Wednesday sees the release of Michelin’s Main Cities in Europe, a guidebook which rates Europe’s best restaurants. Last year Prague’s Allegro, located in the Four Seasons Hotel, became the first in a post communist country to clinch a coveted star. This year it retained its position, while numerous other restaurants were in the running. Another that clinched the prestigious star was Maze, in the Hotel Hilton, until recently run by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
Tourism is one of the biggest industries in Prague, with millions of people visiting the Czech capital every year. One important element of the business is “convention tourism”, when visitors come to attend conferences, seminars and trade fairs. The Prague Convention Bureau promotes congress tourism in the city – I discussed its activities with marketing manager Andrea Libová.
Sour rye soup from the Giant Mountains, the south Bohemian štrachanda or rump steak goulash from Prague, these are just some of the Czech specialties, that will appear on the menus of Czech restaurants as of April. Czech Tourism, in cooperation with the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants and the Association of Cooks and Confectioners, have prepared a special project with the aim of promoting the Czech Republic through regional specialties. These dishes will appear on menus under the label ‘Czech Specials’.
You are not very likely to wander into Svitavy by chance. Located on both the major road and railway line connecting Moravia and eastern Bohemia, for most people Svitavy is just a name on their itinerary. But if you do come and take a closer look, you’ll find a little town proud of its past and working for a better future. Once an important town for Moravia’s textile industry, re-populated after the expulsion of Svitavy’s German speaking inhabitants, it only recently showed its pride in perhaps its most famous native personality – Oskar
The Czech Republic is famous as a country of castles but this week I had a chance to visit one that is truly exceptional: the renowned Konopiště Chateau, found just 40 kilometres south of Prague. Konopiště, together with its wide surroundings and gorgeous interiors, is of course particularly famous for its ill-fated last owner – the heir-apparent to the Austrian throne, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, assassinated, together with his wife, in Sarajevo in 1914 - the spark that set off the First World War. In this edition of Spotlight we visit some of
It is a very crisp autumn day here in South Bohemia. And I’m slowly trundling towards Slavonice, which is in the very far south of this country, right on the Austrian border. I’m in a modern-looking, but as you can probably hear, rather shuddery sort of train. And I’m heading towards this stunningly pretty Czech town, which I hear, in recent years, has become something of an artists’ colony. So, I’m off to find out more about that in this week’s Spotlight.