How To Hygge – Scotland Style

How To Hygge – Scotland Style


It’s impossible, between October and March, to spend an aimless hour on Google or pick up a magazine, without coming across some gorgeous Nordic-type telling you how to be more Hygge.

Ah yes, Hygge, I hear you mumble as you try to pronounce it (apparently it’s Hoo-guh – like that helps!)

Isn’t that all about candles and hot chocolate and angora blankets?

Well, sort of.  Roughly translated it’s Danish for feeling cosy contentment from experiencing the simple things of life.  So, basically, we’re talking, sitting in front of log fires, knitting unattractive jumpers and eating fondue (careful you don’t get cheese on your wool).

It’s as if those environmentally friendly, tall, liberal, Helena Christensen lookalikes have a monopoly on getting through winter unscathed.

Well, I’ve got news for those bacon-eating northerners….you’re not the only ones with a strategy to get through long, cold, dark winters. Scots have had their own version of Hygge since The Ice Age.

So here’s how the Scots do Hygge…

1. Hunker Down – which means do not leave your home between November and March unless absolutely necessary. And if you do, your trip should include a visit to a pub

2. Start every conversation withIt’s bloody Baltic

3. If you find yourself anywhere with a real fire – HOG IT. This involves standing in front of it, with your bottom leaning in towards the flames, thus blocking the heat from everyone else in the vicinity. Only move if you feel faint or smell burning.  WARNING DO NOT attempt this if you are a Kardashian or have had any sort of botty implant

4. Hail a taxi at every possible opportunity

5. Bookmark Tesco Home Delivery and Deliveroo. In fact, get the App.

6. Forget Dieting and Don’t eat anything cold for 6 months  That means all fruit is out unless it’s to be found under a crumble topping. Daily staples include porridge, soup, steak pie, potatoes, haggis, Sunday Roast, chilli, bolognese, and stews.  You will put on at least 9lbs – resistance is futile. And don’t forget to make a note in your diary in October to switch from white wine to red. You know it makes sense

7 Work for the council?  Take at least 10 days sick leave.  If not, just crack on as best you can and try and get a few days in Teneriffe

8. Don’t leave home without an umbrella, ideally from Poundland, so you don’t mind when it blows inside out or you lose it (see No 1 ref. Pub)

9. If you are a guy aged 23 or under, ignore rain hail and snow, and on a night out, wear only a t-shirt

10. Avoid anyone with cold or ‘flu symptoms. Just walk away – IMMEDIATELY. It doesn’t matter if its a job interview or your wedding and your husband-to-be is having a coughing fit. JUST LEAVE.   And at the merest hint that you’re coming down with a cold…like you coughed two days ago – make a Hot Toddy – whisky, lemon, honey and hot water. Whisky (not whiskey) cures everything.

11. Own an Ice cream shop? Take 6 months off.

12. Got a dog?   Train Rover to go for a walk alone, dig a hole and bury his own poop.

13. Never Ever Ever EVER KNIT anything. Instead, pop along to Primark, snap up three onesies, with built-in socks, in various autumnal colours, and that’s the A/W wardrobe sorted.

14. Start Christmas around 26th November and stretch it through to 29th December then seamlessly slip into New Year celebrations, which, if you’re good, you’ll be able to spin out until January 10th.  Show face at work for a few days before attending a few Burns Suppers then another couple of days at work in early February should be swiftly followed by a long weekend for St Valentine’s day. And then, hey presto, it’s SPRING

So there you have it – Hygge a la Scotland.

We Scots might not be particularly tall or blonde or have produced many super-models, but hell, we can get through a tough winter, without resorting to fondues and bad jumpers.


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  1. 14 October 2017 / 9:34 am

    This post made me chuckle. I think geordie hygee would be quite similar!!

    • Jill
      14 October 2017 / 9:36 am

      Thanx for reading Rachael. Yes pretty similar outlook I think! x

  2. 14 October 2017 / 10:00 am

    This translates to Ireland extremely well😊 the Hygge guide told me you can’t do it with children which I found a bit isolating!! I had to work it out😊

    • Jill
      14 October 2017 / 10:34 am

      HI thanks for commenting. Yes think the Irish and Scots share a similar outlook to winter ! Nice to ‘meet you’ Jill x

  3. 14 October 2017 / 10:32 am

    Love this Jill! The not leaving home between the months of November and March says it all. Great idea to do a Scottish version of Hoo-guh 🙂

  4. 14 October 2017 / 11:09 am

    Lol! I love this Hygge post! I have read many and this is definitely one of the more refreshingly honest ways to Hygge!!!

    • Jill
      14 October 2017 / 1:58 pm

      Hey Ritu thanks for reading and your lovely comment. I enjoyed writing and actually love winter. Jill x

  5. 14 October 2017 / 11:22 am

    Very like us Orla!!

    • Jill
      14 October 2017 / 11:26 am

      Thanks for reading x

  6. 14 October 2017 / 11:28 am

    Ireland during winter is quite cold & miserable. However, I’m a December baby which I think is the reason why I like winter. Although as I get older my feet get colder! I went to Scotland for a weekend years ago and holy God I nearly died with the cold. (And I was a young one then) I loved it though in many ways. We were staying in a big old farmhouse. Open fire, lost in the big room full of draughts. Lots of hot toddies and cosy throws! Aw….it was lovely!

    • Jill
      14 October 2017 / 12:13 pm

      Hey Gloria, I love winter too. Just as well! And I do love a room full of draughts. I always thought Ireland was similar weather but may be we beat you on the cold front! Thanks for reading and commmenting JIll x

  7. 14 October 2017 / 12:55 pm

    Just love it! That list of winter comfort food has made me crave some form of hearty pie and crumble. I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me!

    • Jill
      14 October 2017 / 1:55 pm

      Hey Candace yes warming food is the best and totally needed in a cold climate. Thanks for reading Jill x

  8. 14 October 2017 / 2:10 pm

    As someone who lives in the North of England, I can certainly relate to a lot of these! But Scotland is most definitely perfect for Hygge. Your post has made me all cosy and I practically salivated at the list of food to eat over winter.

    • Jill
      14 October 2017 / 2:42 pm

      Hi Hayley thanks for reading and commenting. I actually love winter. It’s hibernation time for sure. Jill x

  9. 14 October 2017 / 2:36 pm

    This made me laugh, definetly doing this today, staying in my dressing gown inside all day- it’s not being lazy, it’s being hygge cause I’ve a candle burning

    • Jill
      14 October 2017 / 2:41 pm

      Haha Megan. Yes. Burning a candle gives us a great excuse to chill. Enjoy. Jill x

  10. 14 October 2017 / 2:40 pm

    That is pretty well Hyge in Canada also! Definitely head to the pub – even better if they have even an electric fireplace with big chairs.

    • Jill
      14 October 2017 / 2:43 pm

      Hi Amelia. Thanx for commenting. Big comfy chairs. Pub. Warmth. You can’t beat it! Jill x

  11. 14 October 2017 / 6:13 pm

    Have seen the term Hygge floating around and was wondering what the heck it meant. Now you just clarified it beautifully. Think I should subscribe to this as well. Lovely and well done

    • Jill
      14 October 2017 / 8:08 pm

      Oh thanx for your lovely comments. Jill x

  12. 14 October 2017 / 8:14 pm

    I loved this! I was amused at the pronounciation of Hygge, or Hoo-guh, which reminded me of the pronounciation of ‘nougat’ which I always thought was ‘nugget’ but then found out it was ‘noo-gah’. Anyway, I digress! Your version of Hygge sounds much more fun. I’m off to the pub to hog a roaring fire and stay there until mid-January!

    • Jill
      14 October 2017 / 8:32 pm

      Hey there thanks for your lovely comments. Yes Nougat is a difficult one too! I tend to just mumble when facing a word I am not sure about 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting Jill x

  13. 14 October 2017 / 8:51 pm

    I could do this right now Jill, having a cold and jetlag 🙂 Lovely post.

    • Jill
      14 October 2017 / 8:53 pm

      Hi Suz. Thanks for reading. Get yourself a hot toddy pronto ! And some sleep Jill x

  14. 14 October 2017 / 10:49 pm

    This is hilarious! I read ‘it’s bloody baltic’ in your accent too!

    • Jill
      15 October 2017 / 6:41 am

      Thanks Suzie. I actually do love winter. Jill x

  15. 14 October 2017 / 11:05 pm

    What a fab post! I need to some serious ‘hunker’ downing in a few weeks!

    • Jill
      15 October 2017 / 6:42 am

      Thanks Lucy. Had fun writing it and I actually do like winter . It’s great to connect. Jill x

  16. 14 October 2017 / 11:22 pm

    Oh my gosh! I’ve been doing the Hygge and I didn’t even know it. I always hibernate in the winter. I just can’t handle the cold like I used to. 🙂

    • Jill
      15 October 2017 / 6:40 am

      Hi Lisa getting cosy when it’s cold outside is lovely. I do like winter ❄️ Thanks for reading and commenting Jill x

  17. 15 October 2017 / 4:23 pm

    Thanks for a great explanation…seeing this word more and more I was meaning to find out more!! I LOVE HYGGE and am already a dab hand at some of it!!

    • Jill
      15 October 2017 / 5:27 pm

      Ha! Hi Anna, thanks for reading and commenting. I secretly LOVE winter Jill x

  18. 15 October 2017 / 5:00 pm

    You have given me a craving for meat pies and fruit crumbles. Thoroughly enjoyed this post from the warmest part of Canada (thank God) on sunny Vancouver Island. 🙂

    • Jill
      15 October 2017 / 5:28 pm

      Hey Diana lovely to hear from you. Sounds like a lovely part of Canada – but you can still have Apple Crumble 🙂 Jill x

  19. 15 October 2017 / 6:11 pm

    Now I know what Hygge means and I enjoyed every minute what a great post …I love learning at least one new thing a day and all I will say is Sundowners..I don’t do cold( I escaped) all the clothes I need are flip flops and a cotton dress ( wool) makes me itch…Apple crumble and custard yes, please …and I do 🙂

    • Jill
      15 October 2017 / 6:26 pm

      Hey Carol. Thank you ! Lovely to hear from you and your kind comments. Apple crumble is THE best!! Jill x

  20. Nancy Müller
    19 October 2017 / 12:52 am

    Well, bless you. I just love this approach. I was meant to live in Scotland and hibernate like a grumpy bear. Thank you for the much needed chuckle! Keep writing!

    • Jill
      19 October 2017 / 7:30 am

      Hi Nancy thanks for your funny comment – and for reading. Think we all have a built-in hibernation mode in us. Jill x

  21. Tamsin
    26 October 2017 / 10:43 am

    Omg this is brilliant! Completely spot on. I would add to number 9 that ladies under 23 should go out with without tights and a jacket as well. Should have done enough pre drinking to not feel the cold!

    • Jill
      26 October 2017 / 11:10 am

      Hi Tasmin. Thanx!! And haha yes no tights!! Great to know you enjoyed the read and thanx for commenting. Jill. X

    • Jill
      29 October 2017 / 12:33 pm

      Hi thanks for reading and commenting. I had fun writing this Jill x

  22. 19 November 2017 / 11:29 am

    Hahahah… hilarious…! Im going to try and Hygge Caribbean style and see what I come up with…😉 great reat.

    • Jill
      19 November 2017 / 11:41 am

      Haha. Might be tough in the Caribbean. I’m off to check out your blog now. JIll x

  23. Kelly
    24 November 2017 / 6:16 pm

    Gave me a great laugh….must be the Scottish in me, because I agree – especially about the pub!

    • Jill
      24 November 2017 / 6:18 pm

      Hey Kelly. Thanx for that. It’s definitely hygge weather here today!! Yes there will be some SCOTTISH in you somewhere. 😀. Jill

  24. Pat Gaudreau
    29 November 2017 / 3:00 am

    Just found this…
    As the 1st US generation of 1 parent from Glasgow,the other from Paisley,I thoroughly enjoyed and had a good chuckle from this!
    I remember being given a hot toddy as a kid,definitely,cures what ails you…
    Sadly alcohol and I cant get along so I must just enjoy the phótos:)

    • Jill
      29 November 2017 / 6:45 am

      Hey Pat, I live in Glasgow and Paisley is just down the road! It IS baltic here just now. Thanks for reading and commenting. JIll

  25. 5 December 2017 / 1:49 pm

    Yes! Oh Jill… I laughed so hard, I thought I might burst something. I’m so glad to have discovered you through the Blog, Share, Learn group and I’m rushing through writing this comment because I can’t wait to root through your blog for more gems. Sue

    • Jill
      5 December 2017 / 1:52 pm

      Sue. What a lovely comment to receive on a cold gusty day. Great to meet you. Jill

    • Jill
      5 December 2017 / 2:06 pm

      Hi Shirley lovely to hear from you. I expect you don’t miss the cold and rain too much! Thanks for commenting. Jill

  26. Chantal Renton
    9 January 2018 / 9:31 am

    Absolutely wet meself reading this!! Hit the nail on the head!!

    • Jill
      9 January 2018 / 3:21 pm

      Hey Chantal, lovely to hear from you. You just made my day!! Thanks Jill x

  27. 12 February 2018 / 12:53 pm

    I laughed out loud at #9. What is the deal with dudes an t-shirts even when it’s below zero outside? Nutty. I do like the occasional fresh fruit, even when it’s knee deep in the snow outside, but isn’t almost everything better under a crumble? I enjoyed your suggestions. They made me long to enjoy a pint or a cup of something in Scotland, even if the weather is bad and it’s off season for visiting.

    • Jill
      12 February 2018 / 12:55 pm

      Hey Angela, thanks for your lovely comment. It’s still pretty cold here so I am Hygge-ing until April!! Great to hear you enjoyed and yes, Crumble is the best!! Jill

  28. 12 February 2018 / 3:22 pm

    The advice for the 23 and under male was frequently followed by males in Michigan as well. So, it is international and must be followed!

    • Jill
      12 February 2018 / 3:24 pm

      Hey Cherie, that’s so funny. It can be below zero here and they strut about in t-shirts. Makes me shiver – and not in a good way 🙂 Jill

  29. 12 February 2018 / 5:40 pm

    This post made me smile. 🙂 I think I’d like to move to Scotland for the winter – the Hygge there sounds quite nice! Wonderful post, Jill.

    • Jill
      12 February 2018 / 8:01 pm

      Hey Erin Thanks so much for your lovely comment. It is nice and cosy here in winter but boy, am I ready for spring! Jill

  30. 12 February 2018 / 7:10 pm

    This reminds me of life in Galway! Especially the umbrella part.

    • Jill
      12 February 2018 / 8:01 pm

      Ha! Yes, I think there’s lots of similarities. Thanks for popping by, Jill x

  31. Pam Oakes
    27 June 2018 / 2:46 am

    Love this post. I am an sadly, an American, but having lived in England and raised in Seattle, I can certainly appreciate the crappy weather. I was in Scotland in October and I actually liked the weather, but I really just loved Scotland. My gran was a Scot and for her whisky cured everything. I try to put that in practice as much as possible.

    • Jill
      2 July 2018 / 1:51 pm

      Hey Pam, lovely to hear from you and delighted you enjoyed the post. I secretly like the Scottish climate but I do also like a moan:). Totally agree with your granny’s belief that whisky cures everything. A Hot Toddy will kill a cold in minutes :). Nice to hear from you. JIll

  32. 14 October 2018 / 6:05 pm

    This is actually hilarious!

    • Jill
      14 October 2018 / 8:19 pm

      Thank so much. That’s lovely to hear. X

  33. Evie
    24 November 2018 / 3:11 am

    This may sound a bit weird to you, but I WISH I could have cosy winter experience. I live in the San Francisco area and we just got our first rain since April. Seriously! There’s never a reason to cosy up to a fire and eat comfort foods. In fact, we’re not allowed to have a fire because it could cause a major fire! Also, I think they toss you out of the state if you gain 9lbs. in winter. We should seriously house swap in winter! Regardless, midlife is the same every where for women (being that I’m having hot flashes every other minute, I’d give for regular cold), so I do enjoy your humor and enjoyed your post.

    • Jill
      24 November 2018 / 9:22 am

      Hey Evie, Lovely to hear from you – great to know you enjoyed. I would love a longer, warmer summer – but I do secretly like the cold winter weather. A house swap would be amazing – just like the movie The Holidays!! Jill x

  34. 25 November 2018 / 6:33 pm

    Haha! I stumbled across your blog white by accident and this made me laugh. Nice to see another way to do hygge. I’m on the east coast of Canada and you bet we have long winters. Last year I had friends visit and it snowed on our way to see a lighthouse. It was… wait for it…. MAY. I kid you not. I’m already getting the heebie jeebies from the short days. Also, I’m short (very short) and totally not Nordic model material, but hey, let’s hygge Canadian style too! Haha! Thanks for another perspective.

    • Jill
      26 November 2018 / 12:42 pm

      Hi Grace. Lovely to hear from you and delighted you enjoyed the read. Sadly I’ve never been to Canada but have heard the winters are tough – but snow in May is beyond reasonable! The best thing about long winters is it gives us all an excuse to eat big hearty meals. All the best. Jillx

  35. 18 January 2019 / 12:25 am

    Jill, this was hilarious. AND I’d so much prefer the Scottish food and bevvies whilst lounging about in my onesie! I can whip up a batch of Aberdeen Butteries for us!

    • Jill
      18 January 2019 / 7:36 am

      Oh I do LOVE an Aberdeen Buttery. Perfect for a bit of Hygge 🙂 Thanks for your comment – made my day. Jill

  36. Susan
    29 January 2019 / 10:56 pm

    This made me laugh so hard! I’m a southern gal from the states and I’m so intrigued with this whole “hygge” hype! Thanks for the Scottish insight. Good stuff! 🙂

    • Jill
      30 January 2019 / 7:14 am

      Oh that’s so lovely to hear. It’s midwinter here so I am Hygge-ing as best I can 🙂 Have a good day. Jillx

      • Susan
        2 February 2019 / 12:04 am

        This made me smile! I live in Montana, so I’ll do whatever it takes to get through each winter. Suggestions always welcomed❄️

        • Jill
          2 February 2019 / 8:30 am

          Hey Susan. Thanks for your lovely comment. Cosy in over there in Montana – Spring is coming !! Jill

  37. Shelli
    1 September 2019 / 9:50 pm

    Thanks for posting this Jill. I’ve been trying to get more hygee in my life but it’s clear after reading this that I’ve absolutely nailed it Scotland style. My work here is done. Il sleep easy tonight. Xx

    • Jill
      2 September 2019 / 8:08 am

      Hey Shelli – so good to hear you like Hygge the Scotland way! It’s almost Hygge time again here so I’ll be looking out my wooly jumpers shortly. Thanks for taking time to read and comment. Jill x

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