Prague seems to be quite good at cocktail bars, but there are a few which clearly stand out from the rest. Hemingway is the most spoken about bar in the city, attracting tourists and locals alike.
I’m always curious to see whether the hype is justified. It is interesting to read in reviews, for example, if you don’t have a table booked after 10pm, don’t bother coming. This is a bar which books up completely on the weekends, and thus is only worth visiting, especially with a big group, if you’ve booked a table.
However, I broke the rules and turned up at 7pm on a Saturday without a reservation. And without any fuss got a table. But I was told I’d have to leave at 9pm (which was fine, as we had dinner at Sansho booked at 8). So if you come early, getting a table shouldn’t be too much of a problem. And actually, I think it’s most fun to sit at the bar.
The interiors are fun, nothing too extraordinary. But it’s cosy and especially the area around the bar is nice. There are two bars, downstairs (where it is busiest) and upstairs (where it is quieter). While initially disappointed to be sitting upstairs, we noticed we got served straight away, and our drinks came quickly.
Where this place really excels is in the talent behind the bar, and the standard and presentation of their cocktails. Hen ordered an ‘Eau de cocktail’ (for women), made with gin, hibiscus, verbena, cornflower cordial and lavender bitters. The presentation was exceptional and it tasted good too.
I put them to the test, like the annoying, high maintenance tourist that I am but but the cocktail shakers gladly took on the challenge to create a spicy, citrusy and not too sweet vodka cocktail. They even managed to find some fresh chilli and the result was magnificent (and again, looked beautiful). I called it ‘Golden Balls’.
Prices are more than reasonable considering their skill, and I’d highly recommend Hemingways for a pre-dinner cocktail.
Karoliny Sv?tlé 279/26,
110 00 Praha 1-Staré M?sto