Hygge (hoo-gah) is a hot topic at the moment – the Danish solution to beating the winter blues by swaddling ourselves in cosy blankets and enjoying hot chocolate with friends.
Herefordshire is already ahead in the hygge stakes (if you’ll pardon the pun) as we’ve spotted Herefordshire beef stew on Danish menus in several hygge restaurants. You can read more about hygge in our blog, but we decided to find out where in Herefordshire and its neighbouring counties you could find a local version of hygge?
First stop is Hus & Hem in Ledbury, a shop describing itself as a smorgasbord of Scandinavian design.
Amongst the many delights on offer are Hygge Scented Candles. Apparently, you can capture the smell of cosiness with a blend of tea, strawberry shortcake, rose petals and wild mint.
Holling Grange Cottages in Abbey Dore was recently cited in The Independent as one of the top ten hygge retreats in the UK.
All Farrow and Ball and White Company, this glorious barn conversion is the perfect bolt hole for a winter weekend.
The New Inn at Brilley, a rather lovely little B&B, is given an honourable mention by Alistair Sawday as the ultimate in hygge for anyone new to the concept.
Sofood, a Shropshire catering company, have put together their top ten hygge recipes on their website including Pumpkin Pie, Harvest Stew With Smoked Sausage and Roasted Autumn Veg and Rocotta Pizza to name but three.
Olive Magazine named The Whitebrook Restaurant in Monmouthshire recently as a must-visit place for foodies with a thing for hygge. Complete with Michelin Star, it makes a huge deal about sourcing food locally including some interesting foraged hedgerow herbs.
All you really need to know is that they offer hygge weekends where you can indulge yourself with long walks in the country and evenings wrapped in a blanket enjoying their vast open fire.
Herefordshire is reknowned for its cider industry – from the giant that is Bulmers down to small artisan makers like Oliver’s.
There’s nothing more hygge than mulled cider so here’s a great recipe you can try at home for your own half pint of hygge.
Incredible Mulled Cider
- 2 litres good-quality traditional cider
- 6 cloves
- 3-4 star anise
- ¼ nutmeg , finely grated into the pan
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla pod , halved
- 1 orange , juice of
- 2 clementines , juice of
- 1 pomegranate , juice and seeds of
- 4–5 tablespoons caster sugar
- Pour the cider into a large pan on a low heat and let it warm through for a few minutes. Add all the spices and juices and turn the heat up. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and leave to tick away for 5–8 minutes.
- As everything infuses you’ll get delicious layers of flavour. Taste it and add sugar as you like. You don’t want it sweet; you just want the sugar to join the spices in a harmonious taste. When you’re happy with the flavours, ladle into glasses or mugs and serve warm.