Last Thursday, the Missus had a do in the evening. It had been originally scheduled for Wednesday, but for one reason or another it had to be moved to the day after. This meant that I would have to take Nela to her ceramic class in Roztoky.
I'd lie if I said I was jumping with anticipation—the thing that bugged me, really, was the trip, which includes switching buses in Velké Přílepy, meaning that we wouldn't be home until almost 8. But I didn't complain, I want my wife to go out and have fun on her own, she needs it.
Nela had stayed home that day; she hadn't been feeling well the day before, and we thought it'd be better to let her rest. She spent the hole day lying in the sofa. We even considered skipping that ceramic class, but somewhere before 3, she got her life back and was her usual self—she really loves that ceramic lesson.
Since she would be in town, my wife said she'd go early to take care of a couple of work related things, and do some shopping perhaps. She dropped us in Roztoky on her way, which was great, it saved us the two-bus trip there.
When Nela and I got out of the car at Tyršovo náměstí, we had more than an hour to kill. Her ritual with mum is to buy some snack and then go to look at the fish tanks in a pet shop by the square. But that would only take a few minutes.
Had I been alone, I would've gone to a quite OK pub not far from there. But I wasn't, and that place is not the sort where you can take a 5 year-old child for almost one hour, and the restaurant of the Hotel Academic isn't of the sort where I would like to spend almost one hour. Fortunately, I'm a keen observer—at least when it comes to watering holes—and remembered that there are two cafés in Tyršovo náměstí.
We did go to see the fish (at least that part of the ritual had to be observed) before heading to the cafés—they are a few metres apart. The first one, Cafe del Rio was small and looked a bit boring. The other, Cafe-bar EIFFEL looked a lot more interesting—it had a beer sign at the door, Schwartzenberg, which, as we got closer, turned out to have company, Únětický.
When were in front if the place, Nela said she'd been there once, and that had liked it. I did, too. The place turned out to be better than I'd expected.
I'm pretty sure that, until not that long ago, the place was pretty much like that pub at the Czech TV series Okresní přebor—the kind that, had I been alone, I wouldn't have minded too much spending an hour at, but not a good place to take a 5 year-old child—but now it's run by pretty smart people.
The room is quite large and pleasantly put together. The bar is on the right side, in the centre, and a big part of it in the back has been turned into a playroom for kids, with plenty of toys and even a mock castle with a slide. The beauty of it is that the playroom is only open until 6:30, so the people who come in the evening to take care of the serious business of drinking, won't be bothered by the sound—noise—of kids playing. It's a brilliant business model, really.
Nela wanted us to sit at one of the tables in the playroom. Luckily for me, they were all taken, but one in the main room, right next to the entrance to the playroom, with a good view to the castle was free. She accepted the compromise and, after ordering a juice and cake, took off her shoes and ran to the castle.
Beer-wise, I couldn't complain. On tap they have Schwartzenberg 10º and 11º, Únětická 10º and 12º, Guinness and a guest beer—Černá Hora Kern, a polotmavé výčepní, was on that day, and I was happy to see it, it's a sort of beer that I really like, but hardly anyone makes.
Nela was in the playroom only a few minutes. She came back to the table and we spent the rest of the hour eating and drinking our snacks—she was very happy with her cake and juice. I was very happy with my hermelín (one of the best I've had lately) and the two pints I had: Úňa 12º and Kern.
We paid and got on our way to the ceramic lesson (which I enjoyed a lot more than I'm willing to admit). While we walked there we both agreed that Cafe-Bar Eiffel is a pretty swell place and that we must go back some day.
I didn't have a camera with me, nor did I take any notes. I didn't need any of that. I will always remember what I ate and drank that Thursday afternoon in Roztoky, and what it tasted like, while I spent time with my girl, watching her play, chatting and joking with her, making fun of each other.
The place and the moment, the where and the when. That's what beer is really about. All the rest, as interesting as it might be, is largely superfluous and dispensable at the end of the day.
Tyršovo nám. 480, Roztoky u Prahy
+420 603 411 465 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon: 15-22:30, Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun: 14-23:30, Thu: 12-22:30
Bus: 340, 350 – Roztoky-Tyršovo nám
PD: I love living in a country where a parent having a beer while watching over their child in a playground/room isn't frowned upon, but seen as a normal aspect of life. There was one dad sitting in the playroom who had two beers while his daughter was playing, and there was a mum sipping a glass of wine.