Spotted: Where Czech celebrities wine, dine and shop

Giving you an insiders view of where the A-listers hang while in Prague

Stars at Prague Fashion Weekend 2013

Stars at Prague Fashion Weekend 2013

Dining (and drinking) out is a crucial part of any celebrity’s life, not only to prove to the likes of Blesk that they do actually eat, but also to see (and be seen by) other celebrities as you jostle for the top A-list spot.

Star-studded restaurants

Asian cuisine is by far the most popular. It says that you are well travelled and can use chop sticks, distinguishing the celebrity that has travelled to Hong Kong versus those who frequent their local Chinese. For those who want to show off their latest Mercedes or BMW, the well-heeled set head for Sasazu for the Sasa Crispy Roll – eaten with personalized chopsticks – or dinner at Soho Garden and Restaurant or Cafe Savoy (recent spottings: actor Ondrej Vetchý, singer Tonya Graves) for brunch.

When in a pinch the Czech celebrity will also head for the likes of Noi  for ‘authentic Thai cuisine’ bringing back fond memories of February escapes and the ability to talk ad nauseum about how the ‘spices’ are different here. Kolkovna, Vino di Vino, and newcomer Pot.au.feu  are also good choices for those wishing to celebrity spot in the center.

The winter menu at Soho Restaurant
The winter menu at Soho Restaurant

When dining in the town gets all too humdrum, many A-listers cruise out to Park Hotel Popovicky which offers the stately splendour of a hunting lodge with exposed brick walls, bistro brown leather club chairs and roaring fireplaces. Tables are spaced far enough apart to allow secret conversations between politicians and PR heavy weights.

Those that prefer BMW door-to-door service and long gated driveways will find celebrity pick of choice Chateau Mcely to die for. The 17th century chateau maintains its aristocratic feeling through impeccable service and creative food at their Piano Nobile restaurant. Expect to see both Czech and international celebrities at this imperial oasis.

Chateau Mcely's opulent Piano Nobile
Chateau Mcely’s opulent Piano Nobile

What about shopping you may say? Simple Concept Store and Obsession are two multi-brand stores that sell straight off the runway looks from the likes of Lanvin, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Temperley London, Emilio Pucci, and Moncler. Round the corner and you’ll find another celebrity favourite; the split level, mini-department store Dusni3. Carrying over 30 brands it’s a microcosm of some of the best designers and merchandising in Prague with prices to match much of what you see on the high street. The formidable space is a fashion heavy for the likes of Simona Krainová, Andrea Verešová, and Karolína Peake; just to name a few. (International celeb Prague shoppers include Susan Sarandon at ARTĚL Glass and Tilda Swinton at LEEDA.)

Dusni 3 concept store
Dusni 3 concept store

You’ve shopped at all of the “must visit” boutiques and you need a break. Your feet are killing you and your arms are saggy from your shopping bags. If you are around the “fashion corridor” a.k.a. where Široka, v Kolkovně, Dušní and Vězeňská all meet, pop into the always crowded, filled with models Café Lamborghini for a quick espresso and a cake.

Should Café Lambo, as it’s called, feel overcrowded head to Kafka Snob Food for a mean Italian espresso or a generous glass of wine. It’s not uncommon to find stylists, actresses, and fashion editors chatting wildly about the latest collections seen in Milan or eating their usual caprese salad.

Kafka Food Snob
Kafka Food Snob

Not in the fashion corridor but near the high street? Why not people watch at one of the large back or side-street tables at Café-Café filled with those who ‘want to be in’ and those who actually ‘are in’, its a favourite with moderators and the magazine crowd. For the record, no one goes to Café-Café to eat: almost everyone is on a diet. They do go to drink their rooibos tea, sip piccolo espressos or look longingly at the cakes. And smoke.

Bistro 8, located in Holešovice, certainly not a stone’s throw from the fashion corridor, is where the fashion community comes to exchange ideas, gossip, and get a mean breakfast. It is one of the only bastions in Prague where journalists, designers, actors, artists, PR managers can all hang out unassumingly, without Blesk in tow. On my most recent trip to meet with the PR Mmnager of a well-known design festival, I ran into two fellow journalists and two fashion designers all within an hour’s time frame.

See and be seen at Cafe-Cafe.
See and be seen at Cafe-Cafe.

Nightlife. The all-encompassing question: Where the hell do the beautiful people of Prague wet their whistle? Well, there are a maximum of five places most celebrities will go without being paid for their visit. Tretter’s the choice for Jaromir Jagr, restaurant owners, high profile business men, models, actresses and actors, and diplomats is the culmination of Prague society in one booze-fueled setting. The place is packed Thursday and Friday nights with it nearly impossible to get a table at peak times without a reservation.

Should Tretter’s be full up, saunter over to Bugsy’s Bar for one of their many signature cocktails and rub shoulders with Fashion TV presenters, current and former Czech Misses, and well-known actors. Roxy/NoD and Druhé Patro also offer celebrity sightseeing for those more interested in artists, architects and the fashion scene – with good music and reasonable drinks it’s more fashion forward and less look-at-me than many of the other bars in the area.

Even if you aren’t into celeb spotting, or sharing breathing space with the richest and most famous people in the Czech Republic, these spots all serve fine food and drinks, cater to the pickiest of clothing and cologne connoisseurs, and offer some of the best people watching in the city.

** This article first appeared in Expats.cz on December 19, 2013*

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