Friday, July 30, 2010

Cafe Medúza


How to get there : Belgická 17, Vinorahdy (Praha 2) The place is a little hidden behind the trees - I usually go to Náměstí Míru (Metro - green line) and walk down Belgická until hitting the rather unspectacular door (even at my speed this is not more than 5min walking).
If you like the feeling of an old attic, the Medúza might be the right choice – lots of old pictures on the wall and the adjoining gallery features photography and paintings from mostly Czech artists. MED112The interior is a mix of mismatched tables complete with antique sugar bowls, chairs, glasses and a clientele, that ranges from arty intellectuals to curious grandparents. It’s like some old fashioned UK pub mixed up with some contemporary art old school Czech style – all in all a rather enjoyable mix.

The menu is small but cheap and solid and the service is like it used to be in small neighborhood bar.

The Medúza easily turns into a party place after 10 pm – depending on the mix of people and the density. As it is a small place it fills up quite quickly during the evenings, – make sure you reserve a table if you plan to go there in the evening with friends.

Opening hours : Mon-Fri: 9h00 – 01h00, Sat&Su :12h00 - 02h00

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My glass is empty

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Bar Bresto


Bresto is a tiny wine bar just a few steps further up on Stepanska from the Cafe 35. The thing that I like most about Bresto is the fact that there is quite a nice selection of wine they sell by the glass; no need to invest in a bottle of Côtes du Rhône just to find out it is not quite your taste. There is also a restaurant attached – if you feel like having proper lunch – but I never had the chance to give it a try.

What I did test were the starters they offer in the wine lounge – nothing very exciting but clean and fresh and the service was impeccable (the prunes in bacon are my favourite). If you liked your glass of wine you can also buy the wine on the spot – not cheap but a decent choice of mainly French & Italian wine. 3000950461_5462af0130

Bresto also offer a large choice of coffee beans to taste and buy – again I am no good at it  – so you will have to test it for yourself. 

Bresto is a nice place for a quick glass of wine (or two) with your wife or girlfriend and it is definitely the place to have an “apéro” * with friends before diner or to get ready for Prague’s nightlife.

*French :  sort of a “late-afternoon, pre-dinner cocktail” – but then French would tell you that it is a whole concept …

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cafe 35

Location: in the French Institute in Prague (IFP), Stepanska 35 = a perpendicular street to Wenceslas Square – real easy to find : look to for hotel “Radison” and continue to go up until you see a French flag on the left side ! The entry looks a little stiff – don’t be shy enter and follow the colored marks on the floor that say “Cafe 35”. 

Cafe 35 at the French Institute is a great place to stop for a coffee or for having a quick and healthy (other than klobasa) lunch if you're near the Wenceslas Square. You can find the French daily press and a little French / Czech ambiente. Particularly pleasant during the summer is the outdoor terrace in the inner court. Beer comes only in bottles - but the wine is quite nice (and inexpensive) and no need to explain the waitresses how to prepare a Pastis.ecriture

Open just during the day (see below) it sometimes stays open later when there are cultural events (sorry French / Czech only). There are two major cultural highlights each year I would like to mention:  the “Fête de la Musique” each 21st of June and the French Cinema Festival. If you can make it to the Fete de la Musique – don’t miss it – it’s usually crowded but the bands (Jazz, Electro, Rock, Folk) playing live are always high quality and of course it’s for free. 

Cafe 35 is a nice and decent place - perfect for reading and writing and meeting people (French speaking) or for a quick bite & espresso. For my taste it is a tiny little too calm  and reserved - but if you need some place to rest and relax for an hour - it might be the perfect place. And once rested you can go ahead and have a glass of wine at the Bresto Bar - just a few steps away.

Opening hours:  Monday-Friday: 8h30-20h00  Saturday: 10h-14h Free Wifi Hotspot (a rather good one!)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hapu Bar


Orlicka 8. Take the tram n11 and get off at Radhoštská - walk a few steps on Vinohradská (west) until you hit the intersection with Orlická (look for the VZP building on the corner) if you hit the intersection with Baranova you probably went east - so turn around. By metro : Hapu is roughly halfway between Flora and Jirího z Podebrad. 

I am not sure if you can do any better than the Bar Hapu spending  a quiet evening with friends (no more than two or three as space somewhat limited) in this tiny bar. The Hapu bar being located between Zizkov and Vinorahdy has a quite unique flair - hard to describe - I think of it as a place where people and cocktail get mixed.  I find it hard to describe it - test it for yourself !  

The choice of cocktails is delightful even if it might give a little nasty headache when ingested in excessive quantities. There are some 50 different cocktails - state of the art - and skillfully preped by the friendly team of barmen / bar-women.

 If you are looking for a well balanced Manhattan or a the perfect White Russian - this is the place to go ... order, drink, enjoy!

The clientele comes from the closer neighborhood quite a few regulars. Nice mix of expats and Slovaks (maybe because the well known bartender - Martin Streško - is Slovak?) and a few more reserved Czechs - a mix that turns out to work quite well.  

Hapu Bar is a very friendly place where you feel immediatly at ease. Behind a curtain and a few steps leads into a small room that is bathed in a pleasing soft light, with four or five tables and comfortable seats (a little odd and shabby looking but it does not matter).

It is always full without being stuffed, with a certain turn-over between bar and tables, people are  open and friendly and most do speak English, hence a good place to meet folks if you do not master the Czech language ... or simply the place to take your friends out enjoying a few drinks.