Friday 18 December | 2015
Few cities are nicer to visit in winter than they are in the summer – but Prague is certainly one. The frosty cold has driven out most of the tourists, leaving us to dutifully explore this exotic, romantic and exquisitely beautiful city. With Christmas around the corner, the ornate architecture is dripping with fairy lights, the markets are abuzz, and carollers are scattered around castle balconies.
So rug up with a warm coat and scarf, ensure you have plenty of space on your camera, and bring an enormous appetite! Prague also boasts exceptional food, whether you’re enjoying goulash with the locals at a Czech pub (highly recommended here), snacking on cinnamon dusted Trdelník at the markets, or having a lazy weekend brunch at La Bottega Tusarova.
The pile of croissants on the counter are irresistible, and therefore one lands on our plate, alongside a cappuccino with all the characteristic flavour of Italian coffee. The liquid sugar is a novelty for us, and adds a richer caramelised flavour. Meanwhile the ultra crispy croissant bears its semolina soul, and everybody goes to heaven.
A symbol of Prague’s more modern side would be the Chia seeds with fresh fruit, hazelnuts and goji berries. Whoever has managed to find sweet strawberries and blackberries at this time of year is a champion! Health junkies will delight in this dish being kept healthy with the notable absence of sugar and cream.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how an Eggs Benedict should look – lightly toasted bun, real ham off the bone, perfectly poached eggs and homemade hollandaise. The greatest achievement on this plate though is the crusty yet moist Altamura bread, which is just outstanding, having been made by the La Bottega’s resident baker who hails from Altamura.
Scrambled eggs are always a risky dish to order, usually being too dry and overcooked, but La Bottega has them all worked out. These are creamy yet still fluffy and light, and so perfectly seasoned it’s almost annoying. The presentation takes us out of casual brunch and into a fine dining restaurant. Pass another slice of that Altamura bread, please…
Much more than breakfast is on offer, with a deli full of smart salads that deviate from the usual lettuce-cucumber-tomato fare (we’re looking at you Germany) and into wild rice territory. Not far away are 30 Italian cheeses, for you to smuggle home with a loaf of that amazing bread.
Speaking of bread, the banana bread was not quite what we expected… instead it was so much better. This stylish looking pancake hit us with a really fresh banana flavour, lots of thick and creamy Greek yoghurt, and interesting texture from toasted oats, nuts and seeds. With Prague being a flight away, we’ll have to try to copy this at home!
The patisserie of La Bottega has been in action all morning, and through the glass viewing window you can watch these chefs churn out gorgeous cuore chocolates, panna cotta and tiramisu, apple and pineapple cake, Sacher tortes and much more. Prague is so spoilt to have a cafe like this, and we only wish that we could visit more often.
Make a reservation, or risk missing out!
La Bottega Tusarova
170 00 Prague 7
Here’s a sketchy image of the menu here: