Winter is coming! It is that time of the year, when you just feel like crawling under a blanket, light up some candles, make yourself a warm cup of tea, read a good book and maybe treat yourself with some comfort food!
I am that sort of person, who really likes to go out, but I am certainly also a nordic girl in that sense, that nothing beats, what we Danes call “hygge”. So what is “hygge” excactly?
It is actually quite funny. Time Out London just wrote an article about it the other day, because it might be difficult for foreigners to understand the concept. So my mission today is to show you in words and pictures, how we Danes get through a long winter the best way possible (and maybe gain a bit of weight, but who cares – its for survival!)
A typical moment of “hygge” at my mum’s house. It usually involves comfy clothes and warm drinks!
So how do you prepare for a good moment of “hygge”? Well, I would say, that candles are essential! And what, I’ve discovered to my great surprise, is, that candles are actually not that easy to come by here in London (unless you want to by a scented one in Harrods for a million pounds!) With the amount of candles it takes to create the right atmosphere, it can end up pretty expensive, but if you look long enough, you will find places to get candles for a reasonable price (if you stumble upon good candles, please let me know)
Yes, I have already started decoration my home for Christmas. I’m quite a romantic!
Another thing you need for “hygge” is of course something warm to drink! I am not a big coffee drinker, so I would go for tea. And if you haven’t already discovered it yet, I am a BIG fan of Fortnum & Mason, when it comes to tea (read about my Afternoon Tea experience here)
I have quite a selection of tea and biscuits from Fortnum & Mason! You can’t have one without the other, ehh?
If you are really creative, I’m sure, there are many lovely recipes out there for other warm drinks to make. Im not a big chef – and whole idea is actually to have a rest (and not running around in ten different supermarkets for a special herb), so take it easy – or do, what I did at Borough Market. Enjoy some homemade mulled wine (made by others!)
OK, so far so good! A good sofa and a comfy blanket is of cause needed! (being warm is essential – there is nothing nice about freezing, when doing “hygge”) Netflix is an option, but I would say, don’t go there! This is about being present and enjoy some time with yourself or maybe with someone dear to you! I have a great book collection. Sometimes I read coffee table books (I like the ones from Taschen), and sometimes I prefer books from my favourite authors (As I have my Masters in Nordic Literature, it would mainly be nordics like Karen Blixen)
Here we are – all set up in comfy Christmas socks! (now where did I put my blanket?)
As I said, I am not a great chef (but I really like to eat!) Luckily Frenchie, being French and all, likes to cook for me, so when we are up for at bit of “hygge”, he usually makes us something yummy. You don’t want to eat a salad here – you want comfort food!
Pancakes in the making. I am indeed a lucky girl!
Et voila! All set up for a great night of “hygge”
So now I guess you get the idea of, what we Danes are taking about, when “we just want to stay in for the night“! It is not only about lying around in the sofa. It is about having a good time resting and feeling at ease – in other words nurturing yourself and practising good self-care. I know, that many Londoners tend to go out a lot, and they are almost afraid of missing out on something. But honestly, sometimes cosy times in your home are often better than a noisy pub (I’m sure not everybody will agree – and that’s ok too!
Oh… And I forgot! I love how everybody has a bathtub here! This is the best place to spend time, when it is cold outside!
The “ghost” is actually me taking a picture! I know… not very professional, but besides from that, I think this look pretty nice! Bubbles and candles (all I need now is a chilled glass of Sancerre to make it just perfect!
Playing with bubbles
After a long and soothing bath it is time to put on your robe, warm socks and head into the living room to cuddle up with pancakes and tea!
Look at Rudolph! His nose is red already! No more mulled wine for him!
By the way… a bit of research showed me, that some people think, that “hygge” can only be done indoors. I would say, that this is manly the way, I prefer doing it. But, but, but… “hygge” is also taking a long walk a quiet place hand in hand with the one, you love. It is being with your friends having a good talk and forget about things, you HAVE to do and doing things, you WANT to do instead. Basically it is about giving yourself a time-out and charging your batteries!
I hope this inspired you to embrace the “hygge”-phenomenon! I am a big fan myself. Home is where the heart is – and my heart certainly feels at home right here in Kensington.