Kratochvile is a blend of a teahouse, café, wine bar and bookstore, tucked away on Sokolská, one of the historic centre’s most interesting and overlooked streets.
Upon entering Kratochvile, you’ll no doubt be greeted by the friendly staff, whether they are standing behind the counter, preparing something in the small kitchen behind it or sitting at one of the tables in the front room, enjoying the view of the street over a pot of tea.
Land of a hundred teas
Which tea it might be though, is anybody’s guess. There are more than 100 different types of black, green, spiced, herbal or medicinal tea, and last time I visited, there were another 8 or 9 iced teas available especially for the summer months. The most interesting of those were Pi-fo, or Chinese beer, which is actually iced oolong tea vigorously stirred to create a head and the appearance of the Czech national drink. And Bloody Mary B+ was a thick combination of carrot and raspberry juices, with an elegant spiral of blackcurrant. (30Kc).
Spicy, milky chai
A favourite of many people though is the Yogi tea. The black tea spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves is said to 'support mental alertness and lead to a mildly euphoric state, pleasant and warming in all seasons'. It comes served with soy milk and cane sugar, and a wonderful addition is a plate of the homemade shortbread biscuits.
Coffee, cocoa and cous-cous
Kratochvile is not all about tea, though. There are coffees from three continents as well as Melta barley coffee, and cocoa, which can be served cold, hot, with cream and/or flavoured with cinnamon. There are also some interesting bottled beers, a short list of wines and the smokers’ corner offers two dozen flavoured tobaccos for the shisha pipes. Sweet and savoury snacks are also available and if you’re hungry, they may even be able to whip up a bowl of cous-cous or a couple of rounds of toasted sandwiches.
So there’s really something on the menu for everyone, and as an added bonus, the many delights of Kratochvile’s kitchen can be savoured in very pleasant surroundings. The three main rooms on the ground floor all lead off one another and all have quite different characters. The front room is light and busy, the old gothic arches of the second room form two private nooks peppered with cane furniture and low round tables.
Swing-seats and a loft
In the large rear room, you can sit on sofas, cushions on the floor or swing from one of the hammocks suspended from the ceiling. From this back room a wooden staircase leads up to the small loft, which is popular as a smoking den for hubbly-bubbly aficionados.
Exhibitions and concerts
As if all this weren’t enough, the interior walls are frequently used as a gallery and the back room hosts performances and small concerts from time to time. Kratochvile is open 7 days a week until 11pm and is rightly a favourite of many locals, especially university students, who seem to make up much of the regular clientele.
té & café Kratochvile
Tel. 739 643 856