FAM Report: Prague
Last year PickledEgg joined a group of industry professionals on a jam-packed FAM trip to ‘the city of a hundred spires’ - Prague, Czech Republic. Famous for it’s magnificent gothic architecture, winding cobbled streets and medieval castle, the city did not fail to impress.
We were hosted by The Mandarin Oriental, which was our base for the duration of our stay. The Mandarin Oriental Prague is a converted former 14th-century monastery, combining contemporary ideas with historical features. The rooms are large, spacious and extremely comfortable, and the staff incredibly hospitable. Our first night was spent enjoying a delicious asian themed welcome dinner served in The Mandarin Oriental’s private dining room. The room is situated in the intimate wine cellar and when decorated with candles and fairy lights it becomes a magical space and is highly recommended!
With a plethora of activities available in the city, our FAM focused on the more traditional aspects of Prague. An absolute must activity is the vintage tram ride to Prague Castle, complete with an accordionist playing well-known sing-a-long songs. A fantastic way to start the day! After wander through the grounds of Prague Castle and look up at the spires of St Vitus Cathedral in the morning mist.
Day one was filled with site visits of possible host venues including Prague Castle, the Lobkowicz Palace; Letna Chateau and finally at Troja Chateau.
The ornate design of the Spanish Hall of Prague Castle is enough to take your breath away. Built for Emperor Rudolf II, the room is a stunning venue for banquets, conferences and social programmes – rich with history the room is a definite talking point for an event.
For lunch we stopped at Letna Chateau, a much smaller venue with amazing panoramic views across the historic centre of Prague. It is situated in the heart of Letna Park and is the perfect location for more intimate celebrations or company events. Outside there is a beer garden where the locals drink Pilsner beer and they watch the sunset over the city. A stunning venue!
Finally, we headed to Troja Palace, the perfect destination for a large event including banquets, balls and social events. Surrounded by a stunning garden and beautifully decorated, the Troja Palace has the option of the Grand Emperor’s Hall accessible via the intricately painted grand Baroque stairway, or the Stables for a drinks reception or banquet. The Stables still have the original marble troughs that the horses used to drink out of.
In the evening we ‘dined as the Czech’s do’ at the Pilsner Restaurant. Immersed in the Prague dining culture we soaked up the traditional atmosphere whilst devouring enormous portions of Czech cusine – duck and dumplings – indulging in the Pilsner beer and dancing along to the Švejk Duo.
A walking tour is a fantastic way to indulge in the history of the city. The tour begins at the Municipal House of Prague, leading to the infamous Astronomical Clock and Estates Theatre – the oldest Czech Theatre where Mozart’s Don Giovanni was premiered. Two hours of strolling through the cobbled streets whilst absorbing the most amazing aspects of Prague sets you up for The Manto Gallery. The Manto Gallery is home to the work of one of the leading Czech glass artists, Antonin Manto, and a great location to take part in a glass painting workshop – a great souvenir from Prague! In the winter, the workshop can be used to learn about Prague’s Christmas traditions – gingerbread decorating, ‘the pouring of the lead’ and decorating clementines with cloves. A relaxed experience and a lovely break from the walking tour.
Lunch today was at Kampa Park. Kampa Park is a local’s favourite and a celebrity hotspot! Famous for it’s gourmet cuisine the amazing location overlooks Charles Bridge and is situated right on the water’s edge, the views are spectacular!
After lunch we came across six Trabants, the old-fashioned Communist cars originally from Germany, waiting for us. The Trabant car rally was brilliant fun and in our opinion a perfect activity for an incentive trip. The trabants pick the group up from any location in Prague and before departure the group is divided into smaller teams. Each person takes it in turns to drive the car to checkpoints where they have to complete activities – from singing songs to blind driving and photo shoots. It’s certainly an experience that will excite and provide a talking point.
On the final night we travelled in style in a Hummer Limousine to The Zofin Palace. The Zofin Palace is situated on an island in the Vltava. It’s a huge banqueting venue with a unique dining experience including ‘live kitchen’ experiences and ‘Heston Blumenthal’ style aspects to their food. We experienced their artistic dessert where the waiters and waitresses drew the dessert on the table – a really unique and fantastic experience that will certainly surprise guests!
PickledEgg’s busy and lively weekend refreshed our eyes as to all that Prague can offer. From the serenity of the River and parks to the hustle and bustle of the city centre, it is clear the Prague has something to offer many types of corporate event, from conferences to product launches and incentive travel. A magical destination and one not to be missed!