Holiday indulgences

Perhaps in the run-up to the holidays you want to use the bathtub yourself rather than have it patrolled by your Christmas repast. Alternatively, avoid frantically turning your hair-drier upon a halffrozen turkey at midday on the 25th. Here’s a selection of venues that will help give you incentive for that New Year’s resolution to join the gym.

Francouzská restaurace v Obecním domě
A five-course Christmas menu with a plethora of selections tempts you beneath the chandeliers on the 24th for the bargain price of CZK 1,950 – although some starters and desserts come with an additional price tag. Should you be feeling especially generous for the holidays, offer your guest a nibble on Iranian caviar at an additional CZK 4,750 per portion. On the 25th you can go with carp or turkey for the main of four courses for CZK 1,690. The New Year is summoned with a swing: the five course dinner and jazz evening starts at 19:00 and will set you back CZK 4,990.
Obecní dům, náměstí Republiky 5, Praha 1, tel.: 222 002 784

Call head-chef Lars Sjostrand personally to make your special requests for Christmas in this stylish cellar restaurant. Five courses of imaginative Italian cuisine featuring buttered sauces, mushroom cappuccinos and alcoholic desserts help you usher in the New Year in the style to which you feel you deserve to become accustomed. New Year’s Eve menu: CZK 3,195-4,395 (with wine pairing).
Hotel Bellagio, U Milosrdných 2, Praha 1, tel.: 224 819 957
or call directly Lars Sjostrand: 724 079 047

La Bodeguita del Medio
Cuban Christmas is low key at this collection of colonial dining rooms. A lunch menu for romantics is offered featuring oysters and snails. For New Year however, a variety of performances including fireworks, and of course Salsa dancing, distract you from the buffet in the lobby (CZK 2,500) or your five-course meal downstairs (CZK 3,500). Things will probably be a little quieter upstairs in the cigar club (CZK 3,500). Prices include open-bar.
Kaprova 5, Praha 1, tel.: 224 813 922

U maltézských rytířů
True to the provenance of the name, on the 24th this combination of cozy upstairs den and twisting gothic caverns will charitably serve Christmas dinner to the senior citizens of Malá Strana. On the 25th they offer their standard menu of Central European and International dishes. As befits the style of the house, New Year’s Eve will be a refined affair featuring live piano and your own conversation as entertainment. Five courses are up for grabs, including a vegetarian menu. New Year’s Eve menu: CZK 3,210.
Prokopská 10, Praha 1, tel.: 257 530 075

V Zátiší
For Christmas at this plush adaptation of your eccentric aunt’s dining room, you are offered a Bohemian [CZK 1,275] or an eponymous menu [CZK 1,575]. Selected wines are offered with each course for an additional CZK 675-875. On the last day of the year, live guitar and flute accompany the celebrations and five courses of inventive cuisine for CZK 4,900 (select wines cost another CZK 1,000). The evening strolls onwards from 19:00. The catering arm of the company will be able to look after your special requests. Call 800 118 888.
Vinárna V Zátiší, Liliová 1, Praha 1, tel.: 222 221 155

La Provence
In step with recent trends you can start your holidays early here: the Christmas menu – a four-course offering of yuletide Francophile dishes for CZK 1,645 – is offered from the 17th to the 26th (closed on 25th). They kick up their heels on the 31st with a French cabaret and set meal costing CZK 4,500. Live performances from “Edith Piaf”, French Cancan and climaxing in DJ Mc Erik’s dance fever aim to help you forget any regrets for the year just passed. Events kick off at 8pm sharp. The Kampa Group also offers a full catering service at your choice of location. Reservations can be made at 800 152 672.
La Provence, Štupartská 9, Praha 1, tel.: 257 535 050

Throughout December, this flamboyant Thai/European hybrid offers a Christmas business lunch or three-courses in the evening: CZK 595-995. You may be regaled by live music and carols.The great deals are continued on New Year’s Eve, when five courses of fusion food [CZK 2,200], or a buffet [CZK 1,500] are further spiced up by two live bands, a DJ and Go-Go dancers.
HOT, Václavské náměstí 45, Praha 1, tel. 222 247 240


Šípek Bistrot
Czech designer and glassmaker Bořek Šípek’s deli offers Mediterranean specialty foods from Italy, Spain, and France. You can add spice to any meal with infused oils, risotto, foie gras, marinated aubergines, cured meats, marmalades, and more. If you’re invited to a holiday soirée, attractive glass bottles with hand-blown fruit accents containing Czech slivovice and other eaux de vie make great gifts to offer your hosts.
Valentinská 9/57, Praha 1, tel.: 775 155 505,

Le Terroir
You can walk right into the 11th-century cellar and lay eyes on over 600 varieties of European wines, all stored in ideal conditions. From the Vire Clesse (CZK 850), produced in the less well-known Bourgogne region of Maconnais to the Santenay 1er Cru, Clos Tavannes, by Domaine de la Pousse d’or (CZK 1,300) and other more “precious” vintages, you’re sure to find the perfect accompaniment to your dinner party.
Vejvodova 1, Praha 1, tel.: 602 889 118,
Bakeshop Praha
A perennial favorite, this American style bakery never fails to cook up something special for the season. This year, gingerbread men, almond poppy seed cakes, traditional Christmas shaped cookies, and spicy pumpkin treats are joined by homemade panettone, vánočka, and a French “Yule Log” – a chocolate almond cake filled with cream and iced with dark chocolate ganache. Special orders are accepted from the first of December.
Kozí 1, Praha 1, tel.: 222 316 823

Re Gourmet
This is the place for Italian treats at Christmas time. The panetonne and pandoro sweet breads feature highly in their seasonal offering, along with all the fresh pastas, sauces, meats and cheeses. Cakes and breads from Galup and Loison are available in decorative tins that make excellent gifts, as do the shop’s selection of Italian distillates, sparkling wines, coffees and chocolates (gift baskets available).
Římská 29, Praha 2, tel.: 222 515 391
Italská 12, Praha 2, tel.: 222 512 199 ·

Robertson’s International Delicatessen
As the preferred destination for Britons, this merchant’s two locations have made a name for themselves as the home of genuine English bacon and sausages. Beyond a wide range of sauces, chutneys, spices, breads and more in regular stock, Christmas additions will include free range turkeys (order in advance), various stuffings, Christmas puddings, mince pies and crackers.
Jugoslávských partyzánů 738/38, Praha 6, tel.: 233 321 142 · Nuselská 60, Praha 4, tel.: 261 217 580 ·

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