Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Prague, Czech Republic: The Augustine Hotel

It's 5:30pm, exactly, and I'm back in my hotel room. Today, I had the most amazing meal and afternoon!!! It was all so random. That's what's beautiful about travel, each day is full of surprise and mystery. Yesterday I woke in Zurich, now today, Prague....
When we arrived this morning to gloomy and wet weather, I went to the gym for a nice work out, before running into Robbie, our pastry chef, at the front desk. I was only there to inquire about the internet connection, or should I say, lack of, when he invited me to join him to share a cab across town. With no definite plan, I accepted the offer, quickly went to my room to shower from my gym session, joined him in the lobby a half hour later, and we were on our way. Yes,...on our way to the Augustine Hotel. I had only just learned of the five star hotel from him the day before. He had plans to retrieve something he had left there from his last visit in town and didn't mind me tagging along. As a chef for Pink, having stayed at the hotel this past summer, and fond of it, he shared stories with me of his amazing experiences working alongside the kitchen and hotel staff. The former monastery, now hotel, sits very unassumingly on a small side street in a prime section of Prague, walking distance to the famous Charles Bridge and Prague Castle. The inside hallway off the reception area features gorgeous 20th century Cubist sculptures, which compliment the stone arched hallways, wood and frescoed ceilings and cloistered terraces. The furnishing is clean and modern, yet comfortable. The setting is heavenly, appropriately so, considering the buildings origin.
Taking a moment, Robbie was welcomed and greeted by the head chef of the restaurant before we made our decision on what to eat. I chose the beetroot and goat cheese salad to start and a wonderfully flavored piece of cod with chickpea, tomato and artichoke to follow, while he ordered the salmon with cucumber and a pigeon entre. We washed it down with a light dry white Czech wine and sparkling water. It was all so divine!!!
Finishing our meal, Robbie scurried off by taxi to make his afternoon work call, while I took a leisure walk back to the hotel, pit stopping at the Charles Bridge for some night time photo ops before turning in. Today was a good day!!!...

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