At this time of year, as the days shorten and the temperature drops, it’s time to nurture yourself and your loved ones, enhance wellbeing, create cosiness in your immediate surroundings and enjoy the intimacy this can bring with those around you. The Danes have a term for this -‘Hygge’, pronounced Hoo-ga – but it’s something we can all enjoy as winter casts its spell.

At the heart of Hygge are small social gatherings, informal and easy, spending quality time with close friends in a warm environment. From a casual supper to a short break away it’s about presence, being in the moment with your friends or loved ones.

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Food plays a key role in Hygge. It can be savouring a treat, a coffee or that exquisite slice of cake that beckons, but it’s also about taking time to cook, allowing space to create dishes and meals from fresh ingredients for everyone to sit together and enjoy. Too often food is rushed and prepackaged, Hygge urges us to slow down.

Comfort and textiles feature heavily. Pack your softest, cosiest jumper, wrap yourself up in the snuggest blanket and curl up to read a book on a sofa with rich, soft furnishings. It’s about details and warmth.

In all these activities mindfulness is core. Getting away from things, turning off your phone and leaving the demands of work or others behind you. Be present in the moment.

Skene House always has Hygge appeal. It offers cosy home from home accommodation, well equipped kitchens in each apartment in which to cook proper meals for friends or family. Fresh breakfast served every morning. Indulgent living rooms with sofas and armchairs to cosy up in. Romantic duplexes to escape with a loved one, or three bedroom apartments for family time or a gentle weekend away with good friends. On a crisp winter’s evening escape to Whitehall’s two gardens with lanterns swaying in the breeze, lighting up the night sky, savour a hot chocolate and breathe in the crisp air. Leave the concerns of the working week behind with a short break that revitalises and revives.

If exploring Hygge appeals to your nature here are Skene House Hotel Apartment’s recommendations on the best places to slow down in the Granite City.

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee – Savouring a rich cup of tea or coffee is one of life’s simple pleasures. Macbeans on Little Belmont Street is a delightful little shop big on beans and bags if you wish to select your own roast or tea. Alternatively indulge in good coffee and excellent food at Food Story on Thistle Street, or meet up in the Skene House lounges for complimentary tea and coffee in relaxed surroundings. www.macbeans.com www.foodstorycafe.co.uk

Taking Time over Food – Prepare home cooked food in the comfort of your own Skene House kitchen, but Hygge doesn’t necessarily mean staying in. Aberdeen is renowned for quality restaurants with a passion for food and a gentle ambience. Gather your friends at Moonfish Cafe on Correction Wynd or Cafe 52 on the Green for an intimate meal in convivial surroundings. www.moonfishcafe.co.uk www.cafe52.net

Engage the Senses – From a scented tea-light to a rich indulgent perfumed candle, light and scent play a key role in Hygge. In close proximity in Aberdeen venture between Jo Malone, John Lewis and Yankee Candle to satisfy your candle curiosity.

Cosy Up – Aberdeen has multiple shopping opportunities to find that perfect winter jumper.
For the ultimate luxury take a drive north to Johnston’s of Elgin for a cashmere treat. For tartans and tweeds spend a little time in Alex Scott (Kiltmakers) on Schoolhill. To browse soft furnishings and interiors visit Annie Mo’s on Union Street, or drop by Teasel and Tweed on Rosemount Viaduct for home furnishings, furniture and accessories as well as an excellent cafe.
www.anniemos.com www.johnstonscashmere.com www.kiltmakers.co.uk/index.php

Embrace Nature – Taking a bracing walk along the seafront or a gentle ramble into the forest is an example of taking pleasure from the simple things in life. Aberdeen beach stretches for miles: golden sand and blustery windswept joy. Or disappear to Tyrebagger Forest just outside the city to discover sculptures amidst the trees. www.scotland.forestry.gov.uk/visit/tyrebagger

Find a Retreat – Skene House Apartment Hotels provide all the space and comfort you need for a relaxed Hygge stay. Spacious fully equipped kitchens, homely lounges and multiple separate twin or double bedrooms, everyone can come together and enjoy the long nights and crisp days. Spend time with the children, spend time with friends or spend time with each other. Find out more about our hygge weekend offer at +44 1224 659 392 or email reservations@skene-house.co.uk.

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