Anything But Paella

La Garbera – A stylish taperia in Rojales

Sometimes you just stumble across a place and fall in love with it. La Garbera is a stylish taperia in Rojales where you can sit and enjoy some tapas and a beer. Inside this amazing cafe bar every artefact has its own story. It’s a positive cornucopia of visual treats and Vincente, the co-owner, was more than willing to spend some time with us telling us some of his tales.

One summer night, around a table and with a beer in hand, Vicente suggested something crazy, “La Garbera”, to two of his friends. To his surprise that they said yes, and now thanks to Vicente, José Enrique, and Sergio, Rojales now has a very stylish tapería. It is a meeting place for friends and family, a place to enjoy at the bar, tables and terrace. The menu is based on the quality local produce, utilising the wealth of the land, which is why it is always in constant motion, to the surprise of customers. Suggestions from customers are always taken on board so don’t be shy about contributing your ideas. They even have Victoria beer on tap brought in from Malaga. It certainly makes a change from the usual fare.

I can’t vouch for the food but it certainly looks as good as it sounds. Have a look at the menu and I’m sure you’ll find something you fancy. What I can vouch for is the friendly welcome and the warm atmosphere inside. Whilst Vicente doesn’t speak English, he’s more than happy to patiently chat in Spanish with anyone prepared to give it a go. The other members of staff do speak English though, so don’t be afraid that you’ll be left incommunicado.

On Sunday 15 November La Garbera will play its part in the latest Gastronomy trail in Rojales. You’ll need to book ahead though. Everything sounds delicious.

Let’s have a look around the bar then. Every wall is decorated with interesting bits and pieces, each with their own story. I was told so many stories that I can’t remember them all, so here’s goes!

The mirrors and the lights provide an air of elegance to La Garbera. Most of the mirrors were rescued from antique shops and even from skips!

These wall decorations are agricultural sieves. They have been given a quirky artistic makeover and converted into wall lights. I think the artichoke is particularly good. Most of the ceramics came from Portugal. Vicente was telling me that he found a place where it is sold by weight which seems an unusual way of selling pottery.

Music lovers will be intrigued by the trombone. It was a donation from a friend who owns a musical instrument shop in nearby Almoradí. This wall is full of stories that I can’t remember! In the centre is a photo of a Cuban ballet dancer who was a regular in a cafe where Vicente used to work in Madrid. At the bottom is a drawing from a local child. On the right is an example of a local craft which is essentially bobbin lace. I never did get around to asking abut the antlers!!

An old radio stands on the book case. I wonder if it still works! There is still so much to discover about this place!!

It’s not just the bar area that is beautifully decorated though. Nip through to the (ladies) toilets and you’ll find beautifully tiled floors, mirrors crafted from the old street-front windows, and wash basins housed in recycled oil barrels.

Of course, there is also the outside terrace to explore, but the days are getting cooler and the interior of La Garbera is cool too. What are you waiting for? Head over to Rojales, but please bear in mind that opening hours are a little unusual thanks to Covid-19. Monday to Thursday they are open all morning from 0830. Friday to Sunday the hours are 0830-1600 and 1930 until they close!

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