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catCzechs have a reputation for being creative and crafty.  This is evident in the traditional wooden crafts, glass, crochet / knit and ceramic goods.   I, myself, love to create and if time and money permitted, I would have a painter’s studio, a dark room, a pottery wheel and oven, etc…you get my drift.  Anything authentic, hand-made, and original catches my eye.  Unfortunately, I am not a millionaire, and can keep on dreaming about having all of the “luxuries” mentioned above.

A great way to get my creative juices flowing and making it a kid friendly activity (kids come first right?) is to visit Vypálené koťátko (Fired Kitty, as in when you fire pottery – terrible literal translation, I know).  Other than great desserts and good coffee, this non-smoking café has a dedicated work-room with an assortment of unpainted ceramic products, ranging from ceramic cups, plates to vases and figurines.

After selecting your “canvas”, you have a wide variety of color glazes and brushes to paint with. If you have never done it before, the staff is happy to explain the best color combinations and what tends to happen with different glazes once the ceramics have been fired.  Generally, the colors seem a bit dull and subdued while wet, but once the ceramics have been fired, they are quite rich and cheerful.

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Kids can make lovely presents for family and they have quite a bit of fun doing it.   If you want to seriously create, I advise not taking your kids with you. It probably depends on the child, but my son got bored after painting half his cup and most of his body.  Vypálené koťátko is pretty active on FB and posts some of the master pieces on their facebook page so check it out (some are quite good!). I can only recommend this great little creative café!  Vypálené koťátko also hosts various themed events – concerts, exhibitions, readings etc.

Mařákova 5, Praha 6
e-mail:info@vypalenekotatko.cz
Tel: 737 726 104, 222 947 888

Credit cards: Visa, Mastercard & Amex

Get your creative juices flowing!

farmersmarketIt’s that time of year again, when fresh farmer produce is making its way to Prague and other cities across the Czech Republic.  Since 2009, when the Farmers Market craze saw its beginnings (after many years of hibernation), the demand for fresh home-grown produce sky rocketed.  We are finally seeing hypermarket profits dwindle and specialized stores such as bakeries and butcher shops making a come-back. People are simply demanding quality and price is not the only driver when making purchasing decisions anymore.   

The following are the main Farmers’ Markets in and around Prague on a daily basis.  Some have already started, while others have yet to make a debut in 2013.  Check out each individual links to get a better understanding about the vendors and focus of each market:

Mondays 

Tuesdays  

Wednesdays

Thursdays

  • Trziste Holesovice, P7 (ongoing) Mon-Sat, 8.00-16.00
  • Prosek,  P9 (starting 26.2) Tue & Thu, 8.00-15.00
  • Tylak, P2-  (starting 19.3) Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, 9.00-16.00

Fridays

Saturdays

I personally attend the Prague 6 Farmers’ Market (Kulatak) which has a large sortiment of just about everything.  My personal treat is getting the [excellent] morning coffee, before my shopping begins and I end my shopping run with fresh flowers ;)

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Happy shopping!

Check out our archived article from 2011 that also covers this topic.

All Natural

November 15th, 2012 | Posted by Karolinad in Household | Karolina | Lifestyle | Shopping - (Comments Off)

It feels as though I have hibernated for most of my adult life and until recently been awaked to discover a whole new world.  It was not until after my firstborn came into this world, that I really started to think about being and staying healthy.  These days it’s more difficult getting your hands on healthy food and products, when there are too many choices on the shelves and the packaging / advertising is often misleading rather than informative.  Although the bio / organic movement has been around for a while, the Czech Republic had to go through its initial bouts of consumerism before people began to question the quality of the products that flooded the stores. 

Initially I thought that being healthy would only require exercising and eating healthy (little junk food -  OK, ok..I do occasionally slip-up on the sweets and junk), which is what I have been doing for the past 15 yrs. However, it didn’t really hit me until recently that the quality of the food I eat and the products I use make a big difference.  Focusing on the products, rather than food for the moment -I started researching cosmetic products trying to figure out what makes some products safer than others, when I came across a few handy websites that highlight the fact that many products contain preservatives and other chemicals that disturb our bodies one way or another (from being carcinogenic to disrupting our natural hormone levels).   

As I continued my research, I learned that there are many companies that produce and offer good quality natural cosmetics which omit the use of harmful chemicals – mainly omitting preservatives (parabens), petroleum products (PEGS), allergens, dyes, etc.  These companies offer products ranging from face/body/hair care to toothpaste, lip balms, deodorants, makeup and so on. 

In the Czech Republic you can purchase natural cosmetics via many different channels, one being the drogerie DM – where you will always find a natural cosmetics section that will offer brands like Weleda, Lavera, Alverde to name a few.  At DM you can also purchase natural/safer cleaning products which tend to be cheaper than your regular brands and better for your health.

Another great way is to check out a store called BIOOO.CZ, which is an online as well as a physical store that is located in the Kotva shopping center.  The benefit of going to the store is the fact that their sales staff is well trained and can help when you are not sure what to choose.  Here you can find a wide range of products from an array of brands that are represented here (even food for your pets!).   

Another good local option for body care is a Czech company Manufaktura that has excellent bath products for adults and children – and they make wonderful presents.

I know that avoiding chemicals in today’s world is simply impossible, but it feels good to make educated choices when purchasing products that we consume or apply onto our bodies.  With natural products it takes a few tries to find what works for you, and some time getting used to a different feel, consistency and smell than what you are used to, but I think it’s worth a try ;)

Happy shopping!

Introducing a fairly new website - Hello Czech Republic - launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Here you can get information on living in or visiting the Czech Republic straight from the source.   The website is available in 6 different languages and provides you with accurate and up to date information on a number of different topics.

Our Daily Bread

February 1st, 2012 | Posted by admin in Food and Restaurants | Household | Lifestyle | Paul | Shopping - (Comments Off)

It might be just me, but one of the things that surprised me on my arrival in Prague, was that the Czechs seem to do bread really well. Now we all know the Czech Republic is world-renowned for its beer and should also be well known for its wine too, from what I’ve tasted, an opinion I’ve formed despite my undeveloped palate. But enough of wine and back to the bread. In the UK, bread is a bit of a sad affair; it’s usually bought in sliced loaf form and is usually white. Most Brits stock their freezers with slabs of this white ‘plastic’ mush and then get it out of the freezer let it defrost and make sandwiches with it. Seeing that the sandwich is an English invention, we pay little heed to the quality of the bread and fixate on the fillings. In the UK, content is king.
I always thought bread was the staple of the French, with their delicious baguettes, but the Czechs seem to do pretty well. While they don’t seem to have too many bakeries, at least in Metropolitan Prague, the supermarkets seem to hold their own; a visit to Billa, Albert and Lidl will reward you with the smell of freshly baked bread. Much of my small change has also disappeared into the floury hands of bakery shop assistants as I have been seduced by the smell of cakes etc as I ascend one of the escalators on the city metro. The only lingering memory of these hastily wolfed snack treats is a lighter wallet and an expanding waistline.
The most basic form of Czech bread is the humble rollick. This simple white roll is the friend of the perpetually hungry, the pacifier of wayward children, and the time pressed workman and commuter. They are incredibly cheap and are usually purchased by the bag full. My guess is that given the nature of Czech cuisine with its myriad soups and heavy sauces they are useful accompaniments to mopping up operations on many a dinner plate. This has been my personal experience anyway. Onwards and up from the rollick there is a veritable cornucopia of white and brown rolls with seeds and without seeds. Here the bread is definitely an integral ingredient of any self-respecting sandwich and not just something to slap some cheese on. More of my baking adventures and travails with Czech names for flour on Friday!

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