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Carnevale Praha

The Prague Carnevale 2016 is a Bohemian event, an Amadeus-style carnival full of surprises. The festival begins with a masquerade on January 29, and ends with a concert of Baroque music at the Clam-Gallas Palace.

The traditional masks meeting takes place at the Old Town Square on January 30, at 15:00 – this is the event that marks the official opening of the carnival. It is followed by the masquerade at 20:00, when there will also be live music performances, as well as food tastings. Some of the most interesting events of the day include the competition for the best mask, and the Race of the Golden Pig. The same day, in the grand residence of the Clam-Gallas Palace, you can attend the concert “In the Gardens of Goddess Pomona,” featuring the Opera Barocca ensemble and soprano Jana Bínová Koucká, under the artistic direction of cellist Ondřej Michal. To attend the concert you need to wear a costume and mask.

Carnevale Praha Masks

A group of people wearing traditional masks at Carnevale Praha 2015, courtesy the official page of the event on Facebook.

The rich program of this year’s edition makes this one of the most promising carnivals in the Czech capital. There will be a Mardi Gras soiree on the 6th and the 7th of February at the palace, after baroque music concerts, part of the famous Prague Opera Barocca, as well as a concert and matinee on January 31. The official carnival stages in the Old Town and Wenceslas Squares will feature theatrical and acrobatic performances hourly for the whole duration of the festival.

There is also a special ball for the smallest attendees, gondola tours on the Vltava, and romantic, Baroque-style carriage rides on the streets of the old town. Don’t worry if you don’t own a costume and mask, there are rentals available at Boudoiru Franzise Wussina, where you will find sublime Baroque dresses and accessories. Here you can also buy handmade original masks.

Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw

Paweł Oszczyk, the legendary chef at La Rotisserie Restaurant in Warsaw, has several favorites when it comes to shopping: and what can be better than learning where to shop like a local. For guests staying at Mamaison Le Regina, or Mamaison Residence Diana, but also for city visitors, here are some of the chef’s recommendations for fashionistas. 

Klif may be a chain, but it is chic and trendy, with designer and brand name offerings to die for, spanning the full spectrum of clothing, cosmetics and jewelery. Klif is often visited by celebrities from the world of fashion, entertainment and business, both local and international. This means: bring your gold card along, as here you will be shopping with the VIPs.

boss store at Klif

With 260 stylish shops, Galeria Mokotów is another landmark destination for fashion buffs. Since its opening in 2001, it attracts customers with its unique atmosphere and extensive offer of both commercial and entertainment services.

galeria

Arkadia is the largest mall in Poland. You should be visiting it for the landmark status of the venue, but also for its motto: you don’t have to be a start to get a VIP treatment. The mall lives up to all expectations: high end fashion, discounts that make some exclusive pieces available for shoe-string budgets too, cafes and fine dining, plus entertainment for all ages.

arkadia

For something different, and fashion by local designer Gosia Baczyńska, check out her flagship store on Floriańska 6. Popular with Poland’s celebrity crowd, the shop is an elegant stop off for the fashionista intent on taking home something fit for a VIP.

Warsaw designer Ania Kuczyńskahe has her own shop too, on Ania Kuczyńska Mokotowska 61. Inside, you can find a mix of authenticity and glamour the designer is so well noted for. Prepare to pay a premium for these clothes, which are designed to impress.

Another of Warsaw’s wonderful designer showrooms, the one filled with outstanding fashion by Joanna Klimas on Butik ul. Nowolipki 2 is a must see. Her stylish collections are inspired by the aesthetics of Polish folk art, and you will soon understand why the designer is so celebrated by fashion gurus.

We hope this short shopping guide inspires you. Please feel free to share with us your favorite shopping destinations in Warsaw, too! And finish a day of shopping with a fine dining experience at La Rotisserie Restaurant inside Mamaison Le Regina, to learn why Paweł Oszczyk is one of the most celebrated Polish chefs.

La Rotisserie

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asparagus

Prague is a culinary paradise in May: several food and drink festivals take place in and around the city, celebrating local produce and traditional cuisine. The month begins with an asparagus festival on May 2nd in Hostín u Vojkovic, not far from Prague. This is an occasion for you to taste a variety of foods prepared with asparagus, and to party with the locals. The program includes live music and dance, but also activities for children.

Another important celebration of local traditions is Prague’s answer to the German Oktoberfest: the Czech Beer Festival. At its 8th annual edition, the event will take place from May 7th to 23rd, featuring more than 150 top quality Czech draft beers, daily concerts and workshops, plus other forms of entertainment, and, naturally, beer snacks. The main tent we will be offering 10 and 12 degree beers, made in the Krušovice royal brewery especially for this festival. You can’t taste these anywhere else. If you are a wine drinker, there will be a selection of labels from the Moravian winery Spielberg. The food menu is appealing too: with grilled meats, salads, soups, and locals specialties. Where? Letenská pláň.

The Fishkus Festival on May 16th at Hořejší Nábřeží is all about fish: the event focuses on the supply, treatment and sale of marine and freshwater fish and seafood. Everyone who loves and works with fish is invited, to learn about these creatures, but also to try gourmet delicacies, traditional foods, and more.

gilthead

Also on May 16th, the Prague Restaurant Day gives you a chance to enjoy creative cuisine at special prices in many restaurants around the city.

Another interesting culinary event is the Vietnamese Food Festival, at Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad on May 21st. The event is part of a series of celebrations for the Vietnamese Year of Culture and is organized by the Vietnamese Embassy in Prague.

The annual Prague Food Festival at Prague Castle is the last culinary event in our list, although there are several other festivals to attend in May (Latin Food Festival on May 23rd; Vinohradský Gurmet May 29-30, etc). The three-day feast of gastronomy will be held in the Royal Garden of Prague Castle. Tickets are already on sale on the official website.

As you see, May is one of the most exciting months to visit Prague if you are a foodie. We wish you a great stay: there are always special offers available for stays at Mamaison.

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Valentine's Day

One of the most anticipated holidays follows in February: St. Valentine’s Day, a day for lovers and couples, but also a day to celebrate love in all its forms. Traditionally an occasion for lovers to declare their feelings, this is also a celebration of friendship for many people in the world, and, in different countries, it is a celebration with roots in pagan agricultural rituals related to plants, and the beginning of the work in vineyards and fields.

At Mamaison Hotels & Residences, St. Valentine’s Day is what you want it to be: a day like any other day, when you are welcomed in style in any Mamaison Hotel; an occasion to visit a new and exciting European destination; a day to escape the world with your beloved better half, finding sanctuary in one of our most sophisticated rooms, specially decorated for the occasion, and priced to give you a bit extra to spend on gifts… Book now your romantic stay in a Mamaison hotel, and make this Valentine’s Day truly special.

Valentine's Day

More than special Valentine’s Day hotel deals, Mamaison Hotels & Residences mark this day with a variety of romantic dinner menus in their most stellar restaurants. At Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw, Chef Paweł Oszczyk prepared this menu for couples who celebrate romance at La Rotisserie:

La Rotisserie Valentine's Day menu

Another restaurant that will spoil couples this Valentine’s Day is Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka’s Meat & More in Moscow, where the dinner will be held in the spacious living room of one of the best hotel rooms in the Russian capital.

Dinner price 3150 rubles per person.
Reservations by phone +7495229 57 78 or email reservations.pokrovka@mamaison.com

Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka Moscow

Finally, the Valentine’s Day menu at La Perle Noire Restaurant and Lounge in Budapest features marinated scallop, trout fillet, French rack of lamb served with squid crust and tortellini filled with chestnuts; asparagus velouté, veal tenderloin, and other delicious mains. Valentine’s Day Menu is 9.000 Ft/person, includes VAT and service charge.

La Perle

Chopin Museum

Warsaw is advertised as the city of Chopin, because the great Polish composer Frédéric François Chopin was born and raised here. His musical genius drew inspiration for many of his early works from the life pulsing on these historic streets, and from the beautiful nature of the local parks.

“The muse of his homeland dictates his songs, and the anguished cries of Poland lend to his art a mysterious, indefinable poetry which, for all those who have truly experienced it, cannot be compared to anything else,” said Franz Liszt once, referring to Chopin.

Fryderyk Chopin Statue in Warsaw © Artur Bogacki - Fotolia.com

Fryderyk Chopin Statue in Warsaw © Artur Bogacki – Fotolia.com

In fact, Chopin loved the cradle of his youth so much, he requested his heart be removed after death and returned to his beloved Warsaw. So if you want to tour Chopin’s Warsaw, you only need to follow his heart.

Walk down Krakowskie Przedmieście, to find the Church of the Holy Cross, where the heart of the composer rests in an urn immured in a pillar. This remarkable church, one of the most visited landmarks of the city, was built between 1679 and 1757, and was a collaborative effort, involving the creative genius of several architects and artists, including Józef Szymon Bellotti, the royal architect at the Royal Court of Poland, for the main building; as well as Józef and Jakub Fontana for the towers and the facade. But nothing of the original works remains: the church was blown up by the Germans in 1945. What you see today is the work of architect B. Zborowski. Luckily, the urn containing the heart of the composer was removed during the Warsaw Uprising (1944) by the Germans, who gave it to Bishop Antoni Szlagowski. Only on October 17, 1945 the heart was returned to the church, during a ceremony that celebrated 96 years since Chopin’s death.

Holy Cross Church Warsaw © stavrida - Fotolia.com

It’s easy to see Chopin’s Warsaw like a tourist: the city celebrates its most beloved son with pride and joy, and promotes all the significant landmarks that were touched by the composer, one way or another. The official route suggested by the City of Warsaw was inaugurated in connection with the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth in 2010. When you follow the route, you will find several multimedia benches, which have an interactive sound system that will play Chopin’s music. There are 15 spots where you can rest on one of Chopin’s Benches, all connected with landmarks that played an important role in the life of the composer.

For instance, at Radziwiłł Palace, where Chopin performed for the first time in public, the bench will play RONDO in C minor, Op.1; 32”. At the Holy Cross Church, you will listen to the MEMORIAL MARCH from SONATA in B minor, Op.35; 45”; while the bench on Miodowa Street will play MAZUREK in A minor, Op.68; 34”. This is the street where you will find Honoratka, the only venue from Chopin’s time that still stands in its original form.

Honoratka

The composer used to dine and meet with his contemporaries often in the restaurant, back then called Kawiarni Honoratka. Today’s Honoratka is a place to discover traditional Polish cuisine, accompanied by the music of the master. Almost everything here is designed as an homage to Chopin: you will feel his presence, an uplifting experience, enhanced by cultural and artistic events and exhibits. And, of course, there’s even a Chopin menu.

Another uplifting experience on the itinerary is the Łazienki Królewskie Park, where, in the heat of July, August and September, every Sunday, from noon to 16:00 there are free Chopin piano concerts performed outdoors at the foot of the Chopin Monument, one of the most recognizable symbols of the city.

Łazienki Królewskie Park © aarstudio - Fotolia.com

The park used to be a playground for young Fryderyk and the son of the Prince. The gardens surrounding the various royal buildings are among the most beautiful in the city, and are popular for tourists and residents alike, not only for their outstanding landscape, but also for the events held here. Besides Sunday Chopin concerts, from June to September you can also appreciate performances by the Horse Quadrilles, which are staged on each first sunday of the month at 12:00.

Łazienki Królewskie Park is the site of the Royal Residence of King Stanisław August, today a prestigious museum, showcasing the Royal collections of paintings, sculptures, numismatics, and graphics, as well as temporary exhibitions on various themes.

No other landmark on the Chopin itinerary is as authentic as Salonik Chopinów, a small part of the flat where the composer spent his last years before leaving Poland. The flat, the only one belonging to the composer, which is still open to the general public, can be found inside Pałac Czapskich, formerly Pałac Krasińskich, and currently the Academy of Fine Arts. The apartment, however, doesn’t feature original furnishings, which were destroyed or lost during the World War II. Instead, the beautiful drawing salon was recreated in 1960 based on drawings by Antoni Kolberg.

If these landmarks are not enough to tame your thirst for knowledge, step inside Pałac Ostrogskich for the largest collection in the world of memorabilia and documents related to Chopin. One of his original pianos is still preserved here, together with manuscripts of his works, letters, notes, photographs, personal items, and much more. Unlike most museums celebrating the life and work of a local hero, the Fryderyk Chopin Museum is the most modern biographical museum in Europe. The experience is direct, hands-on, designed to satisfy curiosity and interest in visitors of all ages. 15 different rooms inside the palace are each a different “mini-museum” dedicated to the great composer.

This tour that celebrates Chopin will bring the purest of the local spirit closer to your heart. This is a kind of experience that completes your understanding of Varsovian tradition in unusual and unexpected ways, in tune, if you will, and perfect harmony: the kind of experience that redefines the purpose of travel, enriching your soul.

Semaine des saveurs françaises

It’s an exciting time in Budapest for lovers of French cuisine. The “Semaine des saveurs françaises” (Week of French Flavors) is on, and La Perle Noire Restaurant and Lounge at Mamaison Hotel Andrassy Budapest participates with an outstanding menu this weekend. The event takes place from 14 to 20 November, giving you the occasion to enjoy a variety of French gastronomic products, at different participating venues around Budapest, and at the French Embassy.

There will be several events organized by the Embassy of France and its partners in Budapest. On November 14 and 15, at the Market Hall (Budapesti Vásárcsarnokban) you can sample and buy a variety of French quality products: French dishes, wines and spirits, bakery products and pastries, cheeses and hams, meats and pates. French products will be showcased during this period in several supermarkets in Budapest.

Chefs David Rathgeber, Alain Caron, Patrick Jeffroy and Chris Salans come to Budapest to offer cookery classes and workshops, as well as to demonstrate their culinary skills during gala dinners.

The event culminates on November 20 with the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau, a red wine made from Gamay grapes, the most popular vin de primeur, which is celebrated all over France the third Thursday of November.

To celebrate the Semaine des saveurs françaises, the head chef at La Perle Noire Restaurant and Lounge will prepare a special tasting menu, which is available only today and tomorrow.

Make your table reservation at:
Tel. +36 1 555 1545
E-mail: restaurant@laperlenoire.hu
http://laperlenoire.hu/en

Mamaison Hotel Imperial Ostrava

UPDATE: Now a Private Label Hotels group property, Mamaison Business & Conference Hotel Ostrava changed its name back to Imperial Hotel Ostrava in 2015, to reflect the long history and tradition of the hotel. While it no longer operates under the Mamaison brand, the hotel remains in the CPI Hotels family, which includes Mamaison Hotels & Residences hotels, four-star Clarion congress hotels, Spa & Kur Hotels, Buddha-Bar Hotel Prague, three-star Fortuna hotels, and the Private Label Hotels group.

The same Ostrava that was the industrial powerhouse of this central European country, is today a centre of all things dynamic and energetic. Where great coal mines once fed a thriving city, steel and new age technologies have converged and emerged to form a hub of business and culture. Ostrava is a mix of thriving business interests, as well as a touristic destination of wondrous import. If museum searching and partaking of stoic culinary treasures were prevalent touristic activities, extreme sports and eclectic gastronomy now coexist. The overall effect is a city better by far for its 21st century emergence.

Guests at Mamaison Hotel Imperial Ostrava can depend on unequalled guest services tuned especially for the business traveller. Business being what it is, the wellness and relaxation centre at the hotel plays a major role in helping melt away the stresses of tough schedules, as well as providing a bit of solitude from the madding crowd. This respite on the first floor of the hotel is resplendently appointed with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a sauna, and expert staff who excel at a variety of massage treatment therapies.

After a busy day in Ostrava’s business district, getting immersed in the salt water pool will melt the tension into an easy euphoria. Schedule a Thai or Indian massage, enjoy the relaxation centre, or sweat out a toxic day at the sauna. In other words, our wellness centre is the perfect extension of our award-winning guest satisfaction mission.

Wellness  Mamaison Hotel Imperial

In order to polish off that worried brow, our stylists and beauticians await your beckon call for a simple haircut or manicure at our beauty salon. They can also provide that refreshing facial the day has called for. If sightseeing, or hectic meetings have taken their toll, our Mamaison Hotel Imperial Ostrava wellness centre is the remedy you seek.

For the finishing touches, and for a perfect end to your day, the cuisine at Restaurant Legend combines gourmet culinary art with the freshest and healthiest ingredients available. Chef Poštulka is dedicated to infusing a healthier nutritional ideology into the fare, while adhering to tradition and creative cooking. Like every other amenity at our hotel, we’re dedicated to making better days, stays, and a better you. Welcome. How do you feel?

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Pig Festival Hoslovice

If you are a Mamaison guest in Prague, and you already know the hidden beauties of the City of a Hundred Spires, adventure out of the metropolis, to the countryside, not far from Strakonice, where you will find the oldest, and best preserved watermill in Bohemia.

The watermill originated in the Middle Ages, sometime in the late 1500s. The first documentary reference dates from 1654, and there is evidence that the trees used to build the ceiling of the granary were cut in 1568.

watermill Hoslovice

This architectural treasure, still fully operational, was converted into a museum, where you have the opportunity to join a variety of traditional events, like the Carnival, the Harvest Festival, Christmas, and many others. One of them takes place October 25, 2014, and celebrates the traditional South Bohemian pig-slaughtering. This celebration, held each year around the same day, marks the end of the tourist season in Bohemia, and represents an occasion for visitors to the Czech Republic to learn more about authentic local traditions, to experience the lifestyle of the countryside, and to sample culinary delicacies specific to this area.

Pig Feast Hoslovice

The event attracts large numbers of local residents too – an opportunity to experience their friendly hospitality first hand. Thing of the festival as a family adventure, and bring your kids to teach them about life at the farm, storage and preparation of food, respect for tradition, and more.

The permanent exhibition of the watermill shows ethnographic items with focus on agriculture, including growing and processing of several important crops and cattle breeding, traditional meals, and local customs. For those who don’t want to leave the mill empty-handed, there’s a souvenir shop, selling local arts and crafts.

If you planned a day trip, don’t miss the ecological farm nearby, U starýho kance (At the Old Boar’s).

Hoslovice, U starýho kance

Hoslovice, U starýho kance (Image Michal Klajban on Wikipedia)

This is a family-run guesthouse, offering accommodation, but also a variety of activities, including horseback riding for all ages, fishing, farming activities, traditional dining, and even traditional pig slaughtering.

Fishing in Hoslovice

Fishing in Hoslovice (Image courtesy U starýho kance)

Last, but not least, stop in Strakonice, to visit the castle, which now hosts the Museum of Central Otava Basin. The Hoslovice Watermill is part of this museum. If your time at the mill was a rewarding cultural experience, what you will discover in Strakonice is a wealth of information, a beautiful architectural landmark, unique religious sites, and an outstanding garden, with castle safari where children and adults alike can see Ouessant sheep, Dutch dwarf goats and Cameroon goats, ponies and more.

fall cuisine

UPDATE: Now a Private Label Hotels group property, Mamaison Business & Conference Hotel Ostrava changed its name back to Imperial Hotel Ostrava in 2015, to reflect the long history and tradition of the hotel. While it no longer operates under the Mamaison brand, the hotel remains in the CPI Hotels family, which includes Mamaison Hotels & Residences hotels, four-star Clarion congress hotels, Spa & Kur Hotels, Buddha-Bar Hotel Prague, three-star Fortuna hotels, and the Private Label Hotels group.

Ostrava is a true culinary destination, with something special to offer every season. Springs are for the noble asparagus; Summers are dedicated to the fresh, and flavorful local strawberries; and the Fall, well, it brings all kinds of different flavors. Known for its mushroom cuisine culture, Ostrava is also a place to enjoy spectacular game dishes.

venison

October is the time to enjoy creative game cuisine by Chef Vojtěch Poštulka and his team in both restaurants at Business & Conference Hotel Mamaison Imperial Ostrava. La Brasserie and Restaurant Legend welcome guests in a relaxed environment, with dishes that rival the most sophisticated international creations. Among the selected specialties you can try, wed like to recommend the delicious roasted pheasant breast with chestnut stuffing, roast potatoes with Brussels sprouts; or a slowly roasted rabbit leg with bacon stuffing, gingerbread sauce, and millet dumplings with herbs. The celebration of game lasts from 16 to 26 October 2014, and culminates with the Sunday venison brunch at La Brasserie, on October 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The price of the menu is 449, – CZK per person, and includes unlimited appetizers, soups, main dishes and desserts. Children under 6 eat free. The menu price for children aged 7 to 10 is 79, – CZK, while the menu price for children aged 11 to 15 is 149, – CZK.

Entomophagy

Venison is not the only culinary event this October. Pen into your calendar the date of October 14, 2014, if you want to discover the secretes of entomophagy. A special tasting event is organized at Mamaison Imperial Ostrava by Peter Ocknechtem, with unlikely menu choices, like grilled grasshopper, desserts with insects, and other unusual dishes.

Are you ready for an Autumn of flavors? Then, we cordially invite you to book a table at Restaurant Legend or La Brasserie. For information and reservations call 599 099 706, or e-mail gastro@mamaison.com.

James Blunt

Autumn tends to be a grim season, but not in Warsaw, the city that celebrates the season with the largest international Polish festival of contemporary music, Warsaw Autumn (Warszawska Jesień). There are only four days left to enjoy outstanding performances at different participating venues around the city, mainly till Sunday, September 28, 2014, when the 57th edition of the festival closes with Musical Carriage and the Cuckoo Clock Orchestra, two sound installations by Erwin Stache.

/ Warsaw Autumn

Starting tomorrow till Sunday, September 28, 2014, you can enjoy La Folle Journée de Varsovie 2014 at Teatr Wielki (Grand Theatre – National Opera). This festival has been held annually since 1995, with great success in countries like France, Spain, Japan and Brazil. In Poland, the festival is organized by the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, C.R.E.A. and by the Ogrody Muzyczne Foundation. This is the fifth edition of La Folle Journée in Poland, and its theme is American Music of the 20th century.

More quality music is presented next Monday at Pardon To, Tu: live performances by Pat Thomas, a prolific artist, considered by many critics a master of improvisation. He will be accompanied by double bass player Adam Pultz, and a true star of Scandinavian improvised music, producer, composer and drummer, Peter Ole Jørgensen.

Pat Thomas at Pardon To, Tu

For fans of pop rock, Friday, October 3, 2014 is a day to mark in the calendar, as one of the bestselling performers of the genre, James Blunt, will perform at Torwar. Blunt is known for hist such as “Bonfire Heart,” “You’re Beautiful,” and “Goodbye My Lover.” The concert is part of the “Moon Landing Tour 2014,” which the artist dedicated to dreams, longings and first loves.

James Blunt