Hygge is the Danish word used to describe the creation of a sense of wellbeing. I personally experienced this for the first time whilst working in Malmö in southern Sweden which, as some may be aware from the brilliant Nordic noir drama, The Bridge, is linked to the city of Copenhagen by the incredible Øresund Bridge.
In early December, I would hop on the train and take the 20 minute journey across the bridge to visit the magical Christmas markets, enjoy the sparkling lights, sample Danish Glogg and take comfort in the warm and convivial ambience in spite of the icy temperatures. Special times.
Copenhagen is a fabulous modern capital city, easy to get around on foot and public transport, with a distinctly innovative dining scene, many of its restaurants focused on New Nordic cuisine.
In 2004, a Danish culinary entrepreneur brought together 12 visionary chefs from across the Nordic region and created the Nordic Kitchen Manifesto, an innovative ten-point guide on purity, season, ethics, health, sustainability and quality to be adhered to when creating menus and dishes.
I hugely admire this concept and highly recommend visits to Noma and Lumskebugten, two restaurants which blew my socks off, as part of a Copenhagen city break.
When I left London for Frinton - a sleepy sea-side town on the north Essex coastline - I was not expecting to find a small patch of Denmark right on my doorstep. I was thrilled to discover Great Danes, a Danish-inspired boutique which owners Mike and Birgitte delightfully describe as 'a gift shop for things that you don't need but can't live without' and they're not wrong!
I was on a last-minute hunt for a fabulous yet practical handbag to accompany me on a work trip to Las Vegas when I first had the pleasure of meeting the charismatic Birgitte and was immediately captivated by her store and became an instant fan.
I’m now on my third pair of Glerups (Danish felted slippers)
I received Georg Jensen candlesticks for my birthday, a designer appointed to the Queen of Denmark
I am blessed with a full stock of every type of Haribo sweet under the sun
We buy a nisse (Danish Christmas gnome) each year to add to our collection
The large wooden map of the world on my office wall is from Great Danes
They have recently unveiled their lovely new space, The Patio, which not only serves as a cosy year-round drinking spot but showcases their beautiful products and perfectly demonstrates hygge at work.
When current restrictions allow, and the weather warms a little, Birgitte has kindly offered me the use of this space to host a regular travel clinic for my fellow Frintonites, which I am very excited about along with working with her to develop the idea.
In the meantime, to celebrate Denmark and all things hygge, holidays booked with me by 31 January 2021 will receive a £10 Great Danes gift voucher in addition to the Shayler perks of complimentary lounge passes and my personal service.