11 October 2008

Czechoslovak beer, food and conversations

We have made the British Czech and Slovak Association (BCSA) "get to know you" socials a regular event, they now happen on the second Wednesday of each month, mainly because that makes planning the dates easier.

All we need to do is book one of the rooms at the Czech and Slovak National House, West Hampstead for the evening and and the guests turn up any time between 7pm and 11pm. Food and drink is available from the restaurant and bar so that is all sorted.

Basically, it is a very easy event for us to run and all we really need to do is take care of the publicity. Increasingly this is via Facebook where the BCSA group now has over 260 members.

It may have been because of Facebook, or it may have been down to the start of the new academic year, but October's social attracted a lot of students and the evening was quickly full of lively conversations.

The kitchen and bar had a good night too with most people choosing to have the very traditional meat and dumplings. I had my usual Smazeny Syr (cheese fried in breadcrumbs) that I grew so fond of when I worked in Prague some 17 years ago. And we all drank a reasonable amount of the excellent Czech beer. I, predictably, had Pilsner Urquell (another taste acquired 17 years ago) but draft Budvar is also available.

We always seem to discover connections at these events so it was no great surprise to discover that one of the newly arrived students had been taught in Prague by a friend of mine.

The Czechoslovak food and beer are enticing but it is the unexpected conversations that make these BCSA socials such fun for me.

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