15 April 2010

Holy hygge

If there is something that is ultra Danish, it must be "hygge". Perhaps best translated into "cosiness". If you live in a warm climate, you will probably have your own version with a barbecue and cold drinks with friends, or a good book in a hammock. But in Denmark you must work with and make the best of the cold and the long, dark months, with candles, hot beverages and good food, or whatever rocks your boat. It is about setting the mood, combining as many of your favourite things as possible.

Last night I caught a heavy dose of hygge in Harbo Bar, the local family run joint in my neighbourhood. The girls from the band Er De Sjaeldne performed a mini concert, and the in house cup cake queen had created a special batch for the occasion. Let me tell you... this girl had handmade the bands trademark tiny bird footprints in milk chocolate, on a piece of baking paper, peeling them off one at the time, to decorate the coolest cup cakes I have ever seen. And they fit both the bar, the band and the mood perfectly. I wanted to make a real sound bite for you, but I don't know how to yet, so you will have to make do with the recycled material in the video below. Now imagine we are all hanging out, eating blue cup cakes and listening to dreamy music. That is hygge for you.

Er De Sjaeldne on myspace.


  1. Hygge is what I most like on Denmark and Scandinavia in general. You are very talented in making everything hygge but at the same time stylish, in my opinion.
    I guess you will know the German word "gemütlich" which is similar.
    What does the name of the band mean in English?

  2. hi Ulrike,
    I do think everybody does the hygge, even if we call it by different names. But it is a well defined feeling here, and you can even catch a hygge-high if you know how. The bands name is posed as a question, but without a questionmark, it means "Are They Rare", and it is inspired by birds, as I understand it. If I am wrong maybe someone will read this and set things straight. It has been known to happen. :-)

  3. this looks wonderful. in my experience, from the south of france, we don't have this so much, it seems like a northern thing to me, one of the most attractive too, although i'm not sure i could stand the winter there. the winters are not so cosy in france, as most of houses and apt. are poorly insulated and heated. it's a lot of warm sweaters. but doesn't last long. and then, you're happy if you have a garden to eat out during the warm months.
    love this post, love the cupcakes, and the music.

  4. Ah, it is good to hear that the music and the cup cakes are appreciated. I do suspect we cultivate the idea of being cosy so much because we need to balance out the dark. The French and the Italian have food, though, good food in good company is pretty high quality hygge to me.

  5. yeah we have food and a very specific way to enjoy it. i realized that when i left france. what i took for granted (meal at the table, everybody eats at the same time, this is a time for conversation, a meal is NOT a sandwich etc...) is far from being in use everywhere. i had to adapt, but not too much, i still have some rules.

  6. OMG, they look toxicly good! Great pictures!

  7. Thank you, Sabine!

    Hi Carole,
    I love this comments section! It is really interesting to learn how we do the same things so differently from country to country. I think it is good that you still enforce the French rules a little bit overthere. Dinnertime should be cosy. In Denmark we dont say a prayer before eating, but on the other hand we say thank you in the end of a meal (or are taught to, at least), a custom I know the Italians consider very strange. If a child does not say thank you in the end of a meal here, it is considered bad upbringing.


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