You nestle into a soft cocoon of blankets while curled up on the couch, the fire casting its flickering glow onto the faces of friends or family as you share comradery and conversation. You clasp a warm mug in your hands, the rich scent of creamy chocolate drifting up to you.
This, you think, is totally hygge.
Whether you pronounce it hoo-ga, hee-ga, or hooge, the Danish concept of hygge has something special to it. Coined by the people who are considered the happiest in the world, hygge is a feeling of coziness and comfort that comes from an atmosphere or experience.
It’s about feeling good combined with connecting with our persons.
The beauty of hygge is you don’t need to travel to Denmark to enjoy this Scandinavian experience; it can easily be incorporated into your lifestyle, with oh-so-cozy results. This winter we invite you to find your hygge close to home, right here in Ontario’s Highlands. Read on to find out what you can do to hygge your lifestle.
Hygge is…Setting the Mood
Candlelight can turn an everyday room into a romantic and homey space, and the sweet scent of beeswax candles can really set the mood.
Hygge Here: Find pure beeswax candles from Lucky Clover Candles – their hand-dripped pillar beeswax candles will make your home smell nice and feel cozy. Not all candles need to be utilitarian; Lofthouse Beeswax Company’s floral-patterned beeswax candles will make a glowing statement for any room.
Hygge is Being Cozy
Feeling comfortable and cozy is one of the key ways you can truly “be hygge” and using a variety of textiles like soft wools, smooth woods, or thick corduroys amplify the hygge factor.
Hygge Here: Wrap yourself or someone you love in softness with a warm blanket from Pearl’s Gem in Smiths Falls, or a recycled wool blanket from Anupaya and know you are helping wild spaces by removing one pound of waste for every blanket sold.
At Serendipity Alpacas in Lanark Highlands you can browse their ultra-soft alpaca fibre socks, mittens, scarves, and even sweaters. Snuggle down with pride for the Valley in a branded hoodie from Ottawa Valley Apparel or warm up with sheepskin slippers from The Real Wool Shop in Carleton Place.
*Shops noted in this story also offer online sales and/or curbside pick-up so you can bring the hygge to you without travel.
Hygge is…Pampering Yourself
The Danes don’t believe a visit to the spa is something to feel guilty about, it’s an important part of embracing a balanced lifestyle that’s good for both your physical and emotional well being.
Hygge Here: This winter think like a Dane and book a salon or spa experience from Ommmh Beauty Boutique in Minden and walk away looking and feeling great. In Lanark County, Mahogany Salon and Spa has spa packages offering head to toe pampering from services like body polishes, facials, manicures, pedicures, and more.
Hygge Is…Drinking It In
For the Danes, the epitome of hygge is savouring a cup of something warm and delicious while snuggled up on your comfy chair, and preferably while swathed in a soft blanket.
Hygge Here: Get the ultimate in pampering contained in a mug with the award-winning Mayan spicy drinking chocolate from Hummingbird Chocolate Maker or savour a warm and soothing London Fog from Harvest Social in Smiths Falls.
Hygge Is…Surrounding Yourself with the Things You Love
Marie Kondo isn’t the only one who believes you should surround yourself with the things you love, and if you want to hygge-up your life this is a big first step. The things you love can be a tangible item like a favourite mug or blanket, or it can be spending time with the people you love most in the world – both are hygge.
Hygge Here: Head to Tin Barn Market in Almonte to find items you will fall in love with, like a rustic, hand-crafted mug or a delicate pitcher filled with a handful of dried flowers. Wander through the Gallery Gift Shop in Arnprior to find items that call to your soul; browse their local products like burnished pewter bowls or coasters crafted from nearby Tweed marble.
Hygge Is…Taking a Holiday
What could be more hygge-like than savouring the great outdoors by day and then cozying up next to your special someone in front of a crackling fire, in a cabin or room nestled deep in the forest by night?
Hygge Here: Book a romantic couple’s getaway in a snug cabin at Deacon Escarpment Cabins in Golden Lake and wander 30-kilometres of trails by day and then hygge-ing at night. Snuggle up in front of the fire while looking out over Spectacle Lake in one of the cozy rooms at Spectacle Lake Lodge. Book a cabin getaway at Hush Lodge in Barry’s Bay and hike the Thomas P. Murray Trails right from the lodge. At Calabogie Peaks Resort you can ski in and out of one of their mountain condos or resort rooms and dine at a FeastON certified dining room to refuel at the end of the day.
Hygge Is…Games Night
Gathering with friends or family from your social bubble for an old-fashioned games or craft night is the perfect cool weather experience. Add in a wood fire, a few cozy throws and a mug of hot cocoa and you will really be rocking the hygge life.
Hygge Here: Start a tradition with your friends or family and gather for a games night with a jigsaw puzzle that combines art and science from The Occurrence. If you’d rather chat while doing something creative, pick up a fun knitting or crochet kit from Yarns Aplenty in Smiths Falls or JanKnits Studio in Haliburton and make something warm and cozy while chatting over a glass of wine.