Unless you’ve been transported to a far off galaxy these past few months, you’ll have been bombarded by talk of Trump, Brexit and… Hygge.
Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish lifestyle phenomenon that seems to be the new feng shui, which magazines and newspapers have fanatically been talking about for weeks. So we decided to find out a little more about it.
The dictionary definition of hygge is: The art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive. In essence, this boils down to creating a cozy atmosphere, often with friends and family, that makes it easy to relax.
Christmas is a key hygge time for the Danes as they experience such long, dark winters, they need to find ways to feel warm and comforted.
Take a trip to the Danish capital of Copenhagen and you can find lots of great examples of hygge on every street such as a launderette or bike shop that’s also a café and a place where you can work or catch up on emails too.
Here’s the hygge hot spots in Copenhagen according to Visit Denmark:
Paludan Bogcafé is located in the heart of Copenhagen and is a café where you’ll find yourself surrounded by old bookshelves, with a cosy and almost library-like atmosphere. They serve tasty meals and wonderful cakes which you can enjoy in a comfy seat hidden away in one of the many cosy corners.
Bertels Salon in the inner city and is cheesecake heaven, said to convert even the biggest cheesecake sceptic. Located in a relatively small space, it’s hugely popular and offers a huge choice of cheesecakes, which means you have to try at least two.
The Living Room, as the name suggests, has been done up like a room in your house with its comfy sofas, blankets, pillows and a roaring fire. Perfect for lounging around with a hot drink, something sweet or just a beer.
Restaurant Höst is the latest addition to Cofoco’s 14 hyggelige establishments throughout the city. The restaurant serves affordable fine Nordic food in rooms decorated in rustic style featuring recycled wood, granite and concrete broken up by a plaid blanket or sheepskin rug thrown over the chairs and benches to create a cosy atmosphere.
Nimb Bar is located on the 1st floor of the old ball room in the Nimb Palace, adjacent to Tivoli Gardens, and is one of the city’s most exclusive and classic bars, yet has a high ‘hygge-factor’ serving both afternoon tea and delicious cocktails – all beneath crystal chandeliers and warmed by an open fire.
The Winter Garden at Ny Carlsberg Glyptoket is a real Copenhagen treat. Enjoy a homemade lunch, coffee and cake all made from organic and sustainable ingredients. It’s surrounded by palm trees and exotic plants in the winter garden and is situated inside one of the city’s top art museums.
Restaurant Kanalen is located just by Christianshavn’s Canal in an old house, which used to serve as the customs office for the area. It doesn’t get much more idyllic or beautiful than this with the old warehouses and ships sailing right past the windows.
GRØD is a porridge-only café in the multicultural district of Nørrebro, which serves warm bowls of porridge throughout the day. Forget images of grey bowls of mush but imagine beautiful dishes with toppings like almonds, mulberry, freeze-dried rhubarb and raspberries. So popular has Grod become that it now has a cookbook.
Table 9 at Kiin Kiin is in the same neighbourhood as Grod and has a special table – no 9 – for the romantics. Situated in a quiet corner of the modern Thai restaurant, you will have the perfect setting for that special evening.
And finally, Ipsen og Co. is a small coffee bar in the district of Frederiksberg, which has likes to ensure all its guests have a hyggelig time. The small café is family-owned and run, only serves homemade food and has plenty of cosy corners to enjoy your coffee.
How To Create Hygge At Home
So how do you hygge your home. Switching off your mobile or tablet for a while is a good start point as is a good long walk in the countryside. But here are some other simple ideas you can do at home to get with the trend.
The Danes are the largest consumer of candles in the world. Filling a space with lots of different candles to create a sense of a warm cosy space is a must. Try to choose natural ones that don’t give off lots of smoke and make sure you never leave them unattended.
Treat yourself to some comfortable new slippers – sheepskin ones are ideal. Team with harem or yoga pants or a comfy onesie made from natural fibres. Cashmere is the in ultimate hygge, but a pair of comfy socks and your favourite old jumper work just as well. And when you go out into the cold, a thick scarf is another hygge must.
Keep Furnishings Natural
Plastic is not as hygge as wood so hygge your house when buying a new piece of furniture. Sheepskin rugs, woollen throws and leather upholstery are all in-keeping with the trend too. Throw in a few plants too and you’re on your way.
Get A Hobby
Crafting, knitting, reading, painting, cooking – hobbies are hygge so it’s time to revisit them or find a new passion to keep you busy this winter rather than being glued to the TV watching back-to-back boxed sets. Baking bread and cakes is oh so hygge, so get kneading and mixing without feeling guilty.
Keep It Simple
The Scandinavian way of life is less about clutter and more about creating an atmosphere with lighting and just the right accessories. The same with food – it’s about warming, wholesome food rather than nouveau cuisine that looks like art on a plate.
A Cup Of Tea, Coffee Or Hot Chocolate & A Book
Hot warming drinks – mulled wine for a special occasion – a good book and a comfy chair is the perfect hygge way for a solo way to relax the Danish way.
Create a cosy space in your home with cushions, blankets and, if possible, an open fire.
Relax, Unwind & Enjoy The Space Around You
Relaxing, slowing down, letting go of stress and enjoying the moment is the ultimate aim of hygge, whether you’re with friends and family or enjoying a quiet moment.
Everyone is jumping on the hygge bandwagon and you’ll find places in the Cotswolds that are promoting their hygge-ness – The King’s Hotel in Chipping Campden, the Lords of the Manor in Upper Slaughter and Loghouse Holidays in Cirencester are all hygge-ing away.
We’d love to know where else in our area is hygge friendly, so do drop us a line.