The R. Jelínek company, famous for the strong plum brandy known in Czech as Slivovice, have created an interactive museum attraction in Prague.
The museum is just a two-minute walk from Malostranská metro station, on the castle side of the river.
You can visit the courtyard, bar/restaurant and shop for free.
The shop has a magnificent array of Slivovice and other alcohol produced by R. Jelínek.
Tickets to the museum are available online, from an automated machine in the shop or from the shop counter. Standard ticket is 450 Kč (€19 US$20) per person and that includes a sampling menu at the end of the tour.
The museum tours start every 15 minutes and are automated. Each tour has a maximum 12 people and lasts about 55 minutes. It was quiet when we visited and we were lucky enough to be just two throughout the tour.
We picked up our tickets, plus a multi-language audio guide, headed across the courtyard, then down stairs to an automated barrier entrance.
There are toilets before the barrier – if you think you’ll need to go within the next hour then pay them a visit!
We scanned our tickets and watched as the clock counted down until the door opened. Once inside, the door closed and we were in an interesting room.
A presentation (Czech with English subtitles and also English from my audio guide) started behind the distillery model buildings. I don’t always have the patience to watch these things, but this was done really well and made good use of technology. The history of the Jelínek family and production of Slivovice was compelling, but also tragic as they suffered at both the hands of the Nazis and the Communists.
The time passed quickly and soon we were watching a clock count down until a door opened to another room.
The room felt relaxing, like being in an open field, but with neither allergies nor bugs! The presentation, with musical accompaniment, was all about growing plum trees and again, there was enough to hold our attention – which was handy as there’s no way to escape the room.
Another timer and soon the next door opened to reveal a futuristic simulator with virtual reality headsets.
With our headsets on, we followed the life of a plum from tree to Slivovice. It was a truly immersive ride experience; we felt warm and cold air and the seat moved.
Headsets off and another door opened. The mixture of exhibits in this room were all pretty interesting, although even fans of Slivovice might find themselves ‘plummed out’ by this point. The room is open, with stairs leading up to the bar restaurant.
If you’d like a souvenir bottle of Slivovice with a custom label, then don’t forget to create the label before you leave – there isn’t a facility in the shop upstairs.
We created a label (for Jiří and Helena) and collected this classic, alarm-clock design bottle from the shop 495 Kč.
In the restaurant, our sampling menu was already set up with three shots and three canapés.
The first shot was classic Slivovice – it’s pretty strong and you’ll be glad of the glass of water provided. The second shot Slivovice honey and the last hruškovice (pear liqueur). The canapés were delicious, I wasn’t sure if they were supposed to be eaten with the adjacent shot, but I did that anyway.
We could certainly feel the effects of these sample shots as we staggered happily into the cobbled streets of Malá Strana.
R. Jelínek have created an excellent museum tour. The automated doors that allow you to move from room to room are like a mixture of Disney ride and escape room – your prize at the end is to sample the product.
U Lužického semináře 116/48,
118 00 Malá Strana
+420 724 814 034