There’s nowt quite like a European jaunt at Christmas, and Prague had been on my hit list for a while. For festive hols, I don’t like to go solo (the markets NECESSITATE someone to drink all that mulled wine with…) so my pal Megan came along for the ride and we had THE BEST TIME.It was a short trip, Sat – Mon, so we wanted to make the most of our time there, without it being too pressured. On arrival at our hotel, we were THRILLED to find a cute mini Xmas market directly opposite in a cute little square. It was blasting out Xmas music all day and all night, had fairy lights everywhere, little chalets…and also happened to be the home of this fucking GIANT rotating head of Franz Kafka.
(We were to discover later that one of the chalets served mulled WHITE wine with cider in it. It was a bold choice…fairly lethal…and it became out little pre-dinner aperitif every day…)
Megs had heard about a cool hotel called the UPrince, which was in the Old Town Square, so we head there first. The Old Town Square has the biggest Xmas market in all of Prague, and it was pretty awesome. We settled down for red wines and lunch (in that order…) at the UPrince terrace (‘terasa’), which was essentially a semi-covered seated area in the square, with heat lamps and cosy throws.
The Old Town Square is also home to the famous Astronomical Clock, which had tiny figurines that did a merry little dance every hour on the hour. It was cute but not as impressive as the one in Munich – soz, Prague! This square IS beautiful though, with amazing architecture.
I indulged in a local delicacy – a Trdelnik – which is a massive tube of pastry, which is then spread with Nutella and then you can fill it with ice cream and nuts. I stuck to the basic version – just Nutella – and it was SO DAMN NICE. Megs couldn’t have one because it was basically 99% dairy, but we planned for her to have these other Czech things we’d seen – crisps on a stick (I know…)
The wines went straight to our head tbh, so we took our nice little wine buzz and head over to the Charles Bridge to see what that’s all about. I mean…it’s basically just a fucking huge bridge that connects the main part of Prague with the more bohemian bit. The views from the bridge are lovely, and the bridge structure itself looks pretty impressive.
After a lot of poodling around (and more wines), we went to Cafe Salvia for some pre-dinner drinks. This had been recommended to me by a colleague – it was OK, nothing special tbh…I think it was probably more atmospheric were one to be there a bit later in the evening. I think they have a live pianist and shit, which would have been nice. ANYWHOO, thanks to Megs being vegan, we had to do research before choosing our eateries, and we had opted for a place called Restaurant Stoleti. It wasn’t a vegan restaurant per se, but offered vegan options. It was super cute in there – lots of people were getting turned away because they hadn’t booked, and we were sat there all like HAHAHA BITCHES IN YOUR FACE.
Now, the one bad thing about Prague is their local white wine. It’s Chardonnay. VOM CITY. This meant that this whole ‘Prague is so cheap blah blah’ narrative that everyone hears all the time, didn’t really apply to us because we ended up paying for the more pricey wine imported from Italy…because I’d rather die than drink the dreaded C. (The local red was a Merlot though, and lovely, so that helped) As we ate, we discussed plans to go back to the UPRince and their basement Prohibiton Bar for some nightcaps…but the night wore on, and frankly, reader, we were fucking exhausted. Yet, still on QUITE the wine-high. So, we went back to the hotel (via a supermarket to buy crisps and drunkenly harass the shop owner, obvs) and were in bed by about 10pm, ready for our first full day in Prague on Sunday.