One of the biggest retail outlets to open in Prague in recent years has been Hamleys, the first Central European branch of the famous UK toy shop. Hamleys was brought to the city by entrepreneur Pavel Čmelík, who had previously introduced other British brands, such as shirt- and suit-maker T.M. Lewin, to the Czech Republic. When we spoke at his office overlooking the bustling Na Příkopě St., the conversation took in pricing, Czech tastes and other aspects of his franchise-based business. But I first asked Čmelík about his own background.
More and more Czechs are seeking healthier lifestyles, which means eating better and taking part in sports, from Nordic walking to ever-popular cycling and ball games. That at least is the gist of a new survey conducted by the GfK agency. Bank data suggests that Czechs, on average, spend around 14,000 crowns on sports– the equivalent of around 517 euros – per year.
The population of the Czech Republic rose by around 25,000 last year, with foreign migrants accounting for four-fifths of that increase, according to official statistics released on Tuesday. The country had 10,578,820 inhabitants at the end of 2016. Last year saw the highest birth rate in six years and there were more births than deaths. Men were on average 72.3 years of age when they died, compared to 79.2 for women.
Kebabarny.cz (kebabárny) is a website which reviews kebab and gyros eateries, mainly across Prague, but also throughout the Czech Republic, and even beyond in places like Germany and London. Kebabs as fast food have certainly become something of a phenomenon in the Czech Republic in recent years, with outlets on almost every main street corner. The review site is run by three reviewers, who go under the user names of Emperor, Grylls, and Ralf.
The Prague restaurant Eska has been included in Michelin’s Main Cities of Europe Guide for 2017. The restaurant, located in the busy district of Karlín, received the Bib Gourmand award for places with “exceptional good food at moderate prices”. There are currently seven restaurants in the capital that boast a “Bib”, while three others have retained their one-star Michelin ranking. I asked food critic Petra Pospěchová what she thinks earned Eska the prestigious spot on the Bib Gourmand list:
The Czech food scene has become increasingly colourful in recent years with small ethic eateries popping up around Prague. Foodies now have their pick of Indian, Arab, Vietnamese, Turkish or Armenian restaurants and increasingly Czechs heading out for a quick lunch are opting for a taste of foreign cuisine. One such eatery in Prague’s Vinohrady district offers Georgian specialties. It is a family enterprise revolving around mum and businesswoman Manana Toidze known to everyone as Pani Mančo or Mrs. Mančo.
The Prague restaurant Eska has newly received the Michelin guide’s Bib Gourmand ranking, which is awarded to places with “exceptional good food at moderate prices”. Eska is part of the Ambiente restaurant group and is located in the capital's Karlín district. Three restaurants in the city, Alcron, La Degustation and Field, held on to their highly prestigious Michelin stars in the latest edition of the world-renowned guide.
Eco-friendly hotels, bike-rentals, vegan and raw restaurants or local design boutiques, all that and much more can found in a new guide to Prague, called the Green City Guide. Written by two young eco-conscious women, the guide offers sustainable alternatives to travellers visiting the Czech capital. When I met with the authors of Prague Green City Guide, Aneta Hebrová and Jennifer Day, I first asked them to introduce it in more detail:
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