Valencia’s Costa Blanca is the home of many people from Northern Europe, and for many Spanish people this is a wonderful opportunity to learn and practise English, French or German.
Students from IES Gregorio Mayans interviewed CHRIS LENNOL
-WHY DID YOU COME TO SPAIN?
Because mum and dad wanted me to have a better life growing up. Growing up in the UK is a lot more difficult than Spain because its society isn’t as friendly as Spanish. I moved here when I was ten with my mum, dad, brother, cat and dog. We moved in July. When September came I started school for the first time in a new country. I found it very difficult learning the language and learning in general at the same time, but thanks to all my friends and teachers, I learned Spanish really quickly.
-HOW WAS LIFE BEFORE OPENING THE BAR?
When we moved to Spain we started a guest house for other English people to come over for holidays. A couple of years later, we moved to a hotel in the mountains near Oliva to run the business. We lived there for two years but then eventually had to close and moved back to Oliva. When we moved back, my mum had been working in an estate agents for a good few months and my dad worked out as a professional painter and decorator. My mum and her associate had to close the estate agents because of the economic crisis and that’s when they decided to open the bar.
My mum isn’t the owner of the establishment, she rents it but it is basically hers. She runs the bar with me and another associate.
-WHERE DOES THE NAME OF THE BAR COME FROM?
The bar is called ”Honey Dukes,” we gave it that name because originally it was a bar and a sweet shop. The name came from the Harry Potter series where it was also a bar and a sweet shop.
-WHAT TYPE OF FOOD DO YOU HAVE IN THE MENU OF THE BAR?
We sell homemade food; none of our food is ready made. We have a mixture of English and Spanish food, we also have special menus that we change quite often.
Every month we do a special dinner that consists of food from other countries for example: Indian food, American food, Mexican food…
We also have weekly events like a quiz night and English and Spanish conversations.
-WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
Apart from working in ”Honey Dukes”, I also study photography in Gandia. I find the course entertaining but at the same time interesting. I’m hoping to become a light technician or a professional photographer.
I’m also a dancer, I’ve been dancing now for nine years and have started to teach to dancing to younger people. I consider dancing to be a really big part of my life.
By Marta Bertomeu Mena and Mercé Gràcia Fuster