Summerhouse 2016 - Prague - Peach Pubs

Summerhouse 2016 – Prague

peach-gentsFirst of all, I should give the inside track on what Summerhouse is. Each year our General Managers and Head Chefs are set a series of targets and if they achieve them, a “little” educational trip is planned. So far Paris, Barcelona, Grenada, Cornwall and the Cotswolds have all had the unfortunate luck of having to host a bunch of overexcited restaurateurs, so this year the duty fell to Prague following our recent take up of our new pilsner, Pravha.

Our founders and partners head out a day early to get away from the office and look after the nitty gritty. They have a 30 minute team briefing on arrival, followed by a couple of hours training on food and service perfection. Then follow the discussions on future partners, keeping an eye out for anyone else taking the next step on the route to partnership.

Once the Peach world has been put to rights, they started the evening with Pravha training from Staroprammen, learning how to make the most out of our newest Pilsner addition.

This being my second Summerhouse, I was prepared and ready for anything. Or so I thought. I drew the lucky card early on, only having to fly from Gatwick. A nice 30 minute journey for me, compared to the 3 hours from the pubs in the Midlands- sorry guys! On arrival, naturally we had to start with a few beers, and it was at this point I experienced my first ever Wetherspoons breakfast. I think it’s safe to say, I won’t be repeating said experience. The 7% craft IPA, however, went down a treat!

img_1285A very delayed flight later, we arrived in a swelteringly hot Prague. We headed to our hostel, dropped bags off and split into our activity groups. Early on in our “day of fun”, my group came to a fast conclusion that 30 degrees was too hot to trudge around sightseeing, but the perfect temperature for a riverside lunch, with bubbles and fresh fish. The Chablis definitely wasn’t sniffed at. Next in our really hard day of “work”, we popped up to a roof top bar. Now this is the point I should admit that I didn’t have high hopes for Prague. I was expecting a stag-do heavy, dirty city. I am super happy to say that I was very wrong. From our lovely sunny spot at the top of the tower, it was easy to marvel at a city that was beautiful beyond belief. Tree topped hills, the Vltava river running through the middle and some of the most incredible architecture ever known. Who would have thought it?!

img_1249A quick rum, soda and fresh lime down, we got back to the hostel for the obligatory “you’ve got twelve minutes to get ready before dinner, hurry up” speech, and were soon off out again to enjoy our evening. We started with a Pilsner and Pravha bar tour – identifying best bar practice from the guys themselves. This was then followed by an evening of hospitality hosted by Molson Coors, who supply us with all your favourite products like Peroni and Doombar.

evvA massive amount of Pravha and Peach Schnapps later, we moved onto the Cuban Bar, where the selection of rums put even Peach’s gin selection to shame. I’ve not revealed too much about specific people’s antics thus far to maintain their dignity, but by this time there was no dignity left. It seems only fair to slip in the half-naked Frazer salsa dancing his way into everyone’s hips. I was lucky enough to get a private salsa lesson from our resident Anton Du Beke –  Jordy – and we were soon merengue-ing all over the room.

img_1278As if we hadn’t had enough, apparently someone came up with the wise idea of moving on to an underground club. I like to think of myself as having a pretty good memory, taking twelve people’s order with no notepad kind of forces that into you, but it’s at this point I must confess, my memory is hazy. It may have been the rum on tap in the Cuban bar, or the final tequila that tipped me over, but whatever it was, one moment I was dancing on the table in James Dean nightclub, and the next I was in my pyjamas waking up to all my lovely ladies rocking some funky hangover hair do’s.

cos-id-rather-drink-premier-cru-chablis-than-get-fucked-up-on-ja%cc%88ger-and-ogle-frasers-ballsAlthough our first day was awesome, day two topped it! The boys decided that the only way to survive the raging hangovers was to drink more, and managed to find a bar selling pints for 10p. The girls tried, but decided we needed to let our stomachs lead us. Being in hospitality, I have been lucky enough to eat in some of the best places imaginable, but the restaurant that we fell upon following a lazy TripAdvisor search really is up there with all of them. Roasted Calamari, Quail Breast Praline, Wild Boar Ragout and Chocolate & Raspberry Fondant are just the tip of the iceberg of some of the deliciousness we consumed, not to mention the Billecart Salmon champagne and Sauternes dessert wine. The food coma was worth it and we rolled out of La Veranda feeling full and content.

img_1305An open top car tour later and one more sneaky rum, it was back to the hostel to make our journey home. Prague has surpassed all of my expectations, and even the hour delay on the flight home cannot dampen my opinion of the wonderful city. Beautiful, eclectic and vibrant, I would recommend a visit to anyone – and if that doesn’t persuade you, maybe the round of 12 Dark and Stormys that came to a grand total of £4, will.

img_1329The most important part of all this though is that I was lucky enough to explore this wonderful place with the best of people. Our Peach family really is exactly that, a family, and no matter the antics (ahem, nobody mention the strip club), I know I can rely on every single person in our group to take care of each other and provide the best of laughs. My favourite Peach boys surrounded me as I lost my kebab virginity, and walked me home even though they probably weren’t ready to leave yet. So thank you Hamish, Jo, Lee and Chris for providing the foundations for such an awesome trip, but more importantly thank you my Peachy People for making it.

Until next year, Summerhouse…

Terri Dell – General Manager, The Richard Onslow