Hygge is the buzzword of the moment – pronounced hoo-gah a Danish word with no direct translation but described as a feeling of being warm, safe, rested, cosy and homely

But do we really need the Danes to tell us how to achieve this? It seems so – Passing Waterstones bookshop this week the whole window was dedicated to books on the subject. “The Little Book of Hygge”, “Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Well”, “How to Hygge”, “Hygge for Hygge” – OK I made that one up – but you get the message, the Danes think we Brits clearly need instructions on the art of cosy contented simple living.

hygge tea cosyWith advice on everything from how to make a perfect porridge – (I agree porridge is a tasty and versatile energy fuelled start to the day, but it’s been on the menu here for 1000s of years) – to ideas on baking and handicrafts – (Much needed guidance for a country whose people knit hats for their teapots!).

You may agree that as a nation we are already blessed with a great many hygge leanings already –

Our favourite TV shows are the very hygge Great British Bake-off and The Antiques Road Show.

We are a nation of the Sunday roast, fish and chips, hot-pot, buttered crumpets and afternoon tea.

And there’s no place quite like the fireside of a British country pub with a pie and a pint especially after a family welly walk on a cold and blustery day.

hygge cosy fireside winterI didn’t know I was Hyggelig Last Christmas (yes it’s also a verb) when some of my favourite evenings were curled up by the fire in my fleecey tartan onesie, drinking Baileys coffee and watching Dickension and Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas – Kirstie Allsop is the uncrowned British queen of Hygge.

If you want some Hygge in your life you need to go vintage – second hand is very hygge – as are books, throws, chunky woollen sweaters, cashmere socks,  cushions, candles and anything tartan – and particularly at Christmas – Stilton soup, roasted chestnuts, hot toddy, mince pies and egg nog.

The Joy of Hygge

hygge autumn dog

However, Hygge it seems, is not just about material possessions – In the book “How To Hygge” author Helena Olsen explains that it is as much a feeling or a state of mind – “it is seeking out the joy in every situation you find. It is appreciating what you have right now in the present without worry. It is making a conscious effort to escape the relentless and unforgiving pace by which many of us feel overwhelmed”. Wise words – so perhaps after all, we Brits should take an autumnal golden leaf out of this book.

Now I’m off for a “brabbag” (pronounced bravick) another tricky  word – this time from a language within the British Isles – Manx Gaelic to be exact and it means to have a warm before the fire – and you can’t get more hygge than that!


hygge ots

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