A PERFECT PIT STOP AT STRONG ADOLFO’S
Meet Mathilda Fristrom Eldridge, co-owner of recently opened Strong Adolfo’s, along with her husband John. The couple met in Indonesia, and after a period of travelling back and forth between Cornwall and Sweden, with John working in video production and Mathilda a cocktail bartender, they decided to make their dreams a reality and open their own café near Wadebridge.
Mathilda is the chief baker at Strong Adolfo’s and takes inspiration from traditional Swedish recipes, some handed down from her great grandmothers, to which she has added her own twist. Traditional Scandinavian flavours of cardamon and cinnamon add warmth to buns and cookies, the chocolate balls (chokladbollen) are heavenly, and her beautiful cakes (many of which are gluten free) change daily.
The word “fika” can be seen on signs around the café. Mathilda explains, ‘In Sweden we’ve got a word for coffee and something sweet which is “fika” and the fika culture is very deep rooted within us. It’s a very different coffee culture in Sweden than the UK. Every now and then a customer comes in saying they’d like some fika – it warms my Swedish soul.’
Motorcycles are another unusual sight at Strong Adolfo’s, and one of Mathilda and John’s passions. The café is, therefore, a regular pit stop for classic motorcycle and car rallies, but you’re just as likely to see locals, families, holiday makers and business meetings taking advantage of the free wifi and comfy sofas. Throw in a beautiful view, delicious food and proper Origin coffee and you have the recipe for a perfect pitstop.
Open from breakfast through to 4.30pm (5pm Saturdays, 4pm Sundays), the café serves up good, fresh food with daily changing specials such as Swedish meatball and chorizo carbonara, fragrant South Indian chicken curry and the classic Strong Adolfo’s burger. John and Mathilda are planning to open into the evenings from early summer. Keep an eye on their website for more details, events and sample menus.
Mathilda braved our 20 questions:
What is your earliest memory?
My brother used to pick me up from school on his skateboard and sit me between his feet and told me to hold on tight to the rails as we whizzed down hill towards home.
Where is your favourite place in Cornwall?
Daymer Bay in winter or any sunrise at Strong Adolfo’s.
What’s no.1 on your bucket list?
To go to Tahiti.
Camping or glamping?
Definitely camping, in our converted ex-military ambulance.
What is the last book you read?
Apart from the numerous recipe books I read, it was a book by Haruki Murakami.
What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
Call me boring, but I do love a good old fashioned vanilla ice cream.
Who do you most admire?
I admire people who dare to speak the truth and who stand up for other people and animal rights.
Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever spent a night?
In Shangri-La at Glastonbury festival – it’s like stepping into a weird sci-fi movie and everyone is welcome.
Early bird or night owl?
I’ve always been a night owl up until now but Strong Adolfo’s has given me a good reason to be happy getting up early every day. I do love my evenings still but they’re much shorter these days.
Favourite kids’ TV show?
There was this show made back in the 60s called “Villervalle i Söderhavet” (Villervalle in The South Pacific) about a young boy and his family who live in Sweden. The father, who is a doctor, gets an offer to go and work for one year in Tahiti – and he takes it. The boy, Villervalle, is a blond adventurous youngster who got up to all possible shenanigans a young teenager possibly could in the paradise surroundings of the Tahitian Islands. I watched it religiously and swore an oath I have to go to Tahiti one day. I even learnt to sing all the native songs and I still remember them to this day. It truly is such an intriguing thing to watch. I still have it on VHS.
What is your favourite word?
Three items you’d take to a desert island?
If it’s OK to call my husband an item – I’ll take him! A good old hat and Scrabble.
What would your superhero power be?
What’s your greatest achievement?
Cup of tea or G&T?
It has to be a G&T. But I wouldn’t mind swapping the G&T for a whiskey if that’s OK?
What would you choose for your last supper?
Anything that my mum has cooked, she is a truly amazing cook. And if she’s not about I would choose nasi campur from Fish Lady in Kuta, Lombok.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Salesperson over the phone, I lasted five days. It wasn’t my thing.
Surf or turf?
What’s your favourite album?
There are so many… Tame Impala, Beck, John Maus, David Kitt, Low Anthem, Flaming Lips, any good rock ‘n’ roll mix albums from the 50s will do. And we play lots of vinyl.
The best thing about living in Cornwall is…
Being next to the sea, it makes me feel less far away from family and friends back in Sweden.