


A medieval fair took place while we visited, with arts and crafts, music and even jousting matches, adding to the atmosphere at Zbiroh Castle


 The Best Western Premier Majestic Plaza hotel, opened in 2007, is situated close to the busy Wenceslas Square, and features rooms with both Biedermeier and Art Deco styles.  From our top floor, executive room/Majestic Panorama club, we enjoyed city views and a view of Prague Castle

 

Lunch at Azmera at Best Western Premier Majestic Plaza hotel, a delightful display of Czech specialties: dumplings, roasted duck and braised red cabbage


A picturesque view of the UNESCO protected town of Cesky Krumlov, this from Ceský Krumlov Castle Complex.  The castle features the only authentic Baroque theatre in Europe, five courtyards and a masquerade hall


Another unobstructed picture postcard view in Cesy Krumlov, with red and brown rooftops.

The signature Corinthia cake at Cafe Praha at The Corinthia Prague created by Pastry Chef Vladimir Krofta 


Chefs at The Grill at The Corinthia Prague create tasty dishes.  The open kitchen was inviting.  Our Executive Suite, with access to the business lounge made it convenient to have a snack and cocktail, and breakfast.  Though the hotel was extremely busy, service at the hotel was courteous, and inviting.  CSL loved the easy access to the metro and being situated close to Vysehrad.  The deluxe Apollo Day Spa also made this exexperience stellar



An angelic view of St. Barbara's Church in Kutna Hora, in Central Bohemia.  This is another UNESCO protected town.  Other highlights here included Kostnice Ossuary, the silver mines, and The Italian courtyard  


The Italian Courtyard in Kutna Hora, home of the Royal mint and former Royal Residence



The spa town of Karlovy Vary.  In the background, one of thirteen colonnades with natural hot springs water, believed to cure ailments  


Dozens of horse drawn carriages ride along the cobble stone streets in Karlovy Vary  

 

The Hotel Dvoraks' Opera bar and café where CSL enjoyed a glass of Bohemia Sekt, a local Czech sparkling wine  


The dessert at The Dvorak restaurant, where live piano music played as we enjoyed our meal.  The Art nouveau hotel also has a spa and wellness centre


Hotel Le Palais, in the quiet area of Vinohrady in Prague.  The Belle Epoque hotel features artwork throughout the property and the helpful friendly staff made our stay an absolute pleasure.  BMW shuttle service is another added bonus 

 

 A beautifully constructed lunch of seared duck and potato croquettes and creamy leeks personally created by Chef Martin Sevit at Le Papillon at Le Palais.  CSL also enjoyed rejuvenating spa treatments at Pure spa certainly one of the most modern and luxurious in the city

High atop a viewpoint in Karlstejn Castle - The Chapel of the Holy Cross


A statue of King Charles IV at Karlstejn Castle


The ultra modern sophistication in a hallway at The Kempinski Prague


A stunning rockface on a hike in Ceskyraj Prachovske Skaly



The lush green in Liberec and the Kamenice River


The young chef at Hotel Babylon in Liberec

 

A Countryside view travelling to Liberec.


The breakfast room at Hotel Maximilian; the hotel was designed by Eva Jiricna


The modern 'angel' fountain in Plzen's town square


A building painted with "Pilsner Urquell" (meaning original source) in the beer of the town of Plzen. The
Pilsner Urquell brewery and museum is a delightful stop for beer aficionados.  This is literally the birthplace of pilsner beer and they also have a great restaurant. 



A tiny piece of art from The Jablonec Nad Nisou Museum of Glass Jewelry

Glass blowers create a piece in front of our eyes at Zelezny Brod Glass works


The Zelezny Brod Glass works featuring the gorgeous work of Stanislav Libensky.

 

The eye catching colours at The Four Seasons Prague.  CSL's suite had a front row view of The Charles Bridge


CSL's wonderful visit to the Czech Republic featured beer, spa towns, glassworks, hikes, and lots of cultural touring. Prague, the city famed for its fairytale appeal did not disappoint. Neither did various trips to surrounding Bohemia.  For more from this trip see the Winter 2012/13 issue of City Style and Living Magazine available in December 2012

 www.prazdroj.cz
www.pilsner-urquell.com
www.maximilianhotel.com
 www.centrumbabylon.cz/en/hotel
www.hradkarlstejn.cz
www.kutnahora.cz
www.prazdrojvisit.cz

ALL PHOTOGRAPHY COPYRIGHT K&S MEDIA 2012 
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