Insta Friday: Café of Prague

This Friday I want to share some insta photos of Prague Cafes. Some of them are my favorite places and you can read more about it here. Enjoy!

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Insta Friday: České Budějovice

For my today’s Insta Friday I have some pictures from my current visit to South Bohemia, beautiful city of České Budějovice. It means Czech Budwais. It is the city, where the original one, the real Budweiser Budvar is brewed :-).

Budějovice at April 11:

And some more pictures from exhibition area at the evening, April 12:

Cozy Cafes of Prague (3) – Čajovna U Cesty

Explanation: Only I have started a set about cafes in Prague, I am going to do an exception. In Czech culture we distinguish Kavárna (cafe), where you go for a coffee, something sweet, even food. You can get a tea there as well, but it would be tea from a teabag, or ginger/mint tea. On the other side there are special places, called Čajovna (tearoom), where you can get the “real” tea, meaning loos teas such as Oolong, Chinese, Japanese and any other special types as Karkade or Rize. Also in such a tearoom you can get something to eat (not in every one), but it would be more oriental, such as pita bread, hummus or couscous. Even in a tearoom you can get a coffee, but do not ask for Espresso or Americano, you can get Arabic coffee with cardamom.

This is how it looks in the tearoom.

Interier of the tearoom in September 2004:

You see these two cultures are really separated here. But based on a comment in one of my previous Cozy Cafes posts, I decided to add a tearoom to this series. But it is not that easy, as I decided to write about the Tearoom On the Road (or more: By the Road) –Čajovna U Cesty. This tearoom doesn’t have any special “room”, but you can find it in a large tent at Prague Botanical Garden, and only at the weekends. And why this one? Because the owners are my friends, and we used to go to Botanical Garden once a month (at least) just to meet them. Since I have started to drink coffee, the visits slowed down, but still we like to drink tea and visit our friends :-).

Our first ever meeting with Pája a Týna, Botanical Garden 2003.

2003 year – garden flowers and view to Troja castle maze:

For this post we had to go Botanical Garden this weekend, to interview the owners. This weekend they were outside the Fata Morgana greenhouse, as there was an exhibition of butterflies (as every year).

Butterflies exhibition in Fata Morgana in 2005.

The owners are Týna a Pája, they drink and prepare tea from 1990s. They travel to Vietnam, India, to choose the best species of tea. They used to have their Tearoom at the Náprstek’s Museum and later next to the second Botanical Garden in Prague (just a coincidence). Finally 13 years ago they decided to leave the stable place (we were at the farewell party) and keep only the weekend tent at the Botanical Garden.

Special tea tasting afternoon with lecture about tea in October 2006 with Pája and Týna.

The farewell party August 2005.

The farewell party, the crowds who attended are not on the pictures, but they were there.

Why this place and Your recommendation what to see or where to go in Prague
The answer for both these questions is the same, the garden is beautiful and there is always something on a program, from butterflies and bonsai exhibitions, to Halloween. That’s why you should visit and enjoy it, and you don’t have to drink only tea, but there is St Claire’s Vineyard with Vineyard chapel from 17th century. Next to the botanical garden there is famous Prague ZOO (currently the 5the best in the world) and Troja castle, and this triangle is really worth visiting.

Spring in the garden 2011.

Spring 2004:

Spring 2006:

Spring 2007:

Spring 2009:

Spring 2011:

2004 Halloween.

Halloween in the Garden 2004

Halloween in the Garden 2010

Halloween in the Garden 2011

What would you order from the menu:
The answer for this question got pretty complicated and I am not able to reproduce all the different teas, which belong to the special mood and weather, and season … So simply: tea, and preferably from the old(est) tea trees you can find hidden in the mountains :-).

2018, lot of Vietnamese teas.

You can also buy the tea to prepare it at home (2018):

Nice story:
And I do not have any nice story for you, as I have forgot to ask, mainly because it was really crowded and I was steeling the little talks in between the clients of the tearoom. Everytime we wanted to say goodbye, Pája had offered us another cup to taste, so we have spent there almost 3 hours. We have started with karkade, then got touareg, rize, arabic coffee with cardamom, gruzie tea and one more I forgot, the one with milk… masala! And I don’t know how much tea you can have, but I was shaking pretty much after the third cup. And this could be your funny story :-).

Tearoom tent and Honza (blue jacket) having another cup of tea.

Týna, she loves people 🙂 .

Combined gallery from August 2004 – Fata Morgana and Tearoom details:

Týna giving recommendations on tea in Summer 2005 .

Pája happy that someone is enjoying his tea in August 2011.

Cozy Cafes of Prague (2) – Kavárna pražírna Voznice

My second choice for Cozy Cafes series is family run Cafe Kavárna Pražírna Voznice , “kavárna” meaning cafe, “pražírna” is (bean-)roasting house and Voznice is a name of village, where the family comes from. To describe the cafe I can use just two words: pure friendliness; and wonderful coffee as well :-).

Entrance to YMCA, with the Cafe welcome sign (KAVÁRNA).

The cafe was opened in September 2015 when Jiřina and Petr Čermákovi (Čermák’s family) decided they want to roast their own coffee. The coffee was tested on friends and finally the idea of opening the cafe with perfect coffee was on the table. By coincidence (can you find a better way than coincidence? or is it “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”? in Czech we have very nice “Fortune favors the bold”) the place in YMCA palace (you can read more about it here) got available (being wine-bar previously) and that’s it.

The bar area.

For my post I am asking baristas couple of questions, which are:

1. why are you at this place, this cafe?

2. what would you get being a client in this cafe

3. your favorite place or recommendation what to see and where to go in Prague

4. nice story from the cafe

The answers for Kavárna Pražírna Voznice are:

Why this place:

Petr: I fell in love with the brick wall and the bar. When I first stood behind the bar I felt it immediately: here I belong. It was love at the first sight.

The Wall.

Jiřina: From the first moment I had a really good feelings about the place. I liked the floor and brass frames of windows and doors. Most of the furniture (tables, chairs) were left here from the previous wine bar and it gaves the place almost vintage atmosphere.

Marie: I like the building itself (YMCA, where the cafe is located), I love its first republic atmosphere (for Czech People the First Republic – period 1918-1938 – bares lot of nostalgic connotations, like “the good old times” when everything was nice, traditional, I love this atmosphere as well :-)), but also people from the company who takes care of the building are very friendly and helpful. Our cafe is in the city center, but not at the first sight, its a little bit hidden, that is what I like.

My perfect choice.

What would you order from the menu:

Not surprisingly – as we are at the specialized cafe (roasting beans by themselfs) – the top of the menu is coffee, namely espresso, therefore for Petr and Jiřina espresso was their choice from the menu, Marie has extended this choice :-).

Petr and Jiřina: Espresso.

Marie: Espresso and something sweet (as something sweet goes with coffee prefectly)

Katy (me): I usually get filter cafe and I love the cakes from Od Bobu that you can get here.

You have a really wide choice of coffee beans.

Your recommendation what to see or where to go in Prague:

Petr: I really like the Bank building just close to us. The building used to be a bank for legions and now it belongs to another bank. It is really beautiful.

Former Czech Legion bank in Rondocubistic style.

Unfortunately also in this building making of the photo is not allowed, but also in here I was able to steel some pictures for you.
Gallery

Jiřina: I used to work at Žofín palace in Slavic Island (Slovanský ostrov) and I really like this place. There are beautiful views to the river, National Theatre, even Prague Castle. Go there and see by yourself.

Žofín Palace from the back.

Gallery:

View to Prague Castle.

Marie: I like the area around our cafe, The Square of Republic (náměstí Republiky ). I like the brutalist (being the architectonic style) building of Kotva shopping center (from 1975 year), the Christmas and Easter Markets, and also the farmers markets. Being in the middle of the city and I can feel like in a village as well. This point is really good for starting the city adventure.

And I (Katy) add: In my opinion the area around náměstí Republiky is great for accommodation, as everything is close and in walkable distance, and what is not, is easily connected by public transport, as the square is perfect traffic hub.

Square of Republic with Kotva shopping mall at the background.

Gallery:

Nice story from the cafe:
We were not able to think about one nice story, because all of them are the small pleasures of everyday life. When the cafe was opened, all people going around in the passage looked in through the big windows, it felt like being inside of huge aquarium. And now people go to the cafe like going home, sometimes they forgot to pay (do not do this please) and then they come back, they forgot they are not in their kitchen, but at the cafe.

Jiřina a Petr.

Daughter Marie.

At the cafe you will also find little display where earrings, brooches, rings… all decorated with real coffee are for sale, made by dobrunda atelier. In fact during my very first visit I have purchased cufflinks for my husband and brooch for me :-).

Couple of picture of the cafe and photos that were not turned to watercolors yet

Gallery of my realized watercolors

Cozy Cafes of Prague (1) – Cafe No. 3

Cup of espresso

I have decided to invite you to my world of cafes in Prague. There is so many of them and the tradition of good coffee is really strong (despite the fact that during communistic regime it was only “turkish” coffee available).

I will show you my favorite places, tell you something small about their history and ask baristas couple of questions, which are:

1. why you are at this place, this cafe?

2. what would you get being a client in this cafe

3. your favorite place or recommendation what to see and where to go in Prague

4. nice story from the cafe

Let’s start with Cafe No.3., you have had a chance to see this cafe in my post about the Yards of the Old Town here. Cafe was opened in July 2015 at Jakubska street at the city center. The owners are Zbyšek and Pierre and very often you can also meet Duyen.

Cafe No.3.

Why this place:

Zbyšek: I fall in love with the green blind on the door (seen when the cafe is closed) immediately

Pierre: after moving to the Old Town (which was my dream) I had a problem to find a cafe nearby where I would like to go. We decided to open cafe of our own in our style and by a chance this place was available.

Duyen: I like it because it is small, cozy and friendly

Cafe on Sunday with closed blind.

Coffee and strudl and beze.

What would you order from the menu:

Zbyšek: homemade soda (ginger and strawberry), beze

Pierre: capuccino and beze

Duyen: homemade soda and pancakes

Katy (me): Štrudl pro Marušku non alcoholic version (hot apple juice with cloves and cinnamon and raisins and whipped cream), beze

“Beze” means type of dessert in Czech, full of whipped cream made with pecano nuts (in this case), the chocolate version is also available, but the “white” version is better, look at the picture.

Interier.

You recommendation what to see or where to go in Prague:

Zbyšek: I recommend visiting Glass Gallery in Moser factory shop at the Old Town Square in the cellar of the shop.

Moser factory shop with the gallery at the Old Town Square.

Gallery (click on a picture to make it bigger):

Pierre: I would recommend to very tourist to have a chance to get lost in Prague for some time and just enjoy its streets and corners, let it surprise you with something only for you.

Duyen: Visit the neo-rennaisance building of Czech Saving Bank in Rytirska street, its nicely decorated and looks like a palace. It is not possible to make pictures inside, but you can go in, walk through the doors guarded by beasts and left up the stairs. Up there is an expat bank center as well.

Bank entrance on the right.

Gallery (click on a picture to make it bigger, the quality is poor as the pictures were stolen on the phone not to be seen):

Nice story from the cafe:

Some people (like me) fall in love with the cafe, for its friendly atmosphere, creativity (check the pictures on the walls, mainly done by Pierre) and we keep coming back. And two of Cafe No. 3 clients created a mystery, as they are sending postcards to the cafe signing them Circle Foxes. Once Zbyšek was cleaning the table after clients and he found a chocolate and another postcard, which were left there by Circle Foxes. See in the gallery.

Really good time for a visit is Christmas, because we all (Zbyšek, Pierre, Duyen and me) are big lovers of Christmas tree and for Advent and Christmas time there is really beautiful tree installed and decorated, see the picture and gallery bellow:

Christmas tree.

See also collection of my watercolors made based on the photos of my drinks taken at the cafe.

Pierre and Zbyšek.

Zbyšek and Duyen.

Christmas evening.

Coffee to go – when you are too big group to fit in or the cafe is full.

If you have made it to the end of the post, you can send a postcard to the cafe; the address:


Czech Republic

Museums Of Prague (1) – DOX

There is a lot of museums in Prague, some of them I like and visit, some of them are traditional. I will visit couple of them for you and I do not follow any special key, like the most famous one, the newest one or any other. I will choose just as the idea would cross my mind. As today morning, I’ve seen a picture of DOX museum somewhere on internet, and almost immediately I decided to visit it now. The museum is on my plan quite long time, but today was THE day.

DOX, former factory building.

To read more information about DOX museum follow this link. I will share more my feelings about the museum :-). To be honest, my main goal was the visit of Gulliver Airship and the cafe and the design shop. I did all three, but then I decided to visit the exhibitions as well (mainly because you have to pay the entrance fee for the Airship which includes the exhibitions, and then there was no reason to skip them).

Gulliver from the street.

I started with the shop and then the cafe. I love Czech design and Czech designers, therefore I enjoyed the shop a lot. I have seen a lot of familiar names and pieces, but also some new ones.

Qubus DOX design shop

Jizerská collection from SKUBB.

Then came the coffee (and pink wine) time.

Museum Cafe.

Museum Cafe.

As you can see there were a lot of books at the cafe. Old books. For sale. 10 Czech crown per one, what is something less then 50 cents! How many do you think I purchased? 5! And two more at the other part of the museum!

But they all were quite nice famous books, 5 of the 7 bought books were criminal stories for my husband, Graham Greene, Mika Waltari, just 2 were for me, one my favorite childhood book (I know I have it somewhere but I can’t find it) and a first part of Skalholt books by Gudmundur Kamban (the second one I just got from similar book shelf at the train station). They also had a lot of Czech classis bookf, for example from popular writer Alois Jirásek, but these are too big and heavy to carry.

On the roof.

After the coffee (and wine) we went to see the Airship on the roof of the former factory. As it is cold, there is no special action happening there, but from April through the warmer months you can go there for lecture or performance. I have loved it :-).

Up the stairs.

Inside.

One more.

And back to the warmer part of the museum.

There were currently three exhibitions on program, and you will see some installation lower, but I really enjoyed the overall space of the museum, the technical style of it.

The coridor.

Fishes.

Fishes.

From three exhibition I am choosing one author from them for this picture. You wouldn’t believe what it is. Take a olook ant think. The name of the author is Luboš Plný and he is (wait for it) certified Academic model! As he didn’t made to the Art school, he attended the lectures as a model for students, even made a thesis and finally he got the title.

What it can be?

Hard to write: the author took everything that grew up in his “umbilical whole in the navel” (I am not able to find the translation of this one, the left picture) and put it on the scheme (the middle picture) and wrote the notes, what he wore that day and other information, what can influence “the product” (right picture). Creepy. isn’t it?

Pictures form the current installations here:

Last picture from the cafe terrace.

Found on WordPress:

https://openartdoors.wordpress.com/2018/03/05/lubos-plny-viva-lubos-plny-dox-centre-for-contemporary-art-prague/

Winter Walks (8) – just around us

Today it was so cold that I decided to walk only around our place, have a coffee and and back home.

First are the buildings on our street, like the newly reconstructed Lanna palace (sorry, link only in Czech).

Lanna House.

Or Cafe Arco (soory link in Czeck again, but you can read there the list of people who were regulars to the cafe), where Franz Kafka used to come (but not regularly, but would not find the doors opened today, as the cafe is not in use.

Cafe Arco.

Not talking about touristic highlight of the Powder Gate / Tower at the end of the street.

Hybernská street with Powder Tower at the end.

Some other buildings on our street.

Where is also nice Podzemní antikvariát (Underground bookshop) – shop selling old books, print etc.

The entrance to the Underground bookshop.

And at the same building you will find this beautiful “detail”.

Hall? Balcony?

The oldest train station in Prague Masarykovo nádraží, on the opposite side of the street.

Masaryk train station.

My goal today is to visit another one of my favored cafes Kavárna Pražírna Voznice at YMCA palace. At the palace I will also show you something quite unique.

But still we have couple of steps to get there around Hilton Old Town with beautiful mosaic and through the shortcut to Na Poříčí street.

And we are there, at YMCA palace.

The main corridor of YMCA palace.

AND NOW the surprise. YMCA palace is one of the places in Prague where you can see and actually use the pater noster lift. That’ the one with lot of cabins permanently moving around and you jump in and out, when you want to use it. Even more adrenaline you drive at the top (or bottom) of the lift, but be careful as this is forbidden (the sign VYSTUPTE means EXIT NOW).

Find my reportage from the ride bellow, I was playing a little with time-lapse, so please survive my “creativity”.

Or you can just use the stairs in YMCA palace :-).

Up at the palace.

I think I have deserved the delicious cafe then :-).

Kavárna Pražírna Voznice.

Nice filter cafe.

Before you leave its good to use this one (specially when it is so cold outside).

Entrance to the bathroom at YMCA.

Outside from the palace, and you can take tram, subway, go shopping to Palladium or just simply walk home in this cold.

St. Joseph’s Church and monastery.

The list of pater nosters in Prague here (some of them closed = zrušené).

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