How to hygge

Let September Withers show you how to embrace the Scandinavian way of living that’s all the rage, and perfect for making you cosier this winter.

Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a Danish word used to acknowledge a feeling or moment. From enjoying a cosy evening with friends and family to eating and drinking by the warm glow of candlelight, hygge is a Scandinavian concept that encourages us to embrace the small pleasures in life, allowing us to be that little bit kinder to ourselves. So add a dash of hygge to your weekend with these fun activities from across the network.

Movie nights

What better way to channel some serious hygge than to spend an evening with a film? Trips to the cinema are such a treat and the following venues offer visitors an extra-special movie experience.

The Little Theatre Cinema in Bath was built in 1935 and originally functioned as a news theatre, showing hourly programmes of documentaries and newsreels. Nowadays this charming and intimate vintage cinema shows a selection of independent and arthouse movies as well as the latest blockbusters.

Chapter in Cardiff is one of Europe’s largest arts centres with over 60 cultural spaces, including theatres, exhibition rooms, studios, cafés and of course cinemas. Chapter shows old black and white movies, non-mainstream films and even has sing-along shows in its programme for those who love their musicals.

The Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley, London, is an independent single-screen cinema which was first opened in 1912. With its neon-lit street sign and old-time movie house atmosphere, this place is a real gem.

Dinner by candlelight

These properly romantic restaurants offer food and drink by candlelight at all hours of the day. Take some time out and let someone else do the cooking for a change.

Gordon’s Wine Bar in London is the oldest wine bar in the city, first established in 1890. The atmosphere is wonderful, the wine exceptional, the cheese and bread platters perfection.

Just 200 metres from Windsor Castle sits A la Russe, bringing a touch of je ne sais quoi (read: modern French and world cuisine) to this beautiful town just west of London. Enjoy sumptuous fish, mouthwatering steaks, delicious buttered vegetables and much more at this low-lit bistro. Booking ahead is recommended.

In the coastal town of Brighton, situated in the area known as the Lanes, is Riddle & Finns Champagne and Oyster Bar. The food here is glorious, enjoyed in a cosy and elegant setting with side-by-side seating and tables dressed with candelabras. This place is a hygge haven for seafood lovers.

Cosy cup of coffee

Going to a cosy café for a steaming cup of something nice is SO hygge. Take a step into one of these coffee shop hideaways and relax for an hour or two.

With their rustic wooden benches, beautiful cake counter and shelves lined with delicious deli treats, Picnic Cornwall in Falmouth offers a light and airy space for those in need of a moment’s peace.

The Well Walk Tea Room in Cheltenham is a quintessentially British and fantastically quirky place. Let’s start by describing the décor… think Alice in Wonderland meets The Old Curiosity Shop and you’re almost there.

Tucked away in Bath’s cobbled Abbey Green is The Foodie Bugle Shop, a gorgeous place selling artisan food and drink, with homewares on sale too. With its big bay windows beaming over the courtyard and tables offering customers a view of the street outside, you’ll be forgiven for losing all sense of time while here.

Jazz music for the soul

There’s something about an evening spent listening to music that makes you feel like it’s doing you the world of good. You can invest in some musical mindfulness by attending at least one of the Jazz at St Giles nights in Oxford this year. From September through to December, the jazz evenings return for a fifth season which will see musicians with international reputations performing in St Giles Church in Oxford city centre.

If you’ve never been to a jazz club but imagined what one might look like, The 606 Club in Chelsea, London likely fits the picture you had in mind. Gather your friends for an evening of great jazz, and for those feeling peckish, a dinner menu is available to order from too.

Situated on Bristol’s cobbled King Street is The Old Duke, a lively pub with one hell of a reputation for its traditional, New Orleans-inspired jazz music. Weekends can get quite busy here but with plenty of benches and seating outside, you may find yourself spilling out onto the paved area before you know it.

Get crafty

If it feels as though the only thing your hands have been doing lately is picking up your phone, typing emails or swiping through your social media feeds then why not spend an afternoon making arts and crafts instead?

From designing your own blingy mermaid crown or unicorn piñata, to knitting a necklace or stitching your very own nipple tassels (yes, nipple tassels), it’s fair to say Drink, Shop & Do in London’s King’s Cross does crafting with a twist. A café by day and a bar by night, this gaff is the ultimate ‘anything goes’ venue.

It’s also a supercool place with tea, coffee and cocktails on offer as well as pastries, cakes, sandwiches and more to help keep up your strength while you get busy making things.

You literally can’t miss The Painting Pottery Café in Brighton. It’s the bright green and purple building on North Road. Here’s how it works: you choose from over 200 different pottery items ranging in price; you spend a fun few hours painting your ceramic however you like; your masterpiece is glazed and fired for you; a couple of days later you pick up your work of art. Pretty cool, huh?

Make at 140 Vauxhall St in Plymouth is a creative space that encourages visitors to get crafty using their own materials or those available at the workshop. There are lots of courses on offer that will teach you how to make a skirt, cushion or patchwork quilt, and better yet, there’s a café on the premises too.