Wednesday, 14 November 2007


Lunch (obed) is the main meal in the Czech Republic, so different from the snatched British lunch of sandwiches and a cup of tea. In Horice Na Sumave, as in most Czech towns, there is a restaurant where the local workers go to eat. In the summer I was invited to lunch by a neighbour who was working there. It was not somewhere I would think of going – it is so unlike a British restaurant. In some ways it feels like a cross between a canteen and a cafe – there are leatherette bank seats along the wall with tables in front of them at which sit the customers. Above their heads are hunting trophies – boar skins, deer antlers and stuffed beasts.

My friend comes and goes taking orders and returning behind the bar to pour drinks and chat to me. There is no menu – this is a shock to me – instead there is a set meal of goulash soup followed by wild boar stew with dumplings. Not only were there the customers sitting at tables but also people would come in with stacked metal or plastic containers like mess tins, these would be filled and taken back to the place of work. The Czech set lunch is substantial and very tasty and to be recommended to visitors. Even when you go to restaurants which do offer a menu to choose from, do look for these set lunches. They are often incredibly good value and moreover will be served quickly.

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