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have yourself some hygge

Published : 08/11/2016 14:01:32
Categories : you and your skin

here's to hygge - hot chocolate with cardamom, mandarin and coconut cream

There is a Danish concept that is sweeping the UK - a concept that we actually all experience from time to time - and if we're really lucky, we get to experience it most days. This concept now has a name - welcome to hygge.

Hygge (pronounced ‘hooga’) is big news here in the UK but the Danes have known about it for years. Though there isn’t an exact translation (even Danish people struggle to explain it), it roughly means ‘cosiness’ or 'contentment' - but it’s much more than that.

I asked a Danish friend of mine, Maj-Britt to try to explain what hygge means to her and her family...

"To me hygge is different things - for instance an emotion, a feeling or even something you do together. I think that the word hygge goes hand in hand with the culture that I'm brought up in and pass to my kids today."

"In Denmark we often get together with family or friends and it can be as easy as a good meal or a sit down glass of wine with some good friends. It's something we do together and share and I think to me it's also about interaction in a uncomplicated level."

I personally think of the seasons when I think of hygge. In Winter it might be sitting on a big comfy sofa. in front of a roaring fire, with lots (and I mean lots) of candles, a glass of something red or a mug of hot chocolate, relaxing with your best friends or family.

In Summer it might be a trip to the beach for a summer evening bbq, fire pit blazing, a glass of chilled rose in your hand and a plateful of freshly barbecued fish served with fresh avocadoes & limes.

As I write this on the first really cold night of late Autumn, my thoughts turn to the lovely weekend I have just spent with one of my best friends who came to stay. I hadn’t seen her for ages and she’s been stressed and working too hard, so I wanted to try and create that lovely Danish hygge feeling.  I picked her up from the train on Friday evening and whilst I lit the fire, the candles and prepared dinner, I insisted she took a long soak in a warm bath fragranced with my deeply relaxing Dream A Little Dream body and bath wash. Lavender is one of her favourite essential oils and I have combined this with chamomile and neroli, to help relieve tension and stress and relax an active mind and tired body.

A bath is also the perfect place to give yourself a stress busting facial massage. Stress can take its toll on our skin so to counteract this, take your favourite best face oil or balm - my current favourite is Rest & Regenerate but my friend opts for Bloom & Glow – and spend about 10 minutes massaging this into clean skin using upward circular movements.  Apply it over your face but don’t forget your neck and décolletage. Finish with a spritz of Freshen Up to perk up your skin. It might not be a day trip to a spa, but it’s the next best thing - especially as you’re cocooned in that lovely warm bath with those relaxing oils to sooth a frazzled mind.

Dinner on Friday was simple and warming and served in front of the fire.  A whole baked cheese (you could use camembert or brie but I opted for a decadent vacharin mont d’or which is gooey, nutty and totally delicious. Served with little boiled potatoes, steamed cauliflower and chorizo cooked with apples and cider. A delicious bottle of red and lots of fun and laughter and I can see my friend has started to relax, unwind and is getting into the hygge mood.

Saturday is cold but clear – a perfect late autumn/early winter day with the sun shining.  A trip to a local farm shop to buy dinner for later and a long walk through the local fields with my four dogs is my idea of a perfect Saturday and I think my London friend enjoyed putting on a pair of wellies, a warm coat and scarf and a chomp through the fields. We return just as it’s getting dark and so I light the fire and make warming and cosy cups of coconut, cardamom and mandarin hot chocolate to warm us up and so begins another evening in front of the fire with the dogs, good simple and tasty food, some wine and plenty of catching up, funny stories and lots and lots of laughter.

I think I’m getting the hang of the hygge and I’m loving it - I can't wait for the next hygge style weekend.

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