How to hygge : the secrets of Nordic living

As winter approaches and the nights grow longer, it could be the time to try to add some ‘hygge’ (pronounced hoo-ga) to your life. The concept is embraced by the Nordic countries who also happen to find themselves rated the happiest nations on the planet. But what exactly is hygge and how can we start to practice this way of life?

The wonderful “How to Hygge” by Signe Johansen describes the concept as warmth and togetherness. At its simplest, it is about making time for, and enjoying, the small pleasures in all areas of life. Johansen sees hygge as practising kindness both to yourself and to others.

One of the easiest ways to practice hygge is to get together with family and friends to enjoy some delicious food. The book includes over fifty beautiful recipes from the author who is a Leiths-trained cook. The emphasis is on simple, natural food and featured recipes include beautiful dishes such as Nordic winter salad and Smoked chicken with beets, grains and lentils.

There are also some wonderful recipes for beautiful cakes including Sour cherry bundt cake and Sticky ginger cake with clementine glaze. The ultimate comfort food to enjoy in winter!

Johansen explains that hygge can be applied to many areas of life and that there are no real rules. She looks at the Scandinavian practice of enjoying the outdoors and being out in the natural world, whatever the weather. There is such enthusiasm for making the most of life by taking part in any sport we enjoy from skiing to gentle walking.

To create hygee in the home we are encouraged to keep things simple and natural. Light is used to create warmth in the home and one thing you can be sure of when trying to create the ultimate hygge time – you can never have too many candles!

There are many more ways to add hygge to your life and you can find further details of How to Hygge on our Main Catalogue. We recommend visiting our Reading Room to enjoy this book for the ultimate hygge experience!

(Photo credit: Bluebird)

Front cover features a kitchen table with a purple flower in a bottle vase and cardamom doughnuts displayed on a circular wooden board.