Over the past few years, when the leaves begin to fall and the nights draw in, a certain buzzword starts to resonate as a slight chill fills the air. Evoking images of roaring log fires, hot cups of cocoa, thick woollen scarves, and slow burning candles, it's fast become the epitome of cosy living while simultaneously leaving us scratching our heads and trying to fathom just what it actually means.
That word is Hygge.
A Danish concept, Hygge has no literal translation in English, which is perhaps what makes it so hard to clearly define. It is perhaps best described as referring to a feeling of cosiness and calm. Taking a little time for yourself, simply enjoying the moment and switching off from the world outside – even if just for a few minutes. A small gesture or action which adds a little happiness to an otherwise grey day: a great cup of coffee to savour in the morning, a warm pair of socks heated on the radiator, 20 minutes taken to read a chapter of a good book by the fire in the evening.
Denmark's long, cold, dark winters necessitated the creation of the concept and contribute to its popularity. While our winters may not be as harsh, the concept of Hygge is one which can be enjoyed no matter the weather – and when it looks like it may never stop raining outside, can be much appreciated!
So, how does one add a little hygge into their life?
A good way to begin is by taking tips from Louisa Thomsen Brits, whose lovely "The Book of Hygge" has become something of a cosy living bible.
"Hygge is a feeling that most of us know but can't quite define. To give a name to an experience is to pay attention to it. Hygge can describe feelings that are already familiar to you. It is there in the rhythm of your daily life, in your habits, routines and rituals.
You don't need Danish recipes or the secrets of a Scandinavian lifestyle to learn how to hygge. It can be found in asking yourself where you feel most at home, what are the activities and customs that anchor you, who makes you feel at ease, what is it that contributes most to your sense of wellbeing, what do you do to unwind, what do you reach for to create comfort?
For me, hygge exists in moments of contentment, particularly at the beginning and end of the day. We hygger first thing in the morning when we light a candle at our breakfast table, make coffee, pancakes and packed lunches and when we return home to each other to share a cup of tea or a glass of wine, to sit around the kitchen table together and enjoy our evening meal."
Extract taken from The Book of Hygge, Louisa Thomsen Brits, £12.99
Candles, coffee and cosy living are all things we're happy to indulge in here at Beetham Nurseries. While hygge isn't something which can be bought, there are some gorgeous items in store which will no doubt add a little cosiness and indulgence to any rainy day. We've put together a selection of our favourites below, for the ultimate hygge feeling.
From left to right:
Gisela Graham 'Forget Me Not' Mug, £7.25
Just made for warming morning tonics, this beautiful ceramic mug will not only look great in your kitchen - it's also dishwasher and microwave safe, making it a practical option too!
Scandinavian Baking: Loving Baking at Home, Trine Hahnemann, £25
Scandinavian cuisine takes centre stage in this beautifully illustrated cook book from Trine Hahnemann. Recipes for everything from buttery Danish pastries to festive bakes can be found among its pages, with emphasis on easy to create dishes.
Garden Trading Enamel Teapot, £27.50
This stylish teapot in grey, with contrasting white interior and rim, is the perfect accompaniment to teatime year round. Made to last, the enamel body makes it ideal for campfires; it can also be placed on portable stoves, gas cookers and agas.
Artificial Nasturtium, £7.50
Here at Beetham Nurseries, we pride ourselves on our homegrown flowers. However we also know that low maintenance, year round floral arrangements can be hard to come by - which is why we stock a range of tasteful artificial flowers to brighten up your home...no watering required!
Broste Copenhagen Pillar Candles, Assorted Sizes, £1.50 - £13
Nothing says cosy like the warm flicker of a candle burning gently on the table. Danish interiors company Broste Copenhagen have created the perfect collection: simple, rustic pillar candles in a variety of soft colours and various sizes.