Beauty Contest in Czech Nuclear Power Station causes sexism row

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The Temelín Nuclear Power Plant is the largest power generator in the Czech Republic.

They maintain a Facebook page that shows news and events. Yesterday they posted pictures, taken inside the cooling tower, of ten attractive girls in bikinis and asked that people vote for their choice. The girl with the highest number of likes will take up a two-week internship at the Nuclear Power Plant.

In reality this was just a beauty competition run by Maturantky – I’m guessing both sides thought this would be a piece of harmless publicity. However, the promise of an internship led to criticism of sexism in industry and the usual faux outrage from Facebook visitors to the page.

Of course it was probably a mistake to make it look like the vote was for a job, albeit an unpaid intern, based on mostly looks alone. But one thing I like about the Czech Republic is the innocence and lack of political correctness that has such a stranglehold on the West. I’m sure everyone thought it was just a piece of harmless fun and I hope nobody got into trouble over it.

In that same Czech spirit, I’ve linked to the pictures of the contestants below:

Bistrøt 104 Restaurant, Prague, Czech Republic

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Bistrøt 104 opened in February 2017 but we only managed to visit on Saturday 17th June. The ø in Bistrøt is to reflect the Nordic ideals of organic, local, seasonable and sustainable food. The 104 is just the street number and not a latitude or longitude point as I first thought.

The Bistrøt 104 website is pretty sleek and has a professional video and mission statement. The menu is a PDF which is okay these days as most browsers have a built-in PDF reader – no need to download Adobe Reader. You can also make a reservation request on the website, which I did earlier in the same day and received an email response within a few hours.

The exterior is modern but welcoming:

We were warmly welcomed on arrival at 19:00 and offered a choice of tables – the place was empty. At first we looked for a table for two and then realised that four was the smallest.

Chef Pavol Pavlík was in the kitchen:

We ordered a 1l filtered water (49Kc) and a Valle Reale, Montepulciano d‘abruzzo 2015
(779Kc). The waiter was professional, but friendly and was more than able to discuss the wine we’d ordered.

The waiter explained that portions were small and that we should order more than just a starter and main – or perhaps the degustation menu (1090Kc). We’d already guessed that from looking at their website. My personal view is that there shouldn’t be a traditional starter, main, pudding menu as Bistrøt 104 isn’t that kind of place. What I’d prefer is to be able to choose two starters, two mains and one pudding for a set price of, say, 900Kc.

We opted for the degustation menu:
ASPARAGUS yolk foam yolk confit nuts
OXTAIL marrow wild garlic ash-baked potatoes
FISH onion broth almonds
PARSLEY AND MUSHROOMS
LAMB KNEE nettles seaberry horseradish
BEETROOT kefir honey

An amuse-bouche plate arrived; from left-to-right – tempura crisp with wasabi, pâté and (warm) liver.

All were delicious. Bread arrived together with a second amuse-bouche (carrot).

The tomato purée on bread wasn’t to my taste but my girlfriend liked it.

The degustation began!

ASPARAGUS yolk foam yolk confit nuts
Cold with three types of asparagus; white, green and wild. Everything was nice and beautifully presented – but it wasn’t amazing.

OXTAIL marrow wild garlic ash-baked potatoes
A hot soup which had the wow factor that you look for in a place with Michelin aspirations.

FISH onion broth almonds
The waiter served the broth at the table.
The top was a kind of edible paper. The separate jar contained onion foam. It was really good but was missing something that I wish I knew enough to articulate.

PARSLEY AND MUSHROOMS
This was a bit of a disappointment considering how much the Czechs enjoy foraging for mushrooms. Perhaps when the season enters full swing this plate would improve.

LAMB KNEE nettles seaberry horseradish – broth served at the table. I forgot to take a picture of this course but you can rest assured that the presentation was another delight. This dish was excellent and had the wow factor that we were looking for.

BEETROOT kefir honey
The small kefir (like a drinking yoghurt) was delicious. The beetroot good but nothing special for me.

I checked the bathroom.

Modern, clean, stones in the washbasin, towels for hand drying, tissues, a small box containing toothpicks and cotton buds. Perfect.

We declined coffee and digestifs and asked for the bill. So it was nice to still receive some lovely petit fours.

The bill total was 3107Kc plus tip. I was disappointed to see an additional 50Kc per person cover charge and that our second bottle of filtered water (49Kc) had also been added. This at odds with the generousity of the amuse bouches and petit fours. It’s really unnecessary at this level to add a cover change and water should be free.

We enjoyed our dinner. The staff were knowledgeable and friendly. Some plates were exceptional, some not – although all were beautifully presented. It sounds as if I’m being over-critical, but at this level I expect to be wowed.

Nickel and diming on the bill and inconsistent menu aside, this place does represent reasonable fine-dining value. I wouldn’t surprised if Bistrøt 104 receives a Bib Gourmand in the next Michelin guide.

However, there are plenty of great restaurants in Prague and Bistrøt 104 would need to do more to tempt me away from the likes of Sansho, Yuniku and Cicala.

Bistrøt 104
Korunní 810/104
Praha 10
+420 272 660 837

Opening Hours
TUE-SAT 11.00-15.00 18.00-23.00

bistrot@livingvenues.com

http://www.bistrot.cz/

Operation Anthropoid Events, Prague, Czech Republic June 17th and 18th 2017 – review

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Operation Anthropoid was the code name for the assassination of SS-Obergruppenführer and General der Polizei Reinhard Heydrich.

I previously wrote about the events to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Operation Anthropoid in Prague on May 27th. I then wrote about my visit to the event. I thought that was it as the date had passed. But then another group organised an event this weekend of Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th of June.

We aimed to visit Karlovo náměstí at 15:00 to see shots fired from a canon at 15:10. But we missed the tram and arrived at 15:12. I don’t think the canon shots were that loud as we weren’t far away and didn’t hear anything.

We then walked around what the organisers call:
A period camp of the Czechoslovak Brigade in Great Britain showcasing a number of period techniques and historical artifacts.

 

This man looked like a Nazi spy using a futuristic communication device:

Past the camp were some vintage military vehicles:

And some people in costume:

But there weren’t many people in civilian costume as the previous Anthropoid event, the majority were soldiers.

There were a few tents selling beer (slightly over-priced at 40Kc and food:

It was all interesting enough, but really only took 20 minutes to look around and we were ready for the 15:40 – Rehearsal for attack on Heydrich’s car. This wasn’t a reconstruction of the actual attack, but a demonstration of how the soldiers trained for various scenarios; shooting, grenade.

The first attempt was reasonably successful, although one soldier’s gun didn’t fire:

The second attempt was a complete fail when the grenade failed to explode:

The event continues today and you still have time to see:

12:40 – Rehearsal for attack on Heydrich’s car – hopefully more successful than yesterday!
14:00 – 16:00 training demonstrations
15:10 – shots fired from a canon
15:40 – Rehearsal for attack on Heydrich’s car – last chance

All events are free.

Sisa Feher & Fehero Rocher – Jazz at Le Bouquet, Vinohrady, Prague, Czech Republic

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Last night we were lucky enough to spend the evening drinking great wine and listening to really excellent live jazz. The venue was Le Bouquet. The jazz performed by Sisa Feher & Fehero Rocher. The band name being a play on Sisa’s surname and the chocolate.

Le Bouquet doesn’t usually open on Sunday so this was already a special evening. I knew there would be live jazz but wasn’t prepared for how great it would be. Here’s a picture before I post the video:

My phone took a reasonable picture, but the video is really dark. Don’t let that put you off as the music is well worth listening to:

There aren’t any current plans for a repeat performance at Le Bouquet – although it’s still a great place to visit.

If you want to find out about Sisa Feher go to http://sisafeherova.sk/

There is also Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/feherorocher/

If you’d like to see Sisa Feher & Fehero Rocher tonight 12th June they’ll be at https://www.facebook.com/AVOIDFloatingGallery/ which is a boat moored on the Vltava River near Výtoň.

On the 15th June they play Jazz Dock https://www.jazzdock.cz/en/

Church Night, Prague, Czech Republic

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Church Night this year was Friday 9th June. We had dinner in the garden at Pizzeria Grosseto, by Náměstí Míru and then went on a church tour. None of the churches we visited had a queue or wait to enter.

First was the Church of St. Ludmila at Náměstí Míru.

Next we jumped on a 22 tram all the way to Malostranské náměstí. The plan was to visit St. Nicholas Church. We joined the swarm of people heading the entrance. At the entrance was a sign that said ‘Entrance’ with an arrow pointing back from where we just walked. We walked the entire circumference of the church and decided it was shut – shame on you St. Nicholas Church.

We walked back one tram stop to the Church of Our Lady Victorious:

Next was a walk across Charles Bridge to St. Salvator Church.

This was the best visit so far. There was eerie music being played:

You could climb up to a gallery:

And take pictures looking down:

It was now just after 11pm. We walked along Karlova Street to the Old Town Square, then straight into the Church of Our Lady before Týn. Was good but the church is so much more impressive from the outside:

That concluded our Church Night. Thanks to all the churches that opened their doors.

Church and Museum Nights in Prague, Czech Republic – 9th and 10th June 2017

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Prague churches and museums open their doors this weekend.

Church Night Friday 9th June: Almost 3,000 places of Christian worship will be open in Prague and Central Bohemia. Some 145 are in Prague and range from St Vitus’ Cathedral at Prague Castle to small chapels and rotundas. Most churches also arrange a concert evening. Admission is free. More information: https://www.nockostelu.cz/index.php?pg=aktuality&id=712

Museum Night Saturday 10th June: 49 museums, galleries and other cultural institutions in 79 buildings will be open. Many have entertainment programs or tours. There is free admission to all museums except the Vyšehrad National Cultural Monument which will charge a symbolic entrance fee of 1Kč. More information: http://www.prazskamuzejninoc.cz/2017/index.php?l=en

There are also free buses on Saturday 10th June between 18:30 and 01:00:

1 Staroměstská – Vítkov – Staroměstská

2 Staroměstská – Troja – Staroměstská

3 Staroměstská – Muzeum – Vyšehrad – Staroměstská

4 Staroměstská – Hradčanské náměstí – Staroměstská

5 Staroměstská – Švandovo divadlo – Malostranské náměstí – Staroměstská

6 Staroměstská – Letecké muzeum – Ctěnice – Staroměstská

7 Staroměstská – Malostranská – Muzejní – Staroměstská

8 Staroměstská – Dejvická – Obora Hvězda – Dejvická – Staroměstská

9 Staroměstská – Výtoň – Albertov – I. P. Pavlova – Florenc – Staroměstská

10 Smíchovské nádraží – MeetFactory – Smíchovské nádraží

and the Prague metro runs until 01:00.

The popular places often have long queues. My advice is to avoid places that you can normally access anyway for a fee and visit unusual places or those that are only open for Museum Night.

Steam Trains from Prague Smíchov Station Saturday June 10th 2017

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For those who love steam trains, there are three steam trains that you can take from Prague Smíchov on Saturday June 10th 2017.

Departure times are 09:00, 12:00 and 15:00. The ride last for two hours and follows a circular route:

Smíchov – Radotín – Krč – Malešice – Libeň – Holešovice – hlavní nádraží – Smíchov

Cost is 150Kc (80 CZK children 6 – 15 years) and tickets are sold on the station platform or on the train.

The trains feature a bar carriage with beer and soft drinks.

It looks like the same locomotive will be used for all three departures:
475.111 Šlechtična – which translates as Noble Woman. Below is a stock photo – please don’t blame me if the actual loco is different!

For more information (in Czech) visit http://www.masinka.cz/

Pho Vietnamese Restaurant, Prague, Czech Republic

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There are several restaurants called Pho in Prague. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup so not a name you can trademark. This one calls itself ‘Pho Original’. I’ve no idea if they were the first Pho or not. What they do have is outside seating, albeit on the street.

 

We sat on the table for two to the right of the door – that isn’t us sitting there in the photo!

We ordered a reasonably-priced bottle of Puglia Primitivo (285Kc) and an over-priced jug of tap water (59Kc). They did refill the jug for free, but that’s still too much for a jug of tap water, even if it did have a lime in it.

For starters we had coconut tempura tiger prawns (115Kc) and spring rolls (69Kc). The tempura was a bit heavy, not helped by the coconut. The spring rolls were perfect.

For main, we both had duck in red curry and rice (195Kc per) – plenty of duck slices and it was pretty good.

The restaurant interior looks good:

The toilets were clean and modern, the only disappointment was the useless hand dryer on the wall. It was one of those stop every 3 seconds, hardly blow air, get so hot you burn your hands and eventually dry on your jeans versions.

Our total bill for dinner and wine outside 918Kc. It’s a reasonable price for what we had and we’ll go back again.

Pho Original
Záhřebská 468/21
Praha 2    120 00

+420 608 363 327
info@phooriginal.cz

Open daily from 11:00 – 23:00

http://www.phooriginal.cz/

Vlkova 26 Bar/Club, Prague, Czech Republic

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Vlkova 26 is a bar/club in Prague’s Žižkov area. The Žižkov has a reputation for being a bit rough with plenty of late-night bars. But the area has undergone urban renewal and isn’t really rough – although there are plenty of late-night bars.

Vlkova 26 is the name of the bar and also the street address – which makes it easy to find, especially as the bar doesn’t have a sign outside:

Inside is a large dark room – the bar on the right and a dance floor and DJ stand at the back:

The place has a cool vibe and fits well into the Žižkov. Just off the dance floor are the toilets, which were clean and functional, but this is Žižkov and so you’d be disappointed if there wasn’t any graffiti:

I was actually here to see the first DJ performance of two Swedish girls Ellen & Ottie:

The event invitation on Facebook is here.

The guys behind the bar were friendly, the measures seemed generous, the prices good – although I can’t actually remember how much I paid in the end.

I was the oldest person there but didn’t feel out of place.

Ellen & Ottie did a good job – my measure of success being that they played music I liked and people danced:

Here are Ellen & Ottie enjoying their set:

I enjoyed my time getting down with the kids in Vlkova 26 and I’d go back again if they let me.

Vlkova 26
130 00 Prague

Opens 20:00 – 05:00

https://www.facebook.com/Vlkova26/

Lavička Restaurant, Prague, Czech Republic

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Lavička is on a busy street in Prague’s Žižkov area. The Žižkov has a reputation for being a bit rough with plenty of late-night bars. But the area has undergone urban renewal and isn’t really rough – although there are plenty of late-night bars.

Lavička isn’t a late-night bar, but instead quite a decent pub restaurant, with a large garden at the rear. They actually call themselves ‘Lavička Zahradní Restaurace’ – Lavička Garden Restaurant. It’s just a short walk down the hill from the tram stop Lipanska (5, 9, 15, 26).

There’s quite a big restaurant inside with a corridor leading to a conservatory:

Beyond the conservatory is a large garden, but only a small part of that has tables:

There weren’t any bugs flying around and I was able to eat outside.

The menu is a mixture of Czech classics, some pasta and a few ambitious dishes.

I had a Bacon Cheeseburger with onion rings, coleslaw and fries (230Kc) and a couple of half litres of Bernard beer (38Kc per). It was decent burger and beer – just what I needed before I went to a nearby late-night pub (Vlkova 26) with plenty of drinks and no food.

Service was friendly enough, maybe a little slow but they were quite busy. I wouldn’t make a special trip, but if you find yourself in the Žižkov then you’ll be okay here.

Seifertova 77,
Praha 3 – 130 00

Open daily: 11.00 – 23.00

+420 222 221 350

http://www.restaurace-lavicka.cz/en/