An insider’s guide to nailing hygge season

An insider’s guide to nailing hygge season | Soho House

What does ‘hygge’ actually look like? Our Soho House Copenhagen team define what the Danish way of life means to them

Monday 28 November 2022  By Soho House

Denmark is known as the nation of happiness – a country that has it all figured out when it comes to prioritising the wellbeing of its people and the environment. Between nailing a healthy work/life balance, leading the charge for sustainability and providing free education for all (you actually get paid to study at university there), it’s safe to say that Denmark is a western utopia. Perhaps that’s why the rest of us are so keen on adopting the Danish way of life – starting with the concept of ‘hygge.’

You’ll have heard the term before, with books, articles and even TV shows exploring Denmark’s secret ingredient to happiness. But what exactly does it mean and, more importantly, how is it achieved? 

Pronounced ‘hoo-geh’, the cultural word loosely translates to a feeling of cosiness and togetherness that can be experienced in a multitude of ways. In fact, most Danes will have their own idea of what ‘hygge’ looks like to them. From lighting a scented candle during a Sunday night Netflix binge to catching up with a friend over a cup of coffee at Soho House Copenhagen, hygge is anything and everything that makes you feel a sense of warmth, intimacy and rusticity – at times, all at once. 

This December, we’re practising the art of hygge more than ever, with a series of festive events at our Danish House, each allowing members to associate the word with comforting new memories of their own – be it baking, making a floral wreath, learning how to knit or sipping on mulled wine with the people we love. 

But ultimately, the beauty of hygge lies in the ways we can incorporate it into our everyday lives, however big or small. Here, our team at Soho House Copenhagen describe what ‘hygge’ looks like to them. 

An insider’s guide to nailing hygge season | Soho House

Nikoolaj Tamakloe – General Manager, Soho House Copenhagen 

‘For me, hygge is a state of mind, a feeling that you have alone or with others. It often happens with friends where you have a cosy moment at a restaurant, in a bar, in the woods, at a fireplace or on a walk in the snow. It’s the warm feeling of being with good people and in nice surroundings. It is also often something that you express and have a common understanding of as a Dane. The particular moment or setting is described as “hyggelig”. So, for me it’s a state of mind.’ 

An insider’s guide to nailing hygge season | Soho House

Hattie Turner – Membership Manager, Soho House Copenhagen 

‘To me, hygge is so intrinsic to life in Copenhagen (and Denmark). It’s the way we get through the harsh winter with warmth, it’s glogg (mulled wine), holiday markets at Kongens Nytorv and Nyhavn (just around the corner from Soho House Copenhagen), and the festive lights across the city from mid-November that brighten up the descending dark at 4pm. It’s getting cosy with hot drinks, candlelit dinners with friends and family, and taking time to rest and restore ahead of the long summer days of parties, swimming and sunbathing.’ 

An insider’s guide to nailing hygge season | Soho House

Sagal Mohammed – Content Editor, UK, EU and ROW, Soho House

‘For me, “hygge” is the magic in life’s little things. Lighting a candle on a dark winter morning and listening to your favourite podcast as you do your make-up, going for weekend walks to the local bakery, or sitting by a lake with a group of friends and a bottle of wine on a warm summer’s night. Sometimes, it’s as simple as curling up on your sofa with a blanket, or getting into bed with a good book. These are all things that bring “hygge” into my life and, while they may seem simple, this type of mindfulness works wonders for your overall wellbeing, and a sense of appreciation for your life and the people around you.’