Today I spend most of the day working on a draft template for HH’s finance team. My lunch with finance partneř
Josef Otčenášek and advokát
(associate) Jan Topinka has to be postponed as they are in meetings that run over time (ah, it was ever thus!) but Míša ("Misha", short for Michaela) (on the right) and Gabenka (Gabriela) come to my rescue and take me to a fabulous restaurant called La Boca, where I have marinated octopus, chicken Caesar and, for pudding, gnocchi with cherries.
Then around 18.30 Martin – who has been with a client in a car for seven hours and in a meeting for five hours negotiating terms – arrives back at the office and we set off for our evening event, an avant garde party at the utterly amazing Museum Kampa
co-sponsored by the British-, Italian-, French- and Belgian-Czech Chambers of Commerce.
This is right on the river, an enormous white building that was bought by a Czech woman who emigrated to the US and became very wealthy, then came back to the Czech Republic and has been investing heavily into its cultural history. The building itself was previously Sova’s Mills and it has glass excrescences built onto it which give stunning views over the river, up to the national theatre and, on the very top, of the castle.
My camera is not really up to super night photography but here is my best shot, so to speak.
The great and the good are here, including the British ambassador. We are plied with delicious barbecued meats, Italian wine, Belgian chocolates and (the British contribution, one presumes) Pimms. On the roof of the gallery is a booth serving Chivas and a Czech liqueur called Becherovka
, a sort of bitter distilled from herbs. I am given this in a deceptively gentle but seductive cocktail called a Celebration, which is Becherovka, apple liqueur, ginger ale, fresh lime juice and a sprig of mint. I say seductive because it is delicious and cooling and mild and I reckon you could drink two or three without really noticing and then find you were being carried home on a stretcher.
The art is extraordinary, enormous brightly coloured animals, part of an exhibit called Re-evolution by Italian avant garde artists The Cracking Art Group
. Here is a photo of Martin with a giant orange rabbit:
which he says he now plans to use as his business card.
Martin and I stay looking over the city and drinking (me my Celebration, him a Chivas) until the bar closes and then we walk over the Charles Bridge, which itself is lovely, back to the office. We have a final drink (him a pivo, me a hot chocolate) while he waits for his taxi and then I go back to the hotel (where I nearly have to break in as it’s late) and go immediately to sleep without passing go or collecting $200. We have another party on Wednesday evening, on the balcony at the office, and a girl needs her beauty sleep!