Housing modern and contemporary art, the Groninger Museum is made up of three main pavilions that when put together create a radically modernist, attention grabbing venue. Finished in 1994, the building boasts the internationally renowned Alessandro Mendini as head architect, a striking spiral staircase and an assortment of colours, shapes and materials throughout. Originally costing 25 million Guilders (approximately 11 million Euros), the building was paid for mainly by Gasunie, who in celebrating their 25th anniversary wanted to give a gift to the city of Groningen. And even if you aren’t a fan of art, this museum is still well worth a visit – because the building is one of those places you just have to see.
De Gulzige Kater
De Gulzige Kater in Groningen, had come as a recommendation, so it was almost certain that we would be on the right side of the food dividing line. At first glance the old granary, while on the small side, was full of comfort. Wooden tables set for plates of food and chairs that invited diners to sit and relax were surrounded by warm-coloured furnishings and an ample supply of cat statues. Yet, when we first arrived the restaurant was almost empty – a worrying sign in most circumstances – but it turned out that we only had beaten the rush. While cutting into our main course, De Gulzige Kater came to life with music and chatter from dinner guests both up and downstairs. Portions were large, well presented and delivered by friendly staff who were so busy you never saw them stop for a moment’s breather. We were wise to start thinking about our dessert choices before taking our first bite of our meal as with so many tantalizing options, the choice was not an easy one. De Gulzige Kater, which can mean either “the greedy tomcat” (that explains all the cats) or “the greedy hangover” has a well stocked alcohol selection, including a plentiful wine list. Even if you don’t go for the alcohol, you’ll be sure to leave with a full stomach – and perhaps a new appreciation for cats.