What is Hygge, And How Do I Get It? | Lifestyle

What is HyggeWhat is Hygge, And How Do I Get It?

I have an odd fascination with words that don’t translate. It all started years ago,with 気持ちいい (kimochi/ii); a Japanese word that relates to a particular feeling of enjoyment. So when I heard someone talking about the Danish word hygge, I knew I had to investigate further.

Luckily enough my investigation coincided with a rather interesting email. An email asking if I would like to attend a talk with Not on The High Street and Signe Johansen – author of How to Hygge. The panellists included Skandium’s found Magnus Englund, and Not on The High Street’s director Sally Bendelow. I was eager to hear more, so I jumped at the chance. Little did I know it would lead me down a very interesting, familiar rabbit hole. One that would leave me asking ‘what is hygge?’

What is Hygge?

Hygge is not about buying a new throw for your sofa (although Wool Couture‘s is tempting). Nor is it about lighting a bunch of candles. Although both these things can contribute to a sense of hygge. Confusing, right? Well that’s because hygge is more of a concept, than an entity. It isn’t about material objects, it’s the sense of comfort you get from them. Well, amongst other things.

It’s about creating a comforting atmosphere. A place where you feel at home.

what is hygge

How Do I Get It?

For those that fancy a little Danish in their lives (no I’m not talking about pastries or Mads Mikkelsen), hygge is relatively easy to achieve. It’s about taking a step back from our hectic lives, and taking the time to appreciate the little things. Simple things such as spending time with our families/friends, or trying out that recipe for cinnamon rolls that you always wanted to bake. During the colder, darker months, a lot of Danes spend more time at home. They invite friends and family over, enjoy some good food and drink, and relax. And yes, there may be a candle or two involved.

Can We Really Get Hygge?

Hygge is not a new term, however it is having it’s moment in British culture right now. Autumn and Winter in the UK are characteristically dark, cold, and damp. Something our Danish cousins know about all too well. It’s at this time of year that people like to cosy up at home with their loved ones, pop on Netflix, and snuggle into the sofa with some comfort food. Not much different to what I was talking about before, right?

Denmark is well known as being the happiest country in the world. So it makes sense that us Brits would want in on it too. What with current political and economical events, we’ve all been left looking elsewhere for comfort. And I think hygge may just be it.

I’ll be writing a more in-depth guide on How to Get Hygge soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

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Thoughts on Living Danishly | Copenhagen Travel Diary

living danishlyThoughts on Living Danishly

I’ve been staring at my screen for a while now, wondering how exactly I’d write this post. It’s pretty personal, and a tad emotional. I don’t really do that much on here, but every now and again I do indulge myself…

I kind of always knew I’d like Copenhagen. Admittedly I’m a Skandiphile. I love Scandinavia, right from the food, down to the design. But I’d never been before. My trip to Copenhagen last month was either going to make or break my love for our Northern European cousins.

Thoughts on Living Danishly

Ever since I came back from Denmark, I’ve had a bit of an ache in my chest. Falling in love with a country/city is one thing. But to fall for the culture, way of life, and people is another. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to up sticks and leave London. But Copenhagen certainly has left room for thought.

I remember a very specific moment from my trip to CPH. We were cycling back from Superkilen, and on this particular day the main road had been closed. Families had come out into the street with their children, and there were thousands of people. We had to get off our bikes at one point because there were so many people. Families, friends, all were socialising together. Children and adults alike were drawing on the street in chalk. There were drawings of Copenhagen’s skyline, pokemon, loved ones, you name it. It was so wonderful to walk through all those people, and feel the sense of community.

Personal Reflection

With everything that’s been going on lately in my life, I’ve done a lot of personal reflection. What I want in the next few years. Where I want to be.

I’ve been reading ‘The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country’ by Helen Russell. After seeing tons of people reading it in Copenhagen, I decided to give it a go myself. I was curious to learn more about Denmark, Danish people, and their way of life. Was it really as wonderful as it seemed? Well I won’t ruin the book for you, but it’s certainly opened my eyes to a new way of living.

Life can be pretty hectic in London, and whereas I love it, sometimes it can be tiring. It’s also become a little old as of late. Part of me yearns for new discoveries. New life lessons. Somewhere less hectic, and a bit happier.

Maybe living Danishly for a while wouldn’t be such a bad thing? Who’s to know. I guess for now, I’ll watch this space.

 

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24 Hours In Copenhagen | A Copenhagen Travel Guide

copenhagen travelOne of my favourite travel adventures this year has been my trip to Copenhagen. My first foray into Scandinavia. Well, unless you count watching Scandi-dramas, reading endless design books, and a perpetual desire for Danish pastries. Yes, I was over the moon to finally be here – I’m totally a Scandiphile – and trust me, I had an awesome time. So without further ado, here’s my Copenhagen travel guide to help you through your 24 hours in the City of Cool!

copenhagen travel

24 Hours in Copenhagen: A Copenhagen Travel Guide

  • Stay at: an Air Bnb in ‘Indre By’
    • Hotels can be crazy expensive in Copenhagen, but have no fear, Air Bnb is here! Prices are more than affordable, and you get to stay with some of the locals – it’s win, win.
    • Otherwise known as the Downtown Copenhagen or simply K, Indre By is as central as it gets. Park yourself here and you’ll be right in the middle of it all. We stayed in Strøget – an area with plenty of shops, restaurants and things to do. I’d also recommend areas such as Frederiksberg & Vesterbro.
  • Have a Danish for breakfast 
    • Come on, you can’t come all this way without trying one of the countries most famous foods. Trust me, these are nothing like the ones you’ve had at home. They’re found in most cafes, and pair perfectly with a coffee.
    • Tip: try the Kanelsnegl from Vores Broed.
  • Grab a bike! 
    • Copenhagen is very cycle friendly. Every road has a designated lane for cyclists, with some areas only accessible by bike. It’s safe and easy to navigate, as well as being a fast way to get around the city. I’d recommend Donkey Republic – bikes that you can lock/unlock with your phone, for only £6 a day!

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  • Go up the Rundertaarn (Round Tower)
    • This beautiful 17th century tower is only £3 to enter, and features a round “staircase” and a lovely view from the top. The inside is so Instagram-able though, you may not want to leave.
  • Pop into Trinitatis Church
    • Next door to the Rundertaarn is a beautiful example of Danish architecture – Trinitatis Church. It’s free to enter, and open to all.
  • Have lunch at: Torvehallerne
    • This street food market offers up some of the best food in CPH. If you want something entirely Danish, try Hallernes Smørrebrød. These open sandwiches are packed full of ingredients, and flavour. Tip: grab a few and share.
    • Stop by The Coffee Collective after for an espresso. You know, to keep you going.
  • Check out the view from Christiansborg Palace
    • The former palace, now parliament, allows you to go up the viewing tower for free. The view is breathtaking, and on a good day you can see Sweden (including The Bridge). The restaurant below offers up delicious food, presented beautifully. Again, with a view.

copenhagen travel

  • Take a Boat Tour from Nyhavn
    • Nyhavn is probably the most photographed of all Copenhagen. Boat tours run on a regular basis here, but I’d suggest Nettobådene (the small white kiosk opposite Charlottenborg Fonden). They run every hour, and cost only £4.80. Tip: these are half the price of others, but they do the exact same tour.
  • Shop til you drop in Strøget
    • Or at least until you have to catch your flight. Strøget features a variety of shops, all in central CPH, and only 15mins from the airport. You’ll find Danish brands and stores such as Mads Nørgaard, Naked, and Illums (the best department store in the world tbh). The Hay House is also in Strøget, and is definitely worth wasting your time in.
  • Try the Flæskesteg at Københavner-caféen
    • Københavner-caféen serves up traditional Danish dishes, in a relaxed environment. You must must must try the Flæskesteg (roast pork) – it’s super Danish, and incredibly tasty.

Feel free to leave your own Copenhagen travel recommendations in the comments.
And don’t forget to check out my other travel posts – More Copenhagen posts coming soon!

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