Bars and cafes

Bars and cafes

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Just going to the café, in Zeeland

Your very good health. Here’s how to have a drink at the bar in a Zeeland café. You swop stories, tales and yarns. You review how the day unfolded. You get welcomed by the regulars. Maybe you’ll pick up the latest village news. You play a set of billiards, or darts. If you’re lucky, you’ll surprise everyone at cards.

It’s in our bars and cafés that you’ll meet the Pride of Zeeland. Our sturdy home-grown beers. White. Brown. Hints of raspberries, or cherries. Non-alcoholic is fine. Or have a fruit juice, fresh from an orchard near you.

It is written, by the trade magazine Misset Horeca, that the best café in Zeeland is De Gekroonde Suikerbiet in Zierikzee. They have been in the Misset Top 10 for ages. It’s a ‘brown café’, at the harbour. A very mixed crowd, nice, mind. Young and old, regulars, visitors. Ramp up a natter at the bar. Absorb seaman’s reminiscences. Admire faraway fond loves. And test the beer of the month. What more can you do?

When you visit the nature reserve of the Verdronken Land wetlands of Saeftinghe, you really must pop in to the living-room café of the same name. (The marshes came first). Feast your eyes, it’s as if time has stood still. When you fall in the door after a rugged walk out there, a nice glass of beer, or some hot chocolate, will see you alright.

Traditionally, Zeeland has always had a very decent number of breweries. Check out how many villages and towns have got a street called Brouwerijstraat (Brewer St.). A brewer in Zeeland never has far to go for the best ingredients. Local wheat, yeast and hops, that’s what they need to make a local beer. There’s loads of places to taste them, but the best is the tasting room right next to the brewing kettles. So, no further ado, dive in! Welcome to the world of Zeeland craft beer. Book a visit, and … cheers!

Maybe you’re not a beer drinker. Fine. What about visiting a wine bar? There’s a wide range of wines served by the glass. Best enjoyed with a piece of farmer’s cheese, a slice of local sausage, or marinated mussels.

Many a café serves up more than bar snacks. Decent, tasty, wholesome meals for a reasonable price, to take at the bar or at your table. Do it after a hot day at the beach, or before an evening out. There’s as many styles and tastes as there are cafés but, you know, one thing doesn’t change: that gezellige buzz of a café around you.

You can build up quite a thirst and appetite from a bike ride. We’ve known that quite some time, which is why you’ll find bike cafés along bike routes. With extra stuff that bikes and cyclists might need, like a first-aid kit and a puncture repair kit.

Now, it might happen that you have had one too many after a good, very good, evening. It happens. A local taxi – and there’s quite a choice – will be there to get you home.

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