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.


Don’t miss a trick…you can also find me on…

Twitter @MidlifeSmarts



Get Regular Updates

Pop your email in to join the gang & I'll drop you a line when a new post goes live

Follow my blog with Bloglovin



  1. 14 October 2017 / 9:34 am

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

    • 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😊

    • 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!!!

    • 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!!

    • 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!

    • 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!

    • 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.

    • 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

    • 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.

    • 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

    • 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!

    • 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.

    • 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!

    • 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!

    • 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. 🙂

    • 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!!

    • 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. 🙂

    • 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 🙂

    • 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!

    • 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!

    • 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

    • 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.

    • 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!

    • 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:)

    • 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

    • 5 December 2017 / 1:52 pm

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

    • 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.

    • 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!

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 12 February 2018 / 8:01 pm

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *