Out on the town with: Finn | Coffee Break, my secret weapon against busy weeks

There’s so much to do in Groningen that you really need a guide to help you uncover the city’s hidden gems. UKrant’s student editors share their cultural agenda with you. What’s their favourite venue and which events are absolutely not to be missed?

Hangout: Coffee break

Let’s get one thing out of the way: yes, Coffee Break is probably the most innocuous name a café can choose. However, the café is more than just another overpriced chain café that you might expect from the name. The coffee here is by default served without cow’s milk; according to the café, this is to encourage an emphasis on a healthy lifestyle, empathy for animals, and consciousness of the environment. They also boast a mouth-watering selection of smoothies, breakfast, and pastries. To be fair, though, when my friends and I come here, it isn’t just for this menu, but mostly it’s for us to get things done.

The café exudes a certain professionalism which thanks to the placement of plants and greenery never seems to be corporate. In doing so it fosters a productive atmosphere. The ceiling, which seems to stretch up forever, is paired with an equally towering window front. This combination provides the perfect antidote to the cramped rooms and fluorescent lights of the UB. The windows that open onto the busy streets of Groningen make it a perfect spot for occasionally averting your eyes from the dreaded monitor to engage in some inspiring people-watching.  There are enough outlets for everyone and even standing desks for when sitting becomes a task in and of itself.

While I was sceptical at first, Coffee Break is quickly becoming my go-to spot and secret weapon for the busy weeks in which deadlines and exams are looming around every corner.

  • Coffee Break
    Address: Gedempte Zuiderdiep 22

Where you’ll find me over the next few weeks:

  • Café de Zolder / Jam session 
    Time: May 30, 9 p.m.
    Price: A drink

Every Thursday, Café de Zolder organises a small jam session. The performances by the extraordinary talents from around Groningen are always worth it. The groovy tunes and amazing melodies are only enhanced by the cozy and communal feeling the venue fosters, while the lack of a traditional stage and great crowd makes you feel like you are part of the band. And if it gets too much, you can always retreat in the beautiful outer area of the café to take a breath of the fresh summer air before diving back into the crowd. 

  • VERA/Pauw!
    Time: June 1, 11 p.m.
    Price: 5 euros

Studying can be stressful and sometimes you just have to let it all go. No better place to dance the stress away than the monthly pop dance party hosted at VERA. Pauw! sports a fresh array of local DJs who select the perfect mix of pop and indie classics and underground jams. Every song makes you either want to sing along and dance or might be your next new favourite, or ideally both. The relatively low price of admission and central location makes Pauw! a place that you won’t regret checking out. 

  • Walter’s Bookshop / Lindsey Clarke
    Time: June 1, 5 p.m.
    Price: 5 euros

The American artist Lindsey Clarke strikes a mesmerising balance between country, classical English folk, and her own flavour of experimental music. She is a perfect fit for the venue of Walter’s bookshop. The shop is an independent bookstore offering a great collection of thoughtful fiction, poetry, and a variety of eye-opening sociological nonfiction. It’s worth checking out on any day. 

  • House of Connections/Queer Science 
    Time: June 4, 6 p.m.
    Price: Free

Science is often seen as a way to uncover absolute truths. Despite this, for most of the existence of the scientific method, mainstream science has often ignored the truth of several marginalised groups. Fortunately, many scientists are making a concerted effort to bring back discarded perspectives. The Queer Science festival is part of this effort. Come by and listen to researchers talk about the various ways LGBT+ research is performed. From research about inequality and the job market to illuminating stories of sexuality in prehistory, no stone is left unturned. After all, the world is too rich and complex for a limited view on science.  

  • Forum Cinema / Classics: Moving 
    When: June 5
    Price: 12 euros

In its effort to give classic movies new life, the Forum cinema is showing a restoration of the Japanese classic: Ohikkoshi (in English: Moving). The highly acclaimed movie depicts the story of a young girl coming of age during her parents’ complicated divorce. It is a movie about love, friendship, and family and what it means when these things suddenly change.

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