The Scandinavian concept of hygge took last winter by storm.
It’s all about the soothing charms of hot chocolate cradled by firelight and cosy knit scarfs wrapped around rosy cheeks. Hygge, in its baldest definition, means cosiness and, according to The Book of Hygge, a feeling of belonging and warmth.
But hygge is soooo last year.
This year’s buzz word is cosagach, a Scottish Gaelic word which describes the feeling of being snug, sheltered or cosy.
Apparently, it’s one of the hottest trends of 2018, and is set to take the new year by storm.
According to Cosagach Scotland’s instagram page, it’s a concept similar to hygge but with more gin, whisky, tartan and shortbread involved. Sounds good to us. Apart from the shortbread.
We just prefer cosy. And if you can’t quite afford a trip to Copenhagen or Caithness, there’s plenty of ways to find it in Manchester.
Buy candles from a lifestyle store
According to the European Candle Association – yes, it’s a thing – the Danes burn more candles than anywhere else. Coincidence? We think not. It’s all to do with getting hygge. So on your way home tonight, grab yourself a candle from Form or Porter and Cole. They specialise in the sorts of stylish homewares that look like they’ve come straight from Kinfolk magazine and even the candles are soy and organic. Get one lit when you get home, grab a blanket and switch off. Hygge hygge hygge.
Treat yourself to a massage and afternoon tea at a five star hotel
Nothing says relaxation like a trip to a spa. Yes it would be nice if you had someone to treat you but sometimes you’ve just got to suck it up and treat your own damn self. The Midland Hotel has all sorts of winter pamper sessions to prep you for the colder seasons, including the All is Calm, All is Bright Spa Day. It’s a dreamy session that’s been specially formulated for the festive season. Switch off your iPhone, slip into your robe and slippers and allow yourself a much needed moment to tune out the rest of the world. Afternoon tea can be booked alongside your package, so if you fancy pushing the boat out, tuck into some decadent finely cut sandwiches, freshly baked scones with jam and clotted cream, and a range of delicate cakes and pastries. Mr Cooper’s restaurant is also a stellar choice for food if you’re feeling peckish. If you want to book in for the spa, click here or call 0161 932 4086. If you’d like to book into Mr Cooper’s, click here.
Regularly voted one of the happiest places in the world, Denmark is well known for its love affair with bikes. In fact, there are more bikes than people in Copenhagen, with 400 km of cycling lanes across the city. If you haven’t got a bike grab a mobike. Better for your health. Better for the environment. Better for higgle. Better for cosagach.
Eat porridge for breakfast, lunch and dinner too
Whipping up a bowl of porridge is the perfect way to find hygge. Sprinkle some cinnamon and apple and maybe an almond flake or two on top and you’ve made yourself the perfect bowl of winter warmth. If you can’t be bothered making it, grab some from Federal Café Bar, Takk or Sam’s Chop House.
Get some avocado toast from a quirky coffee shop
Fig and Sparrow is Scandi-themed so that’s an obvious sign that you’re in the right place. The décor is arty and there are enough reclaimed and independent local design pieces to bring a tear to Frank Lloyd Wright’s eye. After the baristas have brewed you a solid cup of joe, grab a book from the bookshelf next to the counter and tuck into a slice of sourdough toast topped with buttery avocado, chilli flakes and lime zest. There is nothing more comforting. Take a photo for the gram if you like – just to prove it. If you really want to push the boat out, 19 Cafe Bar does a mean avocado and halloumi bagel.
And, of course, hot chocolate
A big part of both hygge and cosagach is not denying yourself enjoyment. If that comes in a cupful of cocoa covered in cream and marshmallows then so be it. It’s no wonder the Danes are so happy all the time. Apparently they’re drinking hot chocolate by the bucketful. The Laundrette and Bon Bon serve up some sure-fire winners in the hot chocolate game. Pick up some pink salted caramel truffles for good measure. And don’t forget to give your teeth an extra good brush.