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Winter Hygge

The days are shorter, and the nights are longer and darker now we are in winter. It’s the time of year we yearn to be cosy.

What makes winter hygge different to hygge? The principle of hygge combines happiness, simple living and mindfulness with comfort, cosiness and warmth. We are taking inspiration from the season to bring together ways that you can draw in happiness and mindfulness for simple living during wintertime.

This is the season for chunky knits and warm fabrics like cashmere.


Wear it Cosy

This is the season when warm socks, comfy clothes and a pile of blankets are a must-have. Think soft knits like cashmere and lambswool that are warming yet breathable.

Cashmere socks are ideal for toasty toes. During winter our favourite warm socks are our Cashmere Snowflake Socks. The snowflake pattern is apt for winter, cute and cosy. While the cashmere knit keeps our feet lovely and warm. Easy to wear for either lounging in front of the fire or with a pair of ankle boots to show off.

hyggewinter snowflake socks
Hygge Winter – Cashmere Snowflake Socks for cosy feet.

Your comfy clothes needn’t be the most stylish. There is no dress code for winter hygge. That good old woollen jumper that has loyally kept you cosy year after year is an excellent choice. And those comfy trousers that are just a little bit short in the leg, well those will work too. The key here is feeling cosy. Plus, short trousers will let you show off your super cosy socks.

During winter having blankets at the ready is a must. Feeling a little chilly? Just wrap yourself in a blanket. Dressed in your cosiest clothes but they’re not the prettiest? Cover up with a blanket. Do you want to feel cosy with minimal effort? Grab a blanket. Easy.

Winter Hygge - Wear it Cosy - Cosy Knitted Blankets
Winter Hygge – Wear it Cosy – Cosy Knitted Blankets


Cosy Interiors

When it comes to setting the scene for hygge in winter, there are no rules. If you have a fire, great. If you don’t have a fireplace, this doesn’t mean you must install one in your home to achieve a level of zen. Hygge is a state of mind of peace and simplicity; it is not a job to add to your to-do list.

Surround yourself with things that make you happy and cosy. Calming and tranquil is the ambience you are trying to achieve, whatever that means to you.

Winter Hygge - Cosy Interiors - Pillar Candles
Winter Hygge – Cosy Interiors – Pillar Candles

Soft lighting is something that can be easily achieved with candles. Mix it up with candles of various sizes and heights, from tiny tealights to towering pillars to spread the light. Create displays of your candles on a side table, dining table or coffee table to make a useful feature. Using mirrors as part of a candle display will help reflect the light too. Add some scented candles to make your surroundings look and smell inviting. This is your space; you choose the scent most appealing to you. Take care with candles placing them in a safe place and following your candles burn guidelines.

Sticking to the lighting theme, you can incorporate some of your Christmas decorations into part of your interior for winter. Some fairy lights can add some soft twinkly light that can add a bit of brightness on a dull winter’s day. You can place the fairy lights wherever you like. Pop them into a vase for a contained light display, or hang them in the window.

Winter décor may make you think of Christmas, but you can still achieve a wintery look to your home without all the Christmas decorations. A home can feel a bit bare after the tree and all the decorations come down. Consider replacing the Christmas wreath on the door with a simple winter wreath of cedar or pine. Heading out for a winter walk, keep your eyes peeled for pine cones that can easily be transformed into a centrepiece. Fill a glass vase with pine cones, and add a touch of greenery or a ribbon for a simple table decoration. Alternatively, scatter them across a table runner on your dining table for an effortless touch of winter decor.

There is something wonderful about a roaring fire during winter. It needn’t be a real fire though; we have some alternatives. One option is to turn your TV into the fireplace by playing a fireplace video available through some streaming services and YouTube. You can choose to have an ambient crackling fire or a choice of music depending on your mood and preference. That’s an at-home option for an alternative roaring fire. Another option is to seek out a cosy fireplace. Is there a lovely fire at a friend’s or family member’s house, or a local coffee shop, pub or restaurant? You can still get that warm and cosy feeling while reconnecting with a friend or family member or visiting a local venue. The concept of hygge isn’t restricted to your home, be mindful of going to places that make you feel content and comfortable.

We mentioned blankets in the above Wear it Cosy section but blankets are also getting a mention here as winter calls for lots of cosy blankets on hand. Mix your textures with wool and faux fur for a soft and inviting style.


Cosy and Warming Treats

Cold wintery days call for warm drinks that give off a cosy feeling. If a good old British pot of tea or a mug of coffee makes you feel warm and cosy, that’s great. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous grab your favourite mug and pick a cosy and warming treat to try.

A comforting favourite is a hot chocolate. Rather than a plain hot chocolate pimp it up with some additional ingredients to give your hot chocolate an even more luxurious and comforting result. Adding flavoured syrups such as gingerbread, vanilla, peppermint, orange, or caramel enhances the chocolatey goodness. Alcohol is another option to add more warmth to your hot chocolate. Like desert coffees, options such as Baileys, amaretto, or whiskey will bring a warming kick.

When you make a hot chocolate at home, don’t skip the toppings. Adding some whipped cream from a can is a simple finishing touch but why not whip up your cream and add some vanilla essence or extract? Adding flavours to your whipped cream can match or compliment the main drink. Some whipped cream flavour suggestions are peppermint, coffee, cinnamon, maple syrup, berries, salted caramel and even chocolate. Garnish with some chocolates like after eights, maltesers, chocolate orange segments, or alternatives such as honeycomb or classic marshmallows. The options and combinations are endless, and the same advice fits here, choose what you do mindfulness with comfort, cosiness and warmth. And being mindful can mean choosing a plain hot chocolate if that is what you want!

Winter Hygge - Cosy and Warming Treats
Winter Hygge – Cosy and Warming Treats

When you want both a warm drink and a glass of wine opt for a mulled wine. Nice and simple to make, put your wine into a pot with some sugar, lemon zest, a cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise. Heat on a low setting for 10 minutes. For the best results leave the pan to cool allowing the ingredient to infuse for half an hour. To serve, gently heat the pan to warm through and pour it into a mug or a glass. Make sure it is a heatproof glass first.

If you like mulled wine but want something a little different try a spiced cider. Making spiced cider follows a similar recipe to mulled wine. Add cider to a pot with a cinnamon stick, cloves, and star anise. Heat on a low setting for 5 minutes. Then add in some orange juice, orange slices, ginger syrup and some soft brown sugar. Continue to heat to bring to a simmer. Again, like the mulled wine, for the best results leave the pan to cool allowing the ingredient to infuse for half an hour. To serve, gently heat the pan to warm through and pour it into a mug or a glass. Remember to check first that it is heatproof glass.

Whatever your hot drink of choice is there is one essential ingredient, your favourite mug. Wrapping your hands around your favourite mug and savouring the delicious drink it contains.


Home Kitchen Comforts

The kitchen is often the hub of the home and winter is a great time to re-discover some old favourite recipes.

Winter is a great time to make nourishing soups and stews using seasonal vegetables and cupboard staples. They are simple to make too. For soups, dice an onion and some celery and sweat in a pan with some oil, adding any spices you wish to add – cumin, coriander, and garlic salt are some suggestions – and salt and pepper to season. Then it is a case of adding vegetables such as carrots, some legumes like lentils, tomatoes if you’re aiming for a tomato-based soup, and some stock. Bring the pot to a simmer for 30 minutes. Ensure all ingredients have cooked through and remove the pot from the heat. Blend the soup and then check the flavouring, and add any additional seasoning. The soup can be enjoyed freshly made with a crusty loaf or portioned up for the freezer for a day when you need some extra home comforts.

Winter Hygge - Home Kitchen Comforts - Buy good quality cheese for making fondue
Winter Hygge – Home Kitchen Comforts – Buy good quality cheese for making fondue

Another winter favourite is fondue. An excellent dish for a relaxed get-together. Another simple dish to prepare. Start by grating your chosen cheese or cheeses. Use good quality cheese such as Gruyére, gouda, raclette, vacherin or comté for a good fondue flavour and consistency. Once you have grated the cheese add a little corn flour to coat the flour, this helps to keep the consistency smooth. Traditionally fondue is made with white wine, but beer is another alcohol-based option, and unsalted stock is an alcohol-free alternative. Get your fondue accompaniments prepared for dipping when the fondue is served. Great dipping options are bread, bacon, potatoes, vegetable, pickles, crudites, and even apples. Put your chosen liquid into a pan (or fondue pot if you have one) on a low heat, along with a small handful of the grated cheese. Constantly stir the mixture adding a little more cheese each time until it is completely melted. Make sure to have plates, fondue forks or skewers at the ready so that you can dig into the cheesy goodness.

If baking is more your jam then biscuits and muffins are great homely bakes.  Add in some seasonal spices such as ginger, cinnamon or dried fruits such as cranberries, and even fresh clementines. Try a new bake or make a winter twist on a favourite bake, like scones. Adding cranberries and some white chocolate to scones is a delicious treat.


Cosy Indoor Times

A huge part of hygge is about connections. Spending time indoors doesn’t mean cutting off all ties with the outside world. Make a point to arrange a dinner party with friends, a games night or a movie night.

Winter Hygge - Indoor Cosy Time - Puzzle Time
Winter Hygge – Indoor Cosy Time – Puzzle Time

On days and evenings when you are spending time with yourself use it to focus on a hobby that will bring you some joy. Winter is a great time to pick up a book, nestle yourself in an armchair in your cosiest clothes and lots of blankets, and a hot drink to take yourself into another world.

Maybe you are looking for something to challenge yourself with; perhaps try out some jigsaw puzzles, crosswords or sudoku to engage the grey matter.


Take Hygge Outdoors

When the weather is dull, cold and wet going outdoors isn’t the most appealing, but it is a great time to get out. First of all fresh air does us all the world of good. Embrace the season, wrap up to stay cosy and take a walk. Observe the nature and environment on your walk. Consider what you can see, the colours and the wildlife, and how it compares with other times of the year. Take a moment to stop. Take a pause, breathe in the fresh air and clear your mind.

Going out for a walk is something you can do on your own or with a friend. Stop by your favourite coffee shop and treat yourself to chatter, laughter, coffee and cake.

Winter Hygge - Take Hygge Outdoors - A Winter Walk
Winter Hygge – Take Hygge Outdoors – A Winter Walk


Summing up Winter Hygge

To be truly embraced, winter hygge requires us to take time for ourselves. Put aside your worries and take a moment for what makes it special for you – cashmere socks, a cup of hot cocoa or a walk in nature can all help open the door to feeling warmer and calmer. Our homes, our friends and our families are where we can find true comfort. This season, let’s focus on finding peace by taking the time to do things that truly make us cosy and warm – inside and out!  Let’s celebrate our own interpretation of winter hygge – share your hygge moments with us on social media using #mycosystore. Here’s wishing you happy hygge moments this season!


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