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  • Writer's pictureShanna Lutgert

From Cheeses to Red Cocktails and Ceramics: Groningen Prepares for Valentine's

The Valentine's Day cheese at Zuivelhoeve © Shanna Lutgert

As Cupid’s arrow draws near, Groningen’s local businesses are gearing up for the ultimate celebration of love: Valentine’s Day. Some prefer to stay in with their partner, while others like to go out for a fancy celebration. From bespoke cheese assortments to innovative dining experiences, the city offers diverse ways to celebrate love and companionship.


With just two weeks to go, local businesses are starting their preparations for the most romantic day of the year. “In the week of Valentine’s Day, we start selling the Valentine’s Day bags and boxes," says Bart Klapwijk (30), who works at dairy store Zuivelhoeve at the Akerkhof. These include Valentine’s cheeses, and snacks cut and ready for on a Dutch borrelplank. “We often see that people have their preferences, so they can also put a bag or a box together themselves.” To go with the cheese, Zuivelhoeve has tasty beers and snacks that perfectly fit a romantic evening at home.


While the Dutch can’t seem to let go of cheese even on Valentine’s Day, some people prefer more traditional gifts. “I would never get something like that,” says Jorn Bottinga (24), a resident of Groningen, after he looked at the Valentine’s cheeses of Zuivelhoeve. “I’m not a big fan of cheese, so I would never gift it either. I usually buy flowers.” Bottinga also likes to take his partner out for dinner on Valentine’s Day, depending on how busy it is on the day itself.


Flowers or snacks too cheesy? A high cocktail menu can be the solution


It seems like everyone’s schedule is busy on the day of love, especially those of restaurants. “We have a high cocktail menu for Valentine’s Day," says Sander Yeoman (27) of the café and restaurant WERKMAN. WERKMAN is a popular location for students at the Grote Markt in Groningen. “Normally it’s priced at 45 for three courses, but on Valentine’s Day it’s only 37,50. And there will be a live DJ!" Alongside the menu, they plan to offer a special Valentine’s Day cocktail. “We’re still thinking about the recipe, but I think we will go for a cocktail with a red color that looks pretty.”


The Valentine's Day cocktail at WERKMAN shown by Yeoman © Shanna Lutgert

As the romantic buzz fills the city of Groningen, it seems like there is enough to do and to gift for couples and for those who are single and ready to mingle, because those who are looking for a partner are also welcome at WERKMAN. They work together with a dating app, Breeze, to provide an opportunity to enhance the overall experience of dates and of meeting someone new. “The first drink they order is on the house,” says Yeoman, who looks forward to welcoming people to a romantic night at WERKMAN.

Another option: expressing your love with paintbrushes

Those who would like to get artsy during their date have the opportunity to spend their Valentine's Day at Artsy Avenue in Groningen. “We will likely do ceramics in a heart-shaped form and paint it Valentine's Day related," says Hanna Albert (22), who works at Artsy Avenue. The café combines the concept of art and coffee. After three weeks, their art is ready for collection.

Albert behind the counter at Artsy Avenue © Shanna Lutgert

"I’m sure this will be a popular location for Valentine's," says Albert. Artsy Avenue's interior design will also revolve around the Valentine's spirit. They work with two-hour slots from 10:00 - 20:00 on the 14th of February, and they will make sure that as many couples can enjoy their artsy atmosphere. Whether you want to get cheesy, enjoy cocktails, or get artsy, it seems like there's enough to do in Groningen on Valentine's.




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