Virtuoso Life - May/June 2018 - 119
WINE AND ROSES
sionals and expats favor
Vinohrady, an elegant, upscale
neighborhood named for
the vineyards that once
covered the slopes east of
Old Town, which were later
replanted with orchards and
rose gardens. The district
coalesces around two major
squares: Namesti Miru (Peace
Square) on its western side
and Jiri z Podebrad (or "J-Z-P"
as many call it) to the east,
where Vinohrady merges with
the traditionally blue-collar
Zizkov neighborhood. Rapid
gentrification, complete with
artisanal doughnuts, wine
bars, and design shops, makes
it hard to distinguish the two.
For classy French brunches,
wait in line at Le Caveau Bakery
on the north side of J-Z-P, while
on its west side, Cafefin adds
a Vietnamese flavor. From
Wednesday to Saturday, the
square hosts one of the city's
best farmers' markets, with
live musicians on weekends.
Among Vinohrady's abundant
green spaces and parks, the
most popular by far is Riegrovy
Sady, which comes alive during happy hour. Join the locals
picnicking on the lawn, playing
games, and sipping pints in the
city's largest beer garden. The
northwest slope offers the best
sunset views of Prague and fills
daily for the spectacle.
From left: Peace Square's
Church of Saint Ludmila,
Lazy Eye's retro appeal, and
PRIZED PINT Vinohrady
teems with craft beer bars,
but only Vinohradsky
Pivovar brews its own onsite. vinohradskypivovar.cz.
TOP TABLE Despite the
Czech passion for meat,
vegetarian cuisine thrives in
pockets, nowhere more impressively than at the upscale
and earthy Etnosvet, which
serves dishes such as forestmushroom pappardelle and
"nut Wellington." etnosvet.cz.
SOUVENIR FIND Go retro
at Lazy Eye, with tailored
dresses inspired by patterns
and cuts from the 1930s,
'40s, and '50s. lazyeye.cz.
ART WALK Olsany Cemetery contains as much art in
its tombstones and statuary
as any gallery, as well as being the final resting place of
many notable Czech figures.
Find the grave of Franz Kafka
in the New Jewish Cemetery,
just next door.
HIDDEN GEM It's easy to
miss the poeziomat ("poetry
jukebox") on the west side of
cobbled Namesti Miru. At the
press of a button, the green,
plays Czech and American
poems read in their original
languages by their authors.
PRAGUE TRAVEL PLANS
Three favorite hotels and a river cruise that culminates
with two nights in the city.
STAY Designer Olga Polizzi helped transform the thirteenthcentury Saint Thomas monastery and its historic buildings between Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge into the 101-room
Augustine hotel. Its interior garden (with a restaurant and the
Refectory bar) is one of the city's best-kept secrets and the
only place you'll find the dark, slightly sweet Saint Thomas
beer, which craft brewer Matuska makes exclusively for the
hotel according to the monks' original recipe. Doubles from
$445, including breakfast daily and a $100 hotel credit.
The 99-room Mandarin Oriental, Prague blends into the
narrow lanes of a quiet section of Mala Strana. Step through
the gate, however, and you'll find a vibrant, sleekly designed
hotel tastefully integrated into the medieval ruins of a Dominican monastery, portions of which are still visible beneath glass
in the spa. Doubles from $499, including breakfast daily and
a $100 hotel credit.
Perched on the east riverbank beside the Charles Bridge, the
157-room Four Seasons Hotel Prague provides impressive
views of the Castle District across the river, particularly from
its restaurant. After city explorations, refresh yourself in its
Ava Spa with treatments inspired by the country's famous spa
towns of Karlovy Vary, Marianske Lazne, and Teplice. Doubles
from $519, including breakfast daily and a $100 dining credit.
CRUISE On Viking River Cruises' ten-day trip between Berlin
and Prague, spend five days cruising the Elbe aboard the
98-passenger Astrild before wrapping up with three days in
the Czech capital. Along with guided sightseeing, cruisers also
receive special access to the sixteenth-century Lobkowicz
Palace at Prague Castle to view one of the country's most
important art collections. Departures: Multiple dates, June 7
through November 9; from $2,999.
M AY | J U N E 2 0 1 8