La Ola Fresca is a charming delicafé with a lively atmosphere and terrace.
Grab a pew among the quirky decorations and bookshelves and take advantage of tasty food from the regularly changing menu in this lovely delicafé on pedestrianised street, Calle Músico Magenti in Benimaclet. laolafresca.com boasts, “We are food enthusiasts, always keen to try new ideas – traditional favourites enlivened with our ‘Fresca’ twist of maybe lime, ginger, chilli, lemongrass or other mystery guests”. A great array of teas and coffees are available as well as craft bottled beers including BrewDog Punk IPA and Er Boquerón. If you’re opting for a hot drink, don’t forget to try a slab of home-made cake, shortbread or flapjack – a typical slice of home from the English owner.
Interesting events include Thursday evening’s Speak English night from 8pm as well as Sunday brunches and cooking workshops.
We had a quick chat with La Ola Fresca owner, Helen…
Can you introduce yourself quickly?
Hello, I am Helen Westwater. I surfed into Valencia on a high wave from Cornwall, UK during the America’s Cup about eight years ago and have stayed ever since. I live in my favourite ‘barrio’, Benimaclet, and am the chief cook and bottle washer of La Ola Fresca. I also write cooking columns for 24/7 Valencia and contribute to the running of Cultural Agenda, ‘Benimaclet Entra’.
Describe La Ola Fresca in less than 10 words.
Homemade food, cakes and juices. Small café, big-heart. Great terrace.
How long have you been running La Ola Fresca and has it always been an ambition of yours to own a café?
I started La Ola Fresca in 2010. Previously I worked in the music business in London and then ran an organic bed and breakfast in Cornwall. Running my own café has always been my dream and I am happy to have realised it here in Valencia.
You serve a real mixture of foods, often with a quirky twist. What is your favourite thing on the menu at La Ola Fresca?
That’s difficult to answer but I would say my salmon and potato fish cakes, seasoned with a mix of coriander, lime and sesame seeds are pretty good.
I remember a friend of mine demanding to know when you were going to make your next batch of shortbread… Is there anything in particular that Brits tend to ask you for?
A good cup of tea!
What’s your favourite tea, juice or other tipple available at the café?
We make our own PIMMs in the summer and Glühwein in the winter. Every day we make a juice according to the weather and our mood and my favourite we call Popeye, with pineapple, apple, spinach and ginger. And of course a cup of tea is always pretty essential!
We know there’s a Speak English evening on Thursdays that attracts a real mixture of people of different ages and backgrounds. What other activities can we get involved in?
Once a month we offer a cooking session in English, which is fun for both students of English and native English speakers. The Agenda of Benimaclet Entra offers a whole range of activities from concerts to workshops and every month in La Ola Fresca we have a talk or workshop. Particularly at Easter when we have ‘hot cross buns’ and an acoustic performance of Jesus Christ Superstar in Spanish!
You’re located in the charming barrio of Benimaclet. We’ve got a spare few hours this weekend, what do you recommend we see and do in the neighbourhood?
Benimaclet was only incorporated into Valencia city quite recently and retains its unique village feel, interesting architecture and strong independent tendencies. It’s the home of emblematic bars for all tastes such as Glop, KafCafe and Enbabia, not to mention Valencia’s favourite day-time bar La Ola Fresca and its spectacular menus and Sunday Brunch! From here you can connect with the tram to take you to the sea or better still, take a packed-lunch from La Ola Fresca and cycle through the ‘huerta’ to Patacona beach or further!
Thanks, Helen! See you for a cup of tea very soon.
Consult the La Ola Fresca website for more details.
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