Where to Drink with the Fashionable Prague Society: Top 10 cocktail bars

We knew we needed to update the list of Prague’s most fashionable cocktail bars, but we also knew that the Top 5 wouldn’t cut it!  Of course, we have the old favourites with hockey players and roof top views, but we’ve added a few more speakeasy style bars, bars that take cash only and ones that have been winning international awards. So, grab some friends, dress to impress and enjoy the latest that the cocktail scene in Prague has to offer.

Cash Only

Cash Only Bar – where low lights, cash only and fantastic cocktails combine. Photo Credit: Cash Only Bar Facebook Page

Cash Only Bar– The almost twin sister bar to the notorious “Hemingway’s”

The sister bar to Hemingway’s, Cash Only Bar maintains the same level of class and sophistication – and most importantly mixology-  but it’s a much more relaxed place where you can kick your shoes off. When Hemingway’s is full to the brim or when you want a fully non-smoking bar, Cash Only is the next best thing. Enjoy live music and bar snacks as you sip on mixology magic and are waited on by bartenders who have memorised the cocktail dictionary and are eager to whip up anything that you can imagine.  Prices are similar to Hemingway’s so if you go in thinking this might be a cheap joint I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. More importantly the bar is, as it’s name would say, is cash only.

L'Fleur Cocktail Bar

L’Fleur Cocktail Bar Photo Credit: George Nemec from L’Fleur Bar Facebook Page

LFleur Bar – A Menu To Get Lost In

L’ Fleur is located at the bottom of the heaving party street Dlouha and is located more or less next to Tretter’s Bar (a favourite place to watch celebs and hockey players). The updated space, which has been everything from a retail store front to multiple failed bars seems to have found a winner with furnished leather tufted booths and a set up that encourages intimate conversation. Choosing a drink that suits your fancy isn’t a problem, as their menu is a lengthy 27 pages long. If they don’t have what you are looking for one of their bartenders is sure to know it.If the alcohol gods created it, L’Fluer probably has it.

public interest

Public Interest where the fashionable crowd comes for relaxed cocktails  / Photo Credit: Public Interest Facebook Page

Public Interest– For counter-culture cocktails

Public Interest, with its grungy, industrial, and counter-culture vibe draws artists, writers, and other creatives; mainly those that work in the fashion and pr industry. The place is incredibly small and the music is pretty terribly – especially for a place that oozes cool and makes some pretty fine cocktails. It’s non-smoking however and if you can make a reservation and get a seat, the bar is absolutely worth a trip. Enjoy cocktails from 170-350 Kč.

elbow room bar

A signature cocktail from Prague 7’s Elbow Room. Photo Credit: Elbow Room Facebook Page

Elbow Room – Prohibition Never Felt So  Good

If you can manage to talk yourself , or friends, to heading over the bridge you’ll encounter this prohibition themed bar. A ubiquitous staple in cities like London and Paris, Elbow Room is making a name for itself under the glow of green lights. Order a “lime in the coconut” and shake it all up in Letna’s hottest new bar, trending as #1 on foursquare since their opening in January. A quote from their “classics” menu pretty much sums it up: “Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whisky makes it go round twice as fast.”

prolog bar

Prolog Exceptional Cocktail Bar – Posh cocktails in Prague 5. Photo Credit: Prolog Exceptional Cocktail Bar Website

Prolog: The Exceptional Cocktail Bar– The glitzy cocktail bar you’ve been dreaming of

Prolog bar is basically a synonym for posh, though located across from the Andel metro station may seem otherwise. With twinkling lights, leather tufted bar stools and gold accents, this bar looks more at home in Mayfair than in Prague, but we love it all the same. Enjoy the low banter of a bar setting while sipping on one of their 21 signature cocktails- I plan to try every single one of them before my dying day. If you are feeling a bit risqué, try one of their seven deadly sins cocktail: Wrath, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Sloth or Pride. The cocktails are truly a craft, with pristine execution and dainty garnishes atop. Prices ranging from 85Kč to 395 Kč.

anonymous bar

Anonymous Bar, where drinking is an adventure. Photo Credit: Anonymous Facebook Page

Anonymous Bar– “Give a man a mask, and he will show you his true face”- Guy Fox

Take an adventure to the unknown and unlock the secretes behind Guy Fox through undisclosed menus and hidden messages. In fact, reading the menus becomes an adventure in itself from black light only menus, menus that require a magnifying glass and randomly a View-Master menu that unlocks the secret ingredients.The drinks are extravagant and come staged in ways that you can’t imagine: in grenades, in circus themed toys, or an IV drip bag. Making a reservation is crucial, as this is something that everyone wants to experience.

cloud9

Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge- a view from the top Photo Credit: Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge Official Facebook Page

Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge- Drinking under the Stars

Located at the top of the Hilton Hotel, Cloud 9 offers rooftop views, plush sofas, and a DJ spinning tracks long into the night- it’s the perfect starting point before heading into town. Order a refreshing Mojito on the terrace, overlooking a drop dead view, while being surrounded by men sporting the latest fashion trends, waxing poetically into a woman’s ear. While it may be a bit of a trek away from the city centre, this chic rooftop bar is worth it. Signature Cocktails are 170CZK while others range from 120-200CZK respectively.

tretters

Tretter’s Bar – where things never change. Photo Credit: Tretter’s Bar Facebook Page

Tretter’s Bar – Cajole with hockey players, celebs and wanna’be fashion models

It’s the swank hang out for high-worth individuals and professional sports players. Don’t be surprised to see Czech celebs and your favourite Czech hockey players at this bar, smoking cigars and drinking cocktails in the off season. The bar staff is well versed in cocktails which means if you want it, and it’s obscure, they can probably make it. Prices are similar to cloud 9, but with an ambience based around Paris in the thirties rather than a modern, skyline view.

black angels

Black Angel’s Bar – the poshest speakeasy outside of the 1920s. Photo Credit: Black Angle’s Bar Facebook Page

Black Angel’s Bar-  Speakeasy in Old Town

Slip back to a time when cocktails were served in their correct glasses with hand-made ice cubes and bartenders had more than just charming good looks. Named one of the Best 50 Bars in the World by the Sunday Times, it is still a favourite for the local crowd- though tourists have caught on. During the weekend there is a piano player and singer who serenade the Gatsbyesque crowd with her sultry voice and his bygone era tunes. Everything about Black Angel’s- the chandeliers, the tables, the menus are chic.  It looks pretentious, but with prices that are affordable for all, it’s one of the best deals in the city.

bugy's bar

Bugy’s Bar – the original fashionable crowd hangout Photo Credit: Bugy’s Bar Facebook Page

Bugy’s Bar – An American-Style Cocktail Bar with Czech Flare

When the fashion events end, this is where the editors and beautiful people go. Models, editors of fashion magazines, and celebrities all venture to this small space to drink fanciful cocktails and sip foreign wine. It’s the bar that introduced the mojito to the Czech public and was ranked as one of the best cocktail bars by Newsweek International. Cocktailicious (delicious cocktails made by Bugsy’s) prices start at around 135CZK for short drinks, Sake Cocktails around 160-190CZK.

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Dating Apps in Prague: A quest to find the good, the mediocre, and the remove-from-phone

I was asked to write an article for Expat.CZ about dating applications back in early 2014. The article was to be a first person account of my own experiences. Finding myself rather newly single, I was all too eager to try and date all for the sake of an article – market research is fun! I questioned friends in the States about their favourite apps, taking advantage of a short trip to Atlanta to download the likes of Hinge, which requires a US zip code, and asking other friends in London their favourite apps and websites. Using the apps I discovered men, almost all of whom later became friends of mine, in Vienna, Prague,  Budapest, London and Stockholm. There were the occasional romances and second dates, but no where near the horrible experiences touted by the media in the US. On the contrary, I have found the apps listed below weren’t anything like what the media had demonized them to be. What is below is my original article, the not-so-nice version that I showed to a friend who works at InStyle Czech Republic and was met with a, “oh my god, this is fabulous, but really mean!” The toned down version is on Expats.CZ now and can be read HERE. It should be noted that the original is only tips for men, whilst the Expats.CZ article is all encompassing for both sexes who are ready to try the world of on-line dating.

Want to meet good-looking women in Prague? Download an App

How Prague’s new singles are connecting

You’re single and the old outlets just aren’t cutting it anymore. Speed dating – pff – blasé;  meeting in a bar- she’s out with her friends;  hitting on the girl in your office kitchen- it’s going to end in silent elevator disaster. As 20 and 30 something’s begin to turn more to mobile applications to find everything from tram times to concerts in their area, it makes sense that we would all begin to use it for meeting up, hooking up and dating.  For the single who poo-poos the idea of online dating please take note; in a recent study by Match.com (US) some 22% of the single population met their dates through friends (pretty good), but  another 20% met their dates through their electronic friend the dating website  (that’s pretty stiff competition for your real life friends).   The Favorites But we are getting ahead of ourselves here; let’s first start with the basics of dating apps- which one to choose. There are a slew of applications available with new ones popping up every second day, but for the sake of sanity I picked four of my favourites all of which are available on both iOS and Android operating systems.

Tinder

‘It’s like real life, but better’. The premise is simple- swipe to the left if you are uninterested and swipe to the right if you are interested. Using information from your Facebook and your current location, you can see friends and interest in common, as well as how close the potential new lady is. It’s only once you mutually like each other that you can begin your conversation. For those travelling it’s an excellent app for meeting new people, having a city fling or getting insight from a local.

The Innercircle

It’s an invitation only, private members clubs where applications are tightly vetted. The online site has already launched in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Milan, Barcelona, and Stockholm with additional cities launching in the coming months. A small profile should be filled in and pictures uploaded. Anyone can contact you, but since the website is private the barrage of annoying emails most women receive doesn’t exist here. It is a place where beautiful, single people can meet other like-minded individuals (and it seems to be working).

Badoo

Anyone can message you, which can be either flattering or incredibly annoying. It too takes your information from Facebook showing mutual friends and interests. There is a block option for those who would like to stop receiving messages from their secret admirer. You can contact people “nearby” through the GPS option on your phone or play a game called “Encounters” which took a page from Tinder with the swipe left /right option. It seems that everyone on Badoo caters to both Czechs and foreigners living in Prague, so expect to practice another language more often than Tinder.

OkCupid

You need to fill out a profile section where a minimum of 100 characters is needed for the ‘about you’ section. It doesn’t pull information from Facebook, but it does have you answer questions like the mother-of-all dating websites, match.com. This website is more for the person looking for a serious partner and not just a good time; though I’ve been told by other gentleman that this is an excellent app for scoring the occasional NSA hookup.

How to Grab that Lady’s Attention

Now, for those who believe that the photo and for that matter, the FIRST photo, isn’t the most important part of the profile, that it’s vain to only look at the pictures; welcome to human nature! Appearance is important for both sexes and nowhere more so than on a dating app- its vanity super charged; pure and simple. Below are a few suggestions that I and many of my lady friends have agreed should never appear on your profile:

Don’t

Sunglasses in every pictures What are you hiding? Do you secretly live in your summer cottage (or with 8 other flatmates in a two bedroom flat)? Ditch the sun glasses it makes you feel untrustworthy! The good from far, far from good Monet Everyone looks amazing when the picture is taken 800 meters away. Add some photos where I don’t need a magnifying glass to see you. The Porsche Poser Smearing your oily body up against a car that clearly does not belong to you definitely says, “here is my number, call me maybe?”- swipe left. The fish Apparently it’s the size of your carp or cat fish that matters The obligatory bathroom selfie Because really, nothing says narcissist like showing off your kind of six-pack in your bathroom mirror that you haven’t bothered to clean (which, for the record, if you haven’t bothered to clean the place where you get clean, what the hell does the rest of your apartment look like?) Only studio/photoshopped photos I have no idea what you really look like and am willing to guess I couldn’t pick you out of a lineup.

Do:

Upload different types of pictures so that we can see your personality. Get creative with your tagline or profile so that it fully reflects you. Not creative, that’s ok- just tell me a bit about you in a language that doesn’t dumb women down and make you sound like a pompous fool.   The Next Steps: awkard-first-date Now that pictures have been uploaded, a profile and bemusing tagline have been written, you’ve now got to put fingers to keyboard and type it out. Should your flirting continue in a pleasing manner you’ll more likely than not move to WhatsApp and may then decide to meet your potential person of interest. As a single woman myself and someone who has used these applications and websites for a while, might I be so kind as to give a bit of advice to other single men:

  • Don’t proposition me for sex. I am not a hussy and even if I was looking for something “quick and easy” it would most certainly be at a private event, not with someone who drops lines like,  “I’ve decided we have a lot in common and I will allow you to sleep with me.”
  • Back handed compliments are a no, no. A nice gentleman I had met in Stockholm was kind enough to use this one on me, “You are very beautiful, but beauty is subjective.” While this is a completely factual statement let’s save it more for conversations about art or architecture and not as your chat up line. *This lovely chat-up line found it’s way into Time Out London, so thank you Stockholm guy!*
  • Don’t collect other women’s phone numbers while we are out together on a date. Yes, this has happened; No, I am not joking. If you are genuinely that uninterested then say it. Believe it or not, most women are not as deranged as you would like to believe.
  • Be a gentleman! Look at me when I am talking, open a door (or preferably all of them), pay for a drink. Every woman that I know, and I mean EVERY woman, appreciates these small gestures.
  • Don’t brag about how well-endowed and great you are in bed, it makes us believe immediately that you are lacking in man-hood and that we’d have more fun rolling around with our sheets than with you.
  • “I’d like to have a stalker, I think it would be fun to have someone like me that much.” This should never be said, ever. Red flag (regardless of which sex says it).

Of course, not every man uses chat up lines which are this bad, and surely there are women who also stoop to levels deemed unacceptable, but as long as you make your intentions clear in the beginning, both people can measure whether or not it’s worth pursuing. So now that we’ve covered the basics and you’ve been given a small look into the world of a single woman, download an app, meet some people and get to swiping and typing!

New York’s Favorite Apothecary Comes to Prague

U.S. skincare institution Kiehl’s has opened a Nový Smíchov flagship

It used to be that scoring high-end health and beauty products in Prague meant hefty shipping fees or begging family and friends visiting from abroad to deilver the goods. But a recent invasion of brands like Bobby Brown, MAC, Aesop, and Sisley have paved the way for the next big launch: In May, “New York’s pharmacy” Kiehl’s, a cult favorite the world over, opened shop at Nový Smíchov. The store transplants the old-fasioned apothecary style and customer-centered tradition of its New York cousin – lots of free samples included – with plenty of local appeal, says Dominika Hartova, Brand Manager of Kiehl’s, who recently spoke to us about the brand’s debut in the Czech Republic.

When a popular brand from abroad hits the Czech market, questions normally revolve around two very distinct areas; product and pricing, the latter creating contempt towards brands that jack prices through the roof. L’Oreal, the parent company of Kiehl’s, has apparently learned from the backlash, “Our prices are more or less the same as in the rest of Europe so you don’t have to shop anymore when you go abroad,” she says.

Unlike many new store launches in Prague, where style takes precedence over substance, Kiehl’s seems set to have gotten it right. The company has brought in over 90% of its product line, carrying the top 10 international favorites for both men and women, along with their highly successful dermatologist solutions. “[Most of our customers are] Czech, but there quite a large number are foreigners…which is much different from those who buy our other brands,” Ms. Hartova says.

Another factor that makes Kiehl’s stand out is its men’s grooming range; in New York and Los Angeles men make up over half of the clientele.

Aside from being able to buy the company’s iconic lip balm, no postage or airfare required, it may be the ‘Kiehl’s touch’ as Ms. Hartova calls it, that will appeal most to expats who have grown weary of Czech customer service. Each new customer gets a free 20-minute consultation by beauty technicians. “We do a a healthy skin check with ‘tabs’, which measure the balance of oils and waters in the skin,” says Ms. Hartova. Product recommendations are made based on the test. The shop is English-friendly and touching, trying, and sampling is encouraged.

While this hands-on, forward-thinking approach may be revolutionary to Prague, it’s a tradition Kiehl’s has always held. Founded in 1851 as a single homeopathic pharmacy in New York’s East Village, it has gained a huge worldwide following for its basic packaging, unorthdox marketing approach (the company purports to give away 12 million samples a year) and signature products like Blue Astringent, Creme de Corps, and Original Musk Oil, which remain customer favorites today.
Those selling points aside, I asked Ms. Hartova what makes Kiehl’s so different from other competitors on the Czech market that tout bio products. Her answer, “I think that it’s really the knowledge and the tradition which started when the first store was opened in 1851. Combine this with the best ingredients and the beauty advisors…and you see the difference.”

The day of my visit was no exception; I got the consultation from a lab-coated, English-speaking staffer with no obligation to buy. Though let’s be honest, if you are spending 1,000 CZK on a cream you want to know how to get the most for your money. The many serums and Calendula Herbal Extact toner won me over, whilse the gel-based products as well as the BB Cream were my least favorite. The overall feeling in the store was cheerful and if it wasn’t for another appointment I surely would have stayed longer.

The brand is already so confident of its allure that fans may be able to expect more shops to open in the future.

Love Kiehl’s? Why not enter the win the Expats. CZ competition of Kiehl’s products worth 3,000czk. Enter online here

** This article first appeared on Expats.cz on July 22, 2014**
Kiehl’s
Novy Smichov
Plzeňská 8, 150 00
www.facebook.com/KiehlsCz

Roof top terraces in Prague: Day drinking just got a whole lot better

 

I have a confession to make (sigh). I like drinking on a roof, preferably sipping champagne or an outrageously under-priced cocktail made by a handsome bartender (what? It’s not like I am asking for the world here). Unfortunately, as roof terraces and handsome bartenders go I am afraid both are in pretty short supply here in Prague. So I’ll give you the run down of my faves and perhaps after a few cocktails you might think that special someone, be they peck-flexing bartender or cleavage infused waitress is definitely “looking at you” (they aren’t, I promise).

 

The Emblem Hotel

A fashionable place for cocktails and views of Prague Castle

A fashionable place for cocktails and views of Prague Castle   / Photo Credit: Emblem Hotel

It’s where the beautiful people go for after work drinks- not beautiful, not in fashion, not a photographer, not, well, cool? Then try your luck emailing the Emblem to see if you can’t get on top of that roof top bar anyway when festive drinks with views of the castle happen on Monday evenings. Not really sure what it would compare to in the “homeland”? Well, think of it as Shoreditch meets Brooklyn meets Silver Lake, but with a lot less skinny jeans on men.

It can get a bit crowded on the roof top so make sure you are at least prepared for that

It can get a bit crowded on the roof top so make sure you are at least prepared for that  /  Photo Credit: Emblem Hotel

 

The Intercontinental Hotel

intercontinental

The Intercontinental Hotel Prague Photo Credit: Athos

Its the preferred venue for press conferences with a view, but the Zlata Praha restaurant – on top of the 5 star Intercontinental Hotel – also has a pretty killer terrace. Sure they’re known for brunch ( go for the unlimited champagne if you go) as well as hosting old, rich tourists and diplomats. Within the last year or two the Zlata Praha has also started drawing in a more elite 30-something crowd that comes for the views and stays late in the evening before popping off to one of the many fashionable clubs and bars that line the streets of Parizska.

 

 

 Botel Matylda

Sit and enjoy evening views of Prague Castle and Manes /  Photo Credit: Botel Matylda

Sit and enjoy evening views of Prague Castle and Manes / Photo Credit: Botel Matylda

So, by no fault of its own – OK that’s not entirely true – the Botel Matylda doesn’t actually have a “roof” terrace but it has sun decks, and by all accounts that’s good enough for me. Order a champagne, prosecco or any bubbly drink on the menu and watch the waters of the Vltava go by. The botel is always a mix of tourists, older Czechs and younger Czechs stopping off for a drink after walking down Naplavka. It should be noted that sometimes you can reserve a table on the terrace, but only if you are fortunate enough to get someone who is in a good mood, otherwise you are more or less at the mercy of the wait staff.

 

Teresa Hotel U Prince

hotel u prince 2

The sun is always shining on the terrace of the U Prince Hotel. Just be aware that you will probably be pap’d by tourists. Photo Credit: U Prince

The cocktails are good – not stellar, if you want those you have to go into the cavernous Black Angel’s Bar located in the lower level of the same hotel – but you are here for some of the best views of Old Town Square. Sure you’ll probably be pap’ed in a number of photos and will more likely than not watch a “photoshoot” (I use the term loosely) of an Eastern European woman taking provocative photos that look more Penthouse than Vogue, but again, it’s the views. Grab a table either at the front or towards the back side and soak up the Prague sun.

hotel u prince

U Prince’s roof top terrace with some of the best views of Old Town Square Photo Credit: U Prince

 

T-Anker

T-Anker roof terrace Photo Credit: T-anker

T-Anker roof terrace
Photo Credit: T-anker

Perhaps one of the best “beer gardens” in Prague, T-Anker is located on top of the Kotva depatment store just across from the Palladium mega-mall. It’s a favourite for professionals from the surrounding areas- mostly lawyers, sales and marketing managers who are here drinking Czech favourites and whatever microbrew is fresh on tap. Unlike a lot of other beer gardens in Prague, this is a favourite of the ladies who rest their tired feet and arms – shopping bags can get heavy- for a pint of anything from radler to lager.  Should it be hot or even remotely sunny make a reservation. Czechs are much like their sun-deprived English counterparts; the first sign of sun and everyone is at a terraced garden.

 

Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge

cloud9

Photo Credit: Cloud 9 website

It made my most fashionable cocktail bar list a few years ago and ended up back on my list for Metro UK simply because , well, the cocktails are stellar and the views are spectacular. Did I mention that the staff is charming and good-looking as well? During the summer months this roof top terrace hosts not only great cocktails and plenty of flirting, but also a few BBQ where you can mingle with locals and those in the know. Book ahead if you can because if the weather is good, the place will be packed.

Brits and Americans may love a BBQ, but so do the chefs here Photo Credit: Cloud 9

Brits and Americans may love a BBQ, but so do the chefs here
Photo Credit: Cloud 9

 

Have a tip, did I miss your favourite roof top bar? Send it in and spread the good word- surely we will all thank you!

 

 

 

Your cake problem solved

 Whether planning a wedding, birthday or general celebration of your awesomeness, here are the best places

to score great cakes in Prague

Punk Rock Cakes minicakes

Punk Rock Cakes minicakes/ Photo Credit: Punkrockcakes Instagram

 

 

My birthday is around the corner which has me selfishly thinking a lot about cakes, yes cakes.  I don’t, as some of you may already know bake – just ask my ex, I was dreadful at it – but that has never stopped me from purchasing the odd chocolate or pistachio goodness and attempting to pass it off as my own. (This is normally a fail given the fact that all of my dear friends know, again, that I can’t bake).

So what’s a girl or guy to do if you are as worthless at baking as I? DUH… order it!

 

Punk Rock Cakes

On trend and delicious, bringing these cakes to any party makes you not only the envy of all of your friends, like they weren’t already, but they also taste great! The young entrepreneur still holds down a full-time job at T-Mobile and during her spare waking moments she’s busy concocting creations perfect for your wedding or party.  I had the opportunity to devour a selection of cakes during a recent press trip for Bomton Weddings including minicakes, cakeballs and a smattering of other chocolate goodness. My recommendation, get these cakes before the rest of Prague realises how good they are and the prices sky-rocket.

 Prague City Cakes

Luxury cakes are a big thing everywhere else in the world and it seems that the trend has finally made it to Prague. The build-your-own-for-any-price idea of cakes has found a home in Prague City Cakes, a boutique bakery specialising in making your cake dream come true.  With traditional marzipan cakes fully available the group also does frosting cakes – finally – and has a taste bud sensation with flavours like: carrot cake, red velvet, coffee and hummingbird

 

Erhartova Cukrarna

Since 1937 this small bakery in Prague 7 and 2 has been turning out over 20 different types of cakes for any celebratory affair. The cakes, especially wedding cakes, tend to be more ‘traditional’ and a bit behind the times, though I am sure if you come in with a good idea something can be made. Expect to see a lot of marzipan and little frosting on the menu. If you’re in a pinch and need a cake this is always a solid option.

 

St. Tropez

Just off Wenceslas Square in one of the many passages inside Lucerna you’ll find the very good, but overpriced St. Tropez. A favourite among expats and those looking for a bit of respite from the craziness that is the city centre can find a hidden sanctuary here. Macaroons are always a hit, as a the small individual cakes that are very French. It’s common to see a smattering of ladies dressed to the nines sharing cakes, quietly discussing the latest Prague gossip.

 

Cukrarna Homola

Located just a stone’s throw from I.P. Pavlova these are my no fail cakes. Whether celebrating a friend’s birthday, my own, or bringing a little bit of extra sweetness to that party (paired with a good wine of course) it seems you can never go wrong at this bake shop. They have multiple cakes available from large to individual sizes and the prices are a steal. Expect to pay just 48CZK for the small individual cakes and around 200-500CZK for the larger ones.

 

 

 

Best Dressed Men: Meet the Sapeur

It’s the man who is inside the suit that matters, not the suit itself.

I don’t really do product placement, but I stumbled upon this short documentary from Guinness, yes the beer people, about a group of men in the Congo known as the Sapeur. The age, the income, the occupation is not relevant. What is relevant? It’s the style and elegance of these dandies and the self-expression that they create.

Do yourself a small favor and watch the short documentary below… I promise it will have you shining your shoes and reaching for that old, silk ascot in no time!

Want to know a bit more about La Sape and the Sapeur...

Selecting the perfect ring with HALADA

Just in time for Valentine’s Day we sit down with Eric Halada to discuss all things sparkly

The engagement ring, while not a new trend to the Czech Republic, certainly got a much needed boost after the revolution of 1989. As the borders opened and globalization slowly crept in, the trend that has dictated a man should save three months of his salary for an engagement ring is alive and well in the Czech Republic. Setting your loved ones heart a flutter with a single diamond is no easy feat and HALADA knows this.

“I think if you come to our shops,” says Eric Halada, son of Lia and Stepan Halada and the current category and controlling manager of HALADA jewellers, “we can help find a ring for every wallet. What’s important is that it comes from the heart, as not everyone has the money for a three month’s salary ring.”

For those men looking for the perfect wedding or engagement ring the shop you choose may reflect the prices. For example, the HALADA shops located on Pařížská and Karlovy Vary cater to a more upscale clientele while those in Brno and on Na příkope in Prague, are more wallet friendly.

Regardless of where one does their ring shopping, the experience is the same in all HALADA stores. “Our staff is trained to help anyone find the right ring,” says Halada. When asked how it works if the man doesn’t know the size of his girlfriend’s ring I am met with a smile and a useful tip:
“You can take a piece of soap and make a print of a ring that your girlfriend currently has; all you need to do is press down. Or you can take paper and pen and draw the inner circle of the ring on a sheet of paper.” Men will at least be happy to know that if the soap print or paper tricks aren’t accurate, HALADA will resize your ring for no extra charge!

For those concerned about quality, you can breathe a sigh of relief; the family (who, for the record, are all goldsmiths) pride themselves on the quality presented.

“We oversee every piece of jewellery made for our stores and the production is only done in Europe [the Czech Republic and Germany respectively],” Eric says, “Each diamond ring is given the HALADA certificate stating that the quality and specifications of the diamond are accompanied with an IGI, GIA, or HRD rating.” All the HALADA diamonds, it should also be mentioned, come from conflict-free zones.
It’s not just engagement rings and wedding bands that are available, the bulk of the HALADA business are pearls and diamonds. Whether they be stud earrings or a solitaire diamond necklace it constitutes the “bread and butter” of the store. (Quick tip: If you’ve never tried on a pair of Mikimoto earrings I strongly urge you to do it immediately. Not only do they keep their value, but it’s a classic piece of jewellery that goes with everything.)

To keep up with trends and the changing demands the Haladas travel to Basel World, a jewellery and watch exhibition in Basel, Switzerland, to, “meet with suppliers and look for new jewellery brands,” Eric says. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that we get someone new every year but we definitely look around at the new brands and trends.” This proactive stance is why HALADA is considered by many to be one of the premier jewellers in the Czech Republic.
Along with a drive for finding the newest brands and bringing them to the Czech Republic, the Halada family are all trained goldsmiths and carry this knowledge into every aspect of the store. In fact, HALADA has their own goldsmith workshop where it creates its own collections and customers can have pieces made to their own tastes using only the highest certified gemstones.

“Emphasis on quality, innovative design, craftsmanship, unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, and most importantly customer service,” is how Halada, describes the family owned and operated company.

This ethos is what has allowed HALADA to continue to build its business on the Czech market for over 20 years. Now run by the second generation of Haladas, the company boasts four stores in the Czech Republic and a portfolio to make many a competitor envious. Internationally known names like Mikimoto, Schoeffel, Niessing, and Pomellato continue to bring both time honoured traditions as well as new world craftsmanship to the Czech market.

HALADA may not have the international brand recognition of the Cartier or Tiffany’s of the world, but they are a company with a reputation of providing the best, “We want people to feel comfortable,” Eric says, and comfort and quality is something you can count on.

 

This article first appeared on the online portal Expats.CZ in January 2014