Finding venues to host Art Cafés can be challenging. Accommodating local artists to showcase their talents within a stylish interior is one thing but when you find a proprietor who can endorse creativity with style and understands what you are trying to achieve you just sense you are heading in the right direction.

When creatives get together, magic happens. I have been lucky to meet artists who paint for pure enjoyment, well there is no other way. Showcasing is about expressing your soul and learning to receive inspiration from others.

I was excited to meet up with Artist and proprietor of the new owner of the Restaurant Pura Vida, Ana Abascal.  Her restaurant is situated on the outskirts of the Jalon Valley, a small town of around 5.000 people nestled in the Val de Pop on the Costa Blanca. The town has an international community with a bustling Antiques market every Saturday.

Here exists a strong creative community of local artists and writers, They come here for a lifestyle that broadens their creativity. This is a region steeped in history. Vineyards sprawl across the valley floor in the misted shadow of mountains covered with pine trees. Between the creatives who live here there is a thriving healthy community, somehow it all goes together. Of course, it does.

Ana is a creative chef and a clearly talented artist. She has given the building a major make-over. I am attracted to the painted floor of the terrace. There are swirls and naturalistic lines leading you toward the entrances. “I painted this myself,” she tells me. I imagine a wooden spoon in one hand and a paintbrush in the other. There is a rebel running through these walls, so don’t expect the normal here I am loving the vibe.

Distressed antique doors hang beside doorways next to African-styled heads, hand painted on the wall, I step over a painted elephant as I make my way under a palm-covered entranceway, lulling me toward the shadows of the interior. I am looking for a venue to display art for a showcase.

Creativity is running everywhere; it fuses with the magic energy of this valley. Feeling my excitement, I venture inside amongst the eclectic ambience of art and antiques, where every seated section is as individual in its style and allure. Inside, the bamboo bar takes up one corner. The collection of bottles, backlit and standing to attention framed with unusual artefacts……... Am I in Jalon still?

Art cafes are rising in popularity. People want more from their coffee and dining experience than just a menu. Surroundings and entertainment that are themed take a huge amount of effort to pull together, it is not about hanging a few pictures randomly to create some ambience. Ana has created an eating and drinking experience and it has to all work together.

Ana portrays that gift of courage and a strong determination to be different, she does what she wants and is clearly in charge of her creations. This has to be admired, anyone entering unchartered waters will face the unexpected.

Sitting amongst these ambient backdrops laden with interesting artefacts, there must be a story behind each collected item.  Those enticed here will appreciate the beauty of art, but how to shine through. I think about my artworks and how it could get lost in this backdrop.

My eye catches a shape on the wall and I am reminded that we are enticed to see what our heart desires. colour vibrates and there in the shape, and the shadows, we see what we like and invent our own stories.

We talk about the idea of holding our next Art Cafe at Pura Vida. Excitedly Ana suggests we combine our art with antiques and hold the next Art Cafe as a night market. “Let’s do it” she says. ‘Oh Yeah’

The weather is favourable, so we talk about setting up tables on the terrace outside. Artists can bring their easels and hang pictures on the walls behind them. It will look great.

Displaying art to catch one’s eye is an art in itself.  We have to be flexible. Café’s do not always provide empty white walls. Each artist needs to be prepared to adapt to the surroundings given to them for their displays.

This is the event, click the link and join us – End of summer Art Cafe and Night Market We shall be featuring local Costa Blanca artists. You can preview their work on

There is a vibrancy here, pure life with that essence of energy. That is Pura Vida. Check out their Facebook page and make them your next dining experience.