Prague’s newest autumn feast features recipes from a classic Czech cookbook

Kick off autumn right with a hearty meal in picturesque Malá Strana. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 19.10.2022 11:43:00 (updated on 07.12.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

This article was written in association with Augustine, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Prague. Read more about our sponsored content policy here.

Similar to the “Joy of Cooking” in U.S. households, many Czech homes have a copy of Magdalena Dobromila Rettigová’s “Home Cookbook” on the shelf. Published in 1905, the cookbook arrived during a national revival that embraced Czech language and culture. It featured many of the dishes that have come to define Czech cuisine and was also the only cookbook written in Czech at the time.

Now the gastro-curious and history buffs in Prague can now sit down to a meal based on some of the dishes commonly found on Czech tables in the early 20th century. Just in time for the autumn season, the Augustine restaurant’s Austria-Hungarian feast is kicking off its second year next Thursday, Oct. 27.

Dishes such as pâté, venison tartare, boar ribs, tafelspitz, and duck confit with dumplings are made by chefs following recipes from the Rettigová's landmark cookbook. The dishes of the era, influenced as they were by German, Austrian and Hungarian dishes form the basis of today's Czech cuisine. The meal, paired with Czech wine and beer, is served buffet style and accompanied by live piano music.

The setting of the Augustine Hotel adds to the historic atmosphere. Located just beneath Prague Castle and just steps away from the Wallenstein Gardens and Charles Bridge, the Augustine Hotel is rich in period details, character, and beauty. Set in seven interconnected historical buildings – including the Augustinian Monastery and St. Thomas Brewery – dating as far back as 1284, the hotel offers a hidden oasis in the heart of Prague.

The Augustine menu recreates Czech gastronomy with a modern, international twist. No matter what time of year it is fresh, seasonal ingredients are the foundation of the menu. Team of world-class chefs sources everything from local suppliers: mushroom pickers, truffle pickers, local dairy farms, freshwater fish farmers, and forest game hunters.

The Augustine has established a number of creative seasonal concepts over the years. Sunday Bubble & Chill brunch, is held the first Sunday of the month. Guests can enjoy oysters, sushi and Old Bohemian buns, accompanied by live music. 

In the warmer months, every Thursday evening, the Augustine hosts its popular outdoor BBQ. Cooked over an open fire in the hotel’s Sundial Garden with the background of live music artists from the Czech Philharmonic, this culinary experience is a must with everything from beef sliders to traditional Czech ribs to grilled portobellos or halloumi and seasonal desserts, such as homemade lollipops and sorbets.

The restaurant also includes the unique The Refectory bar, which, as the name suggests, used to be the dining room of the local monks. Augustinian monks still live in the neighborhood today. Beneath the carefully restored baroque fresco bartender mix heavenly cocktails and serve St. Thomas beer on tap, which is still brewed according to the secret original recipe that was handed over to the hotel by the monks themselves. The beer has a unique bitter taste with notes of coffee and caramel.

In the 19th century, the premises of today's hotel used to be the background of Prague's famous Svatotomášský pub, where the famous Czech writer Jan Neruda or the actor and screenwriter Jan Werich liked to go for a dark draft beer. A visit to the Augustine Restaurant is steeped in the sights, sounds, and flavors of Czech history.

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