The arrival of spring in Prague is a time to enjoy the birds chirping, the flowers blooming, and the squirreling away of shovels. That of course means no snow, and for former Sports Illustrated cover model, Daniela Pestova, that also means love is in the air.
“There is still that gradual change between seasons, as opposed to let’s say New York, where it seems like we always jump from winter straight into summer,” she says, in a pre-spring email. “Prague, in the springtime, is lovely.”
Visitors to the City of 100 Spires can see the sights, but the best views come from the heights of the Zizkov Television Tower, and Letna Park. This comes at the behest of the former Victoria’s Secret Angel.
Returning to the enchantment of spring, there are three big loves for Pestova, and those are food, travel and family. For the first love, the mother of three discovered it out of necessity. She became a Martha Stewart for her kids, Yanick, Ella and Paul, and that touch of practicality became her greatest passions.
She even parlayed it into hosting Masterchef Cesko, and now she’s setting her sights on a cookbook.
“I had this idea in my head for a while now, but I have been too busy to actually do it,” she admits. “(The) kitchen is a place to relax for me. It’s my little sanctuary where I get to create and have fun.” There’s no fear with her. Pestova will experiment. And if a meal doesn’t work out, well, “We can always order pizza”.
Oh, and as for that adage that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, well, hubby Pavol Habera, of the Slovak rock band Team, loves his comforts of home.
“Pavol is more traditional than me when it comes to food, but after all these years together he has learned to love other things than plum dumplings and goulash,” she says, a hint of playfulness in her words. “Plus, he can’t boil an egg so he is completely at my mercy.”
When she’s not stuffing Habera like a Mulard, she’s travelling to exotic locales for shoots, and volunteering with non-profit Alsa, which helps those with ALS in the Czech Republic.
As for being one of the first Angels with Tyra Banks, Helena Christensen, Karen Mulder and Stephanie Seymour in 1997, she’s happy she was one them then, and not now.
“The Angel phenomenon is amazing. It was a huge deal back then but it’s larger than life now!” Pestova writes. “Thanks to social media the VS girls are modern day rock stars”.
“I’m kind of happy that I got to be an Angel before all this Insta-world madness,” she adds. “I love my job, but I love my privacy and my peace and quiet, too”.
Don’t worry, Pestova isn’t too anti-social media. She does have an Instagram account.
And in the words of Martha Stewart, “It’s a dobrý thing.”