As someone who loves reading and stealing some stillness in the outdoors, a regular visit to the Council library and finding some green space are two of life's joys. I have found a sneaky way to savour the guilty, uninterrupted pleasure of an endless supply of books to browse, magazines to flip through and newspapers to enjoy along with the greenness of a park and an outdoor cafe. My dreams have been answered at La Pola café on the deck of the Ashgrove library and overlooking Amarina Avenue park.
At a glance, the "café" looks like a simple, framed coffee cart providing take-aways for passing book worms. Don't be fooled. La Pola is stacked with charm and interest. Owner Monica is warm and friendly. As a native of Colombia, she displays many curios, cards and pictures from her extensive travels on the café frame which are a wonderful talking piece.
The café offers bite size, take-away snacks to accompany your drinks. A delicious range of cookies ($2.5) caramel and macademia slice, cakes, muffins, ham and cheese croissants, sandwiches (including tandoori) and biscuits are a perfect companion to your Emma and Tom drinks, iced teas, soft drinks and specialty coffee.
Monica understands the challenges of digestive conditions and allergies and has products (including a low acidic coffee and turmeric elixir) to cater for everyone. Reading and sipping coffee on the deck
The library deck, which houses the cafe is extensive, fully covered and filled with summery, striped deck chairs and cafes tables. I'm drawn to the vibrant citrus green, sunny yellow and tangerine exterior which brightens even a gloomy day. The deck can be easily accessed by a wheelchair friendly ramp and overlooks Amarina Avenue park, which has a playground equipment for the kids.
A magazine and newspaper stand is stacked with a range of titles to browse through or jump inside to the library to select a book from its catalogue. Being directly opposite Mt St Michael's school, the deck can be a quiet space for studying students and free wifi is an added bonus. Toilets are located inside the library and street parking is available in Amarina Avenue.
Select a magazine to browse through
The library regularly offers a number of workshops for family and the community (like the Ashgrove Historical Society) so keep an eye out for its special events calendar.