This post has been in the making for some time but I promised several people it would eventually be written. First thing I want to say is that a meal at the Celeste Restaurant in Prague is worth the money. People are always doubtful whether a restaurant that charges top $$$ just because it is in the best position can be of serious value. Well the good news is that they can be good. We have eaten at the restaurant Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower, at Quay restaurant in Sydney and many more restaurants in landmark locations, here a stunning view is a welcome complimentary side dish.
Prague offers dining options galore and we had tried the traditional Czech food served in its famous cafes and over a week had dined also in its contemporary restaurants, we even had a stylish and inexpensive meal in a wine bar that reminded us of the value and authenticity of food you get in good Italian Osterie.
Back to The Dancing House, it was designed by world-renowned architect the Canadian born Frank O’Gehry together with local architect Vlado Milunić for the Nationale Nederlanden Insurance company.
The building was designed in 1992 and completed in 1996 on a vacant riverfront plot. It is a rare occurrence to find vacant space on the riverfront in Prague but this was due to a 19th century townhouse being destroyed during the bombing of Prague in 1945. It’s neighbouring house was co-owned by Czech ex-president Vaclav Havel who ordered the first architectural study and supported the building.
It is referred to locally as ‘Ginger and Fred‘ after the American dancing duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
On arrival we were asked if we wanted to take an aperitif on the top floor where there is a viewing platform. We did not hesitate even though it was a blustery and began to rain. We ducked around the sculptured sphere to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounds including the Prague Castle. Stepping back inside on the same level there is enough room to have a small cocktail party or a private dinner. This location would be my number one recommendation as the most impressive venue in the world to have a celebration.I chose the Degustation menu so I could sample a range of dishes and the Manager Vicktor was particularly attentive, finding various wines just for me to suit all courses. It is a normal task for his job description but when only one person at the table is drinking wine, it is not easy to find someone willing to open several bottles just to pour one or even half a glass as he did for me. My phone photos are dismal, sometimes it just seems so gauche to pull out a big camera.
Although my memory of some of the dishes has faded somewhat I cannot forget the wonderful service and the beauty of the building.