I have a confession – I hate the center of Prague. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard to dislike the medieval buildings, cobble-stoned streets and winding narrow streets. It’s just that I profoundly dislike what it’s become – an open-air museum littered with overpriced gift-shops, Thai massage parlours, matrioshkas and tourist traps pretending offering an “authentic Prague experience”.
That’s why I’m ecstatic that Roesel finally opened its doors. Right in the middle of the Royal Road between the Charles Bridge and Lesser Town Square (though you might have a hard time finding it at first, precisely because it’s hidden behind a hellish gift shop), forget about buying a “traditional” Czech trdelnik here.
Roesel is authentic. And it has a heart.
Neither the interior nor the menu at Roesel offers anything that could be labelled as excessive. Delicious craft beer, homemade soup that would make your momma proud, saliva-inducing cake, and proper single malt scotch. Minimalistic yet warm, cozy but not overcrowded, stylish but not posh, the design is what the Danish might call “hyggelig”. Everything is right where it belongs.
Aside from the fact that it’s run by one of my closest friend and a genuinely nice guy, David, there is another reason why I’ll be spending a significant part of my pay-check here. There’s no mobile reception here.
No bars. Don’t check your phone. Talk to your friend. Buy a beer.
And enjoy a rare beacon of authenticity among the sea of kitsch.