There’s times in January when you can imagine the unrelenting winter lasting forever, the sunny autumn days are a distant memory and spring seems all too far. The way we see it, you’ve got two options: sit forlornly gazing outside at the insistent rain/sleet/snow (delete where appropriate), rattling trees and unforeboding skies – or, embrace it. Revel in the punishing cold, get to work on a warming stew and curl up underneath a luxurious throw – relaxing with family, friends and loved ones. The Danes call it hygge, there’s no direct English translation, but a glance through the images in this post should set you on the right footing.
Thing is, modern living means that the hallmarks of winter comfort are a thing of fantasy for most – open log fires are rare in city centre apartments – so for many, a little travel can bestow this true coming in from the cold environment. Switzerland, Austria, Finland and, of course, Denmark are natural bedfellows of the hygge concept – but there’s plenty to be had on our own fair shores, giving you extra sustainability brownie points by saving a few air miles.
Whisper it, but an attractive proposition is a cottage rental. Yes, traditionally a stronghold of dripping wet Border Collies, Waitrose hampers and gingham bedsheets, there’s been somewhat of a silent renaissance in the world of the cottage let in recent years – roll top baths, contemporary furnishings and bags of rustic charm can be found where pine once ruled.
With some 3,500 personally-inspected getaways, Sykes Cottages prove the changing face of short holiday lets. Established staples of The Lake District and Shropshire are now accompanied by elegant city properties such as the beautiful 5 Bellevue Crescent, a Georgian terrace on Edinburgh’s iconic sweeping streets – whilst deceptive stone cottages shield the surprisingly modern appearances within. Either way, old or new, as you battle the icy wind and long for the warmth and indulgence of Christmas once again – coming in from the cold never looked so good.