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ScandiKitchen’s Guide to Hygge

July 5, 2016 | 1 Comment

Our guide to Hygge


So, you’re looking for some hygge in your life? We hear you. Here’s ScandiKitchen’s useful guide to what is all about – and how to get some.

What is Hygge?

Many will start the answer with: ‘Well, there is no actual translation, it’s a state of mind, man”. This is sort of true. However, the lack of translation is because the word means that feeling of being entirely content in the moment, with friends of family, and actually appreciating the moment while you’re doing it, not afterwards. There is no big secret to it and while we appreciate the entire world is currently raving about finding hygge, well…. Basically, you’re already doing it, but now it has a name.

Remember that time you had your best friends over, you had some wine and you chatted and laughed for hours? That was hygge.


How do I pronounce it?

Hygge is pronounced whoguh.

No, it does not rhyme with jiggy and anyone who tells you that deserves to be forced to spend a week in Holstebro. Nor is it hooooo-gah. No. Just who-guh.

[ˈhyɡ̊ə] – click here for a bit of help

How do I use the word ‘hygge’?

Hygge is a verb. You can ‘hygge’ with friends and family, even on your own. Something can be ‘hyggeligt’ which means it is has the potential to help you ‘hygge’. A corner of a room can look ‘hyggeligt’, but you need to be in it to ‘hygge’.

Why do I need to understand ‘hygge’?

Not only because the rest of the world is talking about it, but because it is just a nice thing to remind you to stop, breathe and appreciate the moment that you are in. While you are actually in it.


Is it a Danish thing?

Sort of. The Danes claim it as their own. But really, it’s a Norwegian word. Danes started using it in the 1900’s. The original word has roots from old Norse – and the the word has even evolved into other words, such as hug.

Most Danes will deny this, of course, seeing as it is now such a huge part of what makes a Dane really Danish – and an essential part of our lives. So, when you look at the cultural significance, it’s a very Danish word.

What does it really mean? I still don’t quite get it?

It’s an elevated state of cosiness. It is not cosy, because an object is cosy – like the cosy chair or the cosy table setting. Hygge, however, is not an object – It is what happens in that cosy room.


Why all the candles?

Scandinavians love candles. Why do you think the candle section in Ikea is the size of a small warehouse? Winter is dreadfully dark – the candle light makes it bearable and cosy. It is often that hygge is associated with candle because it is an easy way to illustrate the comforting feelings – and that the hygge is happening.

So, I always need candles?

No. You can hygge in the daylight too – but certain things speed up the hygge feelings:

  • Candles
  • A bowl of snacks and sweets on the table
  • People around you that you like
  • Woolly socks
  • Comfy jumpers
  • Fireplace
  • Blankets knitted by great aunt Hilda in 1937.
  • Happy faces
  • Jazz (sometimes)

FACT: The presence of food, sweets, cakes and crisps is the easiest way to speed up the feeling of ‘hygge’.

Example: You sit down in front of the telly with your besties to watch a good movie. It’s nice. Add a bowl of dillchips, some Marabou chocolate and a packet of Gott & Blandat and suddenly, it’s ‘hygge’.

Example 2: You invite friends over. You enjoy a glass of wine, you light some candles. Add a bowl of sweets or crisps to the table, and ‘hygge’ happens instantly.


Can I bring my smart phone?

No, one unique thing is there is no time in the sphere of hygge. No phones allowed, it breaks the hygge.

What do we talk about?

No politics, nothing controversial – and for heaven’s sake, just be yourself. You can’t hygge if you’re pretending to be someone else. Relax.

There’s no bragging in Hygge, and there’s no bigging anything up. Just being as we all are, right now, in this bubble, sheltered from the outside world of materialism and competition. Just stay in the bubble and feel content.

Hygge’ as a compliment

Hyggeligt’ is a big compliment to someone who created it. If you’ve been at someone’s house for dinner and you tell the host it was ‘hyggeligt’, you are paying them a big compliment, possibly one of the biggest you can.


Does ‘hygge’ have seasons?

Sort of. While you can ‘hygge’ all year around, it is particularly easy to illustrate ‘hygge’ when it is darker outside, so winter usually gets most hygge points in the media. But we do it all year round – admittedly, it often hides in dusk and end of the day – when we naturally slow down.

The high season for ‘hygge’ is Christmas. Think cottage in the snow. Mulled wine. Lots of ginger biscuits. However, the media loves to add hygge to all the seasons so you will find front covers of the food magazines talking about weekend-hygge, Easter-hygge, summer-hygge and more.

Will a Swede understand it if I tell him we need to ‘hygge’?

It’s not a Swedish word. But he’ll probably get the meaning – in Sweden, a similar word is ‘Mysigt’. Same with a Norwegian, who will use the word koselig.


Can you ‘hygge’ alone?

Sort of. Maybe in bed on a Sunday morning, feeling warm and cosy. With the papers. TV on.

Can you, ehm, ‘hygge’, in a romantic way?

Yes. Candle light and Marvin Gaye. It’s universal ‘hygge’. A bowl of crisps totally optional in these situations. Whatever floats your boat, really.

Why are there no real translatable words to hygge?

Because we like to think it was only ever meant to be felt, not explained.

Join us. Feel it.


Glögg party – how to do it the Scandinavian way

December 4, 2014 | Leave a comment

It’s December, it’s the weekend – this can only mean one thing: Glögg party.

We Scandinavians do love any excuse to pop over to each other’s house and have a tipple and some homemade cake or biscuit. Those dark December days are just perfect for this: Spend time with lovely people, letting them know you care – and serve delicious mulled wine to give everybody rosy cheeks before they head back into the cold air.

If you are in Scandinavian, you may attend 2 or even 3 of these parties in a weekend, because everybody hosts Glogg parties. You will find that the ‘Glögg’ mulled wine tends to be served in smaller cups in Scandinavia, mainly because we would otherwise be hammered by the time we reach Auntie Agneta’s house and we would, inevitably, end up making a comment about her slightly weird collection of garden gnomes. However, if you are outside Scandiland, you will probably just attend one or two a weekend, so feel free to go for it. Jut be warned: Glögg mulled wine will make your nose red like Rudolf and your ears will feel very warm. Basically, you turn into Elf if you overdo it. You’ve been warned.

Here’s how to host your own Scandinavian Glögg party this Christmas

Set the scene.

Think lots of candles, simple decorations… Hearts, spruce. No tinsel, just nice, stylish cosy Christmas decorations. Maybe a tree – but if you are going to do a tree, make it a real one. Scandinavians don’t ‘do’ fake trees. It’s better to have no tree than a fake tree. Did we mention candles? We did? Get some more. We over-do candles. Have you never seen the candle section in Ikea? Made for us and our candle obsession. If in doubt, buy some more.


Think less Wham, more ABBA. Michael Buble becomes an honorary Scandi at this time a year before we put him back in the cupboard on the 28th December. Use spotify and search ‘Scandinavian Christmas’ and you should be fine. Expect a few cringe additions. Blame Spotify.


Offer your guests ‘Glögg’ mulled wine. Glögg is not the same as British mulled wine. We will claim it is infinitely better (it is) – and this is because we use cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, dried Seville orange and cloves.

You can get the spices you need at our shop – or you can buy ready-made good stuff online. Swedes swear by all Glögg from Blossa. The red top is 10%, standard and works for all. The orange top is 15% and gives you a even redder nose.  The see-through ‘Rum’ and ‘Cognac’ Blossas are 21% and you drink these in bigger glasses, in your arm chair front of the log fire. The purple bottle ‘14’ is the annual exciting new flavour – this year, it is Lavender (it’s nice, but nicer drunk a bit colder than normal Glögg).

For the kids and non alcohol drinkers, try the Glögg concentrate. We also do a Saturnus glögg at 2.2%.

To serve you glögg, heat it up so it is warm (not boiling, or the alcohol will evaporate) – and serve in little mugs of thick glasses. Add almonds and raisins.


If you are doing a Danish Gløgg party, you need to make or get your hand on some Æbleskiver. These are little doughballs, made from a pancake like batter. Serve warm with jam and icing sugar.

Biscuit wise, Danes favour ‘Brunkager’ (as do Norwegians) – and Pebernødder. Both are variations of ginger biscuits.

Swedes will expect you to serve Saffron buns. Delicious yellow wheat buns. We sell them at the café but you should have a go at making some at home – they are not hard to make and they taste amazing when just fresh out of the oven.

Pepparkakor’ are the Swedish chosen biscuits – we sell them in the shop. There are many different brands, but Anna’s is the one we stock and prefer. At Christmas, they are heart shaped.

Want to make your own ginger biscuits? Get the dough and simply shape and bake. Easy peasy.

Other foods

Want to fill up the fika table? Add other buns and biscuits. Swedes like to make ‘knäck’ toffee and the Danes love to make little marzipan and nougat petit fours. You can also make ‘Chockladbollar’ or ‘Romkugler’ no-bake treats. Find the recipe on our blog.


If you want to add a bit of a savoury element, maybe serve cheeses and crispbread. In particular, get hold of some really nice blue cheese and serve this with ginger biscuits: It’s a really, really nice combination.

Lastly, these events are usually in the afternoons, not evenings. After lunch, usually lasting a few hours, no more. Just so you can fit in 2-3 in the same day if you need to.

Happy Advent







Time for Blossa Glögg Mulled wine

November 18, 2014 | Leave a comment

Every year, Swedish mulled wine makers Blossa come up with a new an exciting flavour. This year’s annual Blossa 2014 glögg is Lavender and comes in a beautiful light purple bottle.

We’ve also now got stock of all the usual ‘Glögg’ mulled wines from Blossa, so do pop by and stock up both in the cafe store and online as well.

To serve Blossa Glogg mulled wine, simply heat gently and serve up in little mugs – with almonds and raisins either in or on the side.

The difference between the Blossa mulled wines:

The red one: Standard Blossa amazingness. 10% alcohol. This is the most popular one.

Green label: Light mulled wine at 2,2% alcohol – but same great taste

Orange label – strong mulled wine, 15% alcohol.

Clear bottles – flavoured with either Cognac or Rum, these are a lot stronger and you do not need very much of it – but a log fire and a cottage in the snow helps to bring out the full ambiance.

Shop for our full range of Glögg online or in our shop in London