What exactly is Hygge? Translated into English as ‘cosiness’, hygge (pronounced ‘hoo-gah said quickly) is an ancient Danish concept of warm feelings and cosy contentment, whether it’s snuggling up by the fire or indulging in a hearty meal. You can experience your own dose of hygge in England; here Melissa Brobby rounds up her top five ways to banish those winter blues.
1) Cosy up by the fire in Norfolk
There is nothing more hygge than an evening spent warming yourself up by the fire. If you don’t have your own, it’s the perfect excuse to spend an evening or two in one of England’s many cosy country pubs such as the Gunton Arms in Norfolk, where you can recline on a comfy leather sofa in front of a grand fireplace, and feel warm and toasty as you snuggle up with a pint of local ale or a glass or two of wine. If you’re feeling a little peckish, why not order a cheeky dessert of buttermilk pudding, raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake or greengage and almond tart with clotted cream to share.
Be sure to loosen your trouser belt as you step through the doors of the cosy Parkers Arms in Lancashire, because here it’s all about plates of hearty, traditional English food made with the finest local ingredients. Try not to drool as you scroll down their extensive menu; a definite must-order is the five-course Gamekeeper’s menu. Consisting of canapes, a rich English onion soup; a whole grouse served with game chips and pickled blackberries, a Chantilly crème custard tart and petit fours to finish, you’ll need a lie down afterwards.
Feel at one with nature with a stay in a log cabin in the middle of Thorpe Forest. You’ll share the woodland with roaming deer, squirrels and pheasants, and when night falls, you can enjoy a romantic soak in the outdoor sunken bath, complete with a panoramic - and thankfully private - view of the surrounding forest and night sky, before heading back indoors to dry off in front of your wood-burning stove.
Escape to the lavish 19th century Turkish Baths in Harrogate, where arabesque painted ceilings and Italian-laid terrazzo floors will make you feel like royalty. Book yourself in for the Turkish Delight package where your body will be invigorated with a head-to-toe exfoliation, before you’re cocooned in a hydrating rose and vanilla milk wrap. Afterwards, indulge in some actual Turkish delight along with a cup of rose or vanilla tea as you unwind in the Relaxation Lounge.
5) Go on a magical woodland walk in the North York Moors
Lace up your walking boots and head to the North York Moors for an enchanting afternoon walk around May Beck and Falling Foss Waterfall. Unleash your inner child as you throw sycamore seeds in the air watching them twizzle back down like mini helicopters, and kick up crunchy leaves as you stroll through trees alive with autumnal reds and gold colours, before gazing in awe at the sight of the 30-foot waterfall gushing down the rocks.