Day 7

So this was, without  doubt, one of my favourite days in the Czech Republic- but it was also one of the longest.

We had decided to rent a car for the day in order to get out into the Czech countryside and explore for ourselves. This meant getting uo at 6.30am, having a quick (but lovely) breakfast, and picking up the car from the rental place all before 8.30am.

If you plan on renting a car, don’t go to the train station- the rental service charges there are extoritionate. We found a good deal in the jewish quarter- the car (a new polo) cost 77 Euros, with an additional 15 to cover the insurance (otherwise you have to pay 500 Euros for any damage caused.)

It took three hours to get to the town we were visitng, a world heritage site for its historical roots and beautiful setting; Český Krumlov.

It was worth the drive.

Český Krumlov was nestled in the green hills, an equally green river slithering through it, the strong heat turning the water white and baking the terracotta rooftops further.

I love old cobbled streets that wind, lined with jewellers, cafés, ice creameries, creperies- I even stumbled accross a gingerbread maker. So as you can imagine, this was a foodie’s dream.

 

It was a very hot day, and full of charming life- there were many people canoing and kayacking over the river, and locals bustling about the midweek market. There is a castle here, and that is were we went first. In the moat, there are real grizzle-guts guarding the castle inhabitants…

Bless, the bears actually have quite a nice life- they’re given a lot of fresh produce to keep their tummies content (and stop them from tearing apart tourists.)

The one I photographed is asleep, not dead, I hasten to add.

So, after checking out the castle, we climbed up the winding streets, and stopped in a café for an iced latte and cake. And what a view- from the terrace we overlooked the whole town, the beautiful river, and the hilly countryscape beyond.

And the cake? That is not mere honeycake, my friends.

A local Czech we spoke to told us that he knew honeycake, and this was the best honeycake he had every had in the country. So, as you can imagine, it was good.

The Czech republic is famous for garnet, and Český Krumlov is one of the few places were you can find moldavite- a rare, green, meteorite stone. I, um, really liked the combination so I kind of bought myself a ring. It was about 8 sizes too big on my finger though, so since returning to the Uk I’ve had it resized.

It was mid afternoon when we decided to head on back to Prague, and after resting in the hotel for a couple of hours, napping, freshening up and so forth, we went to have dinner at a restaurant about four minutes way on foot.

Now, let me tell you about Restaurace Ostrovni, because if you’re in Prague- you have to go. Seriously, make this your one must visit.

We arrived, went down the stairs, and found ourselves in a cool, recently refurbished, cellar. The staff were jovial and friendly, the tables were beautifully set up, the menus were embossed in fine gold on soft parchment- it was an establishment oozing with class and refinement and chic urban youth…yet…

The prices would make your cry with JOY. So cheap. So. Cheap.

My brother had ghoulash with dumplings, as you see to the left. My father had a beastly plate of schnitzel with some kind of herb roasted potato side.

My mother had marinted chicken thigh with sea salt potatos under a chive cream sauce.

And myself? Well, there were options for vegetarians, but I fancied something which I’ve never had before.

A nicoise salad.

There’s normlly tuna and anchovies in it, and as I don’t east fish, this usually presents a problem- after all, not all restaurants create dishes from scratch, sadly. But here they are, so when I requested the salad, fish free, it was no problem.

And it was utterly delicious. Soft, salty, boiled potatoes, moreish olives, just cooked hard boiled eggs, crisp, snapping green beens, a rich, thick wild mushroom sauce and chive sour cream topping. It was divine.

But, believe it or not, it was on parr with something else for the nicest thing I’d had in a Czech restaurant over the whole trip. And that was dessert.

That, is a plate of 2 crepes {pancakes on the menu}, bilberries, cream, and a caramel sauce that is so decadent, you actually stop several bites in and ask what you did in your past life to deserve such heaven. It’s that good. And at 75Czk, it was £2.50. In a fancy restaurant. In the evening. Yeah.

My father had hot chocolate with Baileys and vanilla ice cream in roasted almonds, which he enjoyed enormously.

Oh, and by the way, all our drinks were free because to get people in, they were (and still are at the time of this post) offering a free drink (beer, wine, soft drink etc) with any meal. And they also gave us all free shooters, out of kindness- which was a cherry in vodka and lime juice.

 

Anyway, I’m putting the details at the end of this post- it’s a must go!

Check back for Day 8 in Prague! {another excellent day!}
Restaurace Ostrovni
Ostrovni 24, Prague 11000,
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2 thoughts on “Ten days in Prague; Day 7.

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