Did you ever crave a return to life’s simpler pleasures? After such tumultuous recent times not just for the UK but the entire planet, it is little surprise so many of us are smitten with the concept of Hygge (pronounced hue-gah). Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock on Exmoor, this Danish concept is about embracing a life's simpler, more authentic pleasures.
It’s not exactly revolutionary, we’ll grant you. In fact, we strongly suspect that the South West of England discovered this concept long before the Scandinavians. Let’s face it, throughout history, the Nordic peoples were more interested in skinning animals and planning invasions than getting cosy. Perhaps the West Country version just didn’t catch on as a marketing concept because “bleddy lovely” doesn’t sound as sophisticated as hygge.
So, as an act of good-natured revenge, we thought we’d get our own back with a taste of hygge, Devon style, this winter. Here are some our favourite winter pleasures and creature comforts at Northcote Manor Hotel:
Forget the fancy cocktails. In a steaming cup of mulled wine, or perhaps even a mulled West Country cider, you have hygge in a mug. Even better than a serving is a whole cauldron of the stuff, guaranteed to add good cheer and a healthy "glow" to the cheeks of guests.
Ask anyone who has spent time in our lounge and life’s simple pleasures do not get more homely than a comfy armchair and the warming magic of a real fireplace. With a cup of the aforementioned mulled beverage, nothing needs to be added or taken away.
You can keep your continental fruit teas and fancy pastries this winter. We’ll take some freshly baked scones with clotted cream, jam and a pot of top notch tea. Or perhaps a mince pie or something special, fresh from our oven? Totally hygge; until you get into that whole cream or jam first debate, which is to be avoided at all costs.
Whether it’s sketching the sunset, embroidering something beautiful or tying a salmon fly, old school creativity is deeply Devon and most definitely hygge. Never is this truer than the festive season, which always brings on a mania of home-crafted decorations.
Talking of simple living, who doesn’t sometimes miss the days before everyone could pester you twenty-four-seven? We're pretty sure that mobiles and tablets don't feature on anyone's description of hygge. Even on silent mode, these devices vibrate to deliver messages and updates. Try switching it off for an afternoon. You can always say you were out of signal.
For anyone fed up with a world seemingly designed for those with gnat-like attention spans, a good read is the absorbing, traditional antidote. As for books with a flavour of the West Country, you could dip into a copy of Tarka the Otter, War Horse or perhaps one of Agatha Christie's famous mysteries. Even murder can be hygge when you are sitting comfortably.
A fantastic meal can be the most sociable of pleasures. Perhaps this is why guests love our gourmet breaks and gatherings so much? Or if two is the perfect number for you, a romantic, candle-lit dining is another of life's pure pleasures.
Does anything heighten your feeling of inner cosiness better than a comfortable spot to watch the elements rage outside? Whether it is raining, snowing or kicking up a storm, there is something utterly delightful about being safe, warm and dry.
With an idyllic location, superbly cosy accommodation and the very best in food and hospitality, why not join us for winter breaks with a difference? Northcote Manor Hotel is an authentic taste of West Country living at its best, offering perfect luxury breaks in North Devon. See our offers page for some terrific deals and hotel stay packages for 2017, inlcuding specials such as our highly recommended Devon gourmet breaks and our current late availability offers.