Monisha Rajesh finds Prague’s Four Seasons the perfect place from which to explore Bohemia while being a welcome sanctuary from Stag parties
It was my first time to Prague and I was nervous. A friend had recently sent me a link to a website called LastNightofFreedom.com detailing the range of monstrosities on offer for stag weekends, under the title "Czech Mate", and I was wary of spending a weekend surrounded by pissed-up 'ladz' from Lancashire.
But my worries were for naught. Prague was a spellbinding city of Segways, suckling pig and cobbled streets. Bridges looped across the Vltava river and from the privacy of the patio of the Four Seasons' CottoCrudo restaurant I could watch over the wind-whipped waterfront as barges and boats sailed past, the domes of the city shimmering under a sunny haze.
There was sadly no pool at the hotel, and with it being a scorcher of an afternoon, we had taken to lounging beneath umbrellas and watching two blondes in sky-high heels taking selfies before wolfing down foot-high sundaes and two bottles of Ruinart Ros’.
The Four Seasons Prague is that kind of hotel: we were meant to be having a coffee and catching up on emails. But coffee became an Irish coffee followed by a couple of glasses of Prosecco - located under the wonderfully titled 'bublinky' (bubbles) - and a plate of sweet, strong jam’n Ib’rico. Before we realised, the sun had set and we were browsing the dinner menu, too comfy even to think of leaving the hotel.
I began with a plate of paccheri aglio olio with black truffle and sea urchin - giant tubes of bright pasta with dark nutty truffle and tongue-tingling fishiness. I then sank into a John Dory with white asparagus and almond cream, roasted just enough for a crust to rim the edge. By this point the candles were being lit, the couples were nuzzling and the evening air had begun to chill so we retired to the room; or the 'Renaissance room' to be precise, a palatial white-walled and chandeliered space.
Comprising three styled buildings, neo-classical, baroque and neo-renaissance, joined by one main building, the hotel caters for all tastes. Our room in the Renaissance building was traditional, elegant and undaring: carpets, drapes and sofas were pale blue, a sort of Duchess-of-Cambridge shade, and the bathrooms were stocked with reassuringly British Asprey products.
The walls were hung with traditional 'Zwiebelmuster', or Blue Onion porcelain. However a small note explained that the pattern wasn't actually onion, but a misinterpretation of the 18th century pattern that is in fact pomegranate - a symbol of fertility.
After a deep sleep courtesy of blackout curtains, we began the day with a breakfast of two fried eggs, two pieces of bacon, rosti and tomatoes which turned up in the shape of a smiley face, pink bacon lips grinning from ear to tomatoed-ear. It was a sweet touch that summed up the vibe and the feel of the hotel - fun and friendly. The Four Seasons Hotel Prague was the perfect spot from which to explore the city, with not a stag party in sight.