This is the second post of a series about things to do in Prague when you are freezing. For the previous post, please click here. We started with breakfast and coffee.
Having ordered tea to go at Novy svet cafe, we have safely reached the Brusnice tram stop. Nothing special about that one, really. We tuck in the covered waiting area and wait for the tram. We have two optional routes for our perfect winter day: either the Rudolfinum gallery in the centre, or the Dox centre in the Holesovice district.
You see, we like to visit a gallery or a museum once in a while, especially when we travel. Makes us feel slightly smarter and builds the appetite. And it’s warmer inside, which is exactly the point. The Dox Centre curates great, modern exhibitions, and their Dox by Qubus design shop is one of the best-stocked design shops in Prague, where we seem to spend much more time - and money - than we should. Combined with their art bookstore sharing the same premises, we are always in for some serious financial damage. We love a good design shop attached to a museum, and we like to spend long hours there, browsing their selection of tabletop books until their shop assistant thinks we want to steal them (we's often like to). Jan likes to look through photography books, while Zuzi sits down to read recipes from their selection of cookbooks.
The Rudolfinum gallery always seems to have an interesting exhibition going on, and a good design shop run by Modernista on top of that, and we can combine it with a visit to the UPM museum of decorative arts across the street, which is always fun and their restrooms have the best view of the Old Jewish Cemetery. Their smaller bookstore is also run by Modernista.
The only thing that makes us leave a gallery, especially on such a cold day, is hunger. Our choice for a cold winter day is soup: there is nothing quite as satisfying as a bowl of hot, steaming soup on a chilling day like this! When we’re near the Rudolfinum, we always visit La Bottega di Finestra.
We like La Bottega more than its sister restaurant, La Finestra di Cucina, next door. The owner seems to like it more, too, having opened several bistros of that kind in the past year or so alone. The bistro format just suits Italian cuisine very well, and unlike La Finestra, which attracts savvy entrepreneurs for business lunches, La Bottega is home to more casual dining.
When we visit the Dox Centre, we always have soup at Home Kitchen, which we have written about here. And we are not alone: the last time we visited the place, we sat next to Dox’s owner who had… wait for it… soup. The soups at Home Kitchen are good, thick and rich, and their bread with flavored olive oils is nice, too. We said it before and we’ll say it again: they should serve tap water, even if they charge for it. That said, we really like Home Kitchen in Holesovice: it is light, modern and airy, and thanks to its location in a residential district, it is calm.
But Home Kitchen is not the only place in the Holesovice district where you can hide before the winter cold. Heavily damaged by the 2002 flood, this blue collar worker district is now being slowly gentrified and new places have recently opened: good coffee can be had either from the anarchists of Paralelni polis, at the Megapixel camera shop (really), or at Alza Cafe in the humongous Alza store in the Holesovice market. If you want wines, and especially Italian wines, there’s Biblioteca del Vino, and if you crave Asian, you can have a bowl of hot Pho at the dodgy Vietnamese bistro behind hall 8 of the Holesovice market (if you like your food cheap), or at SaSaZu nearby (a great Asian-fusion restaurant with a clubby feel).
OK, so we warmed up with a bowl of soup. What's next? Tune in tomorrow to find out.