Essential Ingredients for a Hygge Gathering in Copenhagen

Since moving from Calgary to Copenhagen seven months ago I’ve found myself embracing many Danish staples: trading my bus pass for a bicycle, flats for sneakers, and considerably darkening my wardrobe. However, what I’ve embraced most wholeheartedly has nothing to do with modes of transportation or a newly monochrome closet, it’s the Danish concept of “hygge.” Nearly indefinable in any other language I’ve grown to understand hygge as first and foremost about being cozy. Its intangibility is part of its charm, encompassing a feeling more than a concrete concept. It covers everything from the lighting of candles in the evening and the smell that fills an apartment as you bake on a Sunday, to simply spending time with friends over drinks and stories. I’m a newbie and definitely still learning, but have assembled a list of my essential ingredients to create a cozy Copenhagen gathering wherever you are in the world.  

There is a deliberateness that exists in Copenhagen that is hard to find in other cities. Everything, even the most standard of tasks is done with beauty in mind. Fresh cut flowers, homemade desserts, or handcrafted cocktails are constants at gatherings of friends and family. Simplicity infuses everything and nothing should be overdone. From sustenance to sustainability Copenhagen really is the embodiment of the Scandi ideal everyone’s talking about. From selecting which flowers to bundle together into tiny bouquets, to which drinks or cocktails to serve, everything is done with purpose.   

1 Serving: Fresh Cut Flowers

Wildflowers gathered on a long country bike ride and styled accordingly.

10-20 Servings: Candles

Candles are a necessity even in summer with the long, Scandinavian days. Their warm glow creates a feeling of welcome that can’t be simulated with electric lights.

1 Serving: Homemade Lemon Cake

This succulent cake melts in your mouth, drizzled with lemon and sugar. Dare everyone not to come back for seconds (or thirds in my case).

Handcrafted Drinks

Nothing beats a gin and tonic on a hot summer evening. I’ve been having fun trying different gins this summer. My favourite so far? Jensen’s London Distilled Dry Bermondsey Gin. Full disclosure: a hot summer evening is mostly wishful thinking this summer in Copenhagen, but a girl can dream.