01 June 2011

Prague's Grand Cafés - Kavárna Obecní dům

INDULGENCE WARNING: This post will be full, too full, of things that excite me and me alone, so please forgive me, but I don't think I can help myself!

Art Nouveau moves me.

I like curves.

I like vines and movement.

I like a bit of fussiness, but only in art.

In college I started collecting things featuring this style.  Eventually I realized that I had a lot of stuff by an artist named, Alphonse Mucha.

Turns out he's considered the father of Art Nouveau.  

While I was planning my first trip to Prague I found out they had a Mucha museum.  Apparently Mucha's from Czech Republic?!  Crazy!

I was thrilled!

So what does all this have to do with Prague's Grand Cafés?

Mucha designed Kavárna Obecní dům!  In fact, he designed the entire Municipal Building (Obecní dům), just steps from  Old Town Square.

What were the chances? I think it was a gift just for me!
Walking in, I stopped in my tracks.

Floral, viny, feminine lines, warm woods and splashes of gold--the attention to detail made me smile. 

Curves everywhere.

Mucha designed it all--light fixtures to coffee cups.


Oh yeah, there's pastries...

                              ...and coffee.
My choice?

The waiter called this a Nougat Torte.  Sounded good--chocolate, nuts, honey. 

It was completely forgettable. 

I couldn't believe it. 

Just not much flavor.  Even the texture was one-note--soft.
On the upside, I love the look of the black and white layers and the confetti of both white and dark chocolate on the top and side.  The chocolate covered almond garnish was nice too.  It looked tasty.

Couldn't taste the nuts in anything although I'm pretty sure the sponge cake was meant to be almond.  The chocolate wasn't sweet or rich.  No hint of honey. It just didn't taste like anything.

I still love this café and know that if I made a different sweet choice I'd have had better luck.  Guess I'll have to go back, bask in the Art Nouveau glow and see what the dessert cart brings!

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