How To Have A Very Cosy Sussex Hygge

I’m a huge hygge fan. If there’s one thing that brightens up autumn and winter, it’s a dose of feeling cosy, eating all the treats and feeling a sense of wellbeing – especially when it’s cold and miserable outside. I feel like I need hygge max this year with everything that’s going on. Which is why I’m planning to spend AW20 tucked up at home having myself a very Sussex hygge. Maybe you need a big old dollop of Sussex hygge too? Read on for inspiration…

Fresh air!

Beautiful South Downs in December

To appreciate cosy, first, you have to feel the benefit. Which means getting outside for some fresh air.

If there’s one thing the Scandinavians do way better than us, it’s outdoor wear. A decent coat makes winter fresh air so much more enjoyable. I’m planning to invest this year. Because getting an airing in winter is an absolute must. Soaking in milky vitamin D while there’s some sun or jumping in puddles is always good for the soul. It’s the key to happier winter days. And an enjoyable cold, damp walk followed by a cosy film and hot chocolate is my hygge happy.

Getting Out & About

I’m hoping to spend weekends at our local National Trust gardens, heading over to Leonardslee, looking at the sea, rambling around local walks, getting the girls out and about as much as possible. Now they’re bigger, we’re able to take them for (slightly) longer walks. I’m very excited to be trying out This Way Maps Brighton to Lewes route at some point.

📸 Image Credit: Curtis James | Find Curtis @oswald808 on Insta

If you’re looking for inspiration for hikes, definitely check out This Way – they’re not based in Sussex but offer a Sussex map subscription service for monthly walks. You can even contribute a hike to their brand new magazine Donated Hikes – a collection of walks and local knowledge from hikers across the UK.

During the Covid-19 lockdown we realised many of us got to know our local landscapes better than ever. This zine aims to capture this local knowledge, share it so we can dream about places we may not be able to visit, and inspire future trips and new adventures.

This Way Maps

Candles

Hygge is synonymous with candles. The Danes are crazy for candles and creating a cosy vibe by candlelight. They buy the most candles per population head than ANY country. In all the books I’ve read about hygge – (many) – getting a room’s lighting on point is key to setting an authentic hygge mood.

If you’re looking to support local and fancy treating yourself to new candles for autumn, look no further than Scented Home Candle Co. Becky hand pours these divine eco soy candles in her ultra pretty country pad over in Cuckfield.

Seasonal hand poured candle from The Scented Home Candle Co – how very Sussex hygge!

There are 10 natural fragrance blends to choose between with some gorgeous hygge options. Woodland Walk and Luscious Vanilla are perfect for creating a cosy autumnal vibe at home. If spicy winter smells are more your bag, check out Winter Spice or Festive Tree. Candles are poured into amber apothecary glass jars, which give off a beautiful glow when lit. And who doesn’t want a candle that conjures cosy, makes your house smell incredible and sets the mood for some serious hygge business?

Candles start at £8.50 for mini jars, £12.50 for standard jars, £30 for a mini hygge set and £45 for a full size hygge gift set.

Scented Home Candle Co

Cosy drinks

Whether it’s a decent coffee, mug of creamy hot chocolate or mulled wine – sharing a warm, cosy drink with a friend or loved one is all part of the hygge. In fact, The Little Book of Hygge states that hot drinks are a crucial part of hygge culture – otherwise referred to as kaffehygge.

We’ve got some brilliant local brands when it comes to coffee, tea, hot chocs and wine in Sussex. These are my go-tos for indulgent treats.

Coffee

We’re proper coffee snobs chez SB&F. My favourite brand and blend? I’d struggle to choose between Lindfield Coffee Works and Back Yard Coffee over in Ditchling. You can’t go wrong with a bag of beans from either. And you’re not just supporting local, you’re supporting a sustainable supply chain too. It’s ALL good.

Back Yard Coffee

Lindfield Coffee Works

Tea

I’m not sure how I ever got through winter evenings without sticky chai – well, I do, in my 20s aux pub; and my early 30s avec gin – but times have changed and sticky chai has been our go to winter drink for the past 2 or 3 years now. Sticky chai is a sweet, moorish spiced blend of tea steeped in milk or your preferred mylk. And milky spiced tea is exactly what hygge calls for. A slower, more exotic and ceremonial brew than the traditional British dunk-a-bag-in-it cuppa. It’s to be savoured and enjoyed, preferably with gingerbread biscuits during a raging storm in front of a fire. Cosy evening perfection.

Looking for chai? Bird & Blend sticky chais are dreamy. You’ll find one of their cute glass kilner jars atop our kitchen counter till spring.

Bird & Blend Co Sticky Chais

Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate season is upon us! And who doesn’t love a mug of hot choc to make a grey day better? We’re huge fans of Cocoa Loco’s hot chocolate flakes and spoons. We used to love popping into their Horsham shop for hot chocs and sides of buttons. Since they’ve closed the shop, chocolate flakes and bags of buttons at home are the closest we’ll get. The online shop is full of amazing organic chocolate treats and worth a browse. If you’re a chocolate biscuit lover – stick a bag of their dark chocolate cookies on your order. They’re next level delicious 🤤.

Cocoa Loco

Glogg

Glogg, a.k.a. mulled wine isn’t just for Xmas over in Denmark. It’s an all-round winter warmer. And why not, eh? I say crack on with the mulled wine (or apple juice) early this year in the name of getting authentically hygge or just as an excuse to drink wine and make the house smell lush during lockdown.

Vino

I don’t often talk wine, because I haven’t been a drinker for over 2.5 years. However, I appreciate that for most of you a cosy evening in is nothing without a glass of red, white or bubbles. In the name of supporting local, Albourne Estate offer a range of excellent wines (I know, I used to drink them in the New Inn 😉). And if you fancy winning a bottle of Blanc de Noire, head over to my Instagram page to enter the giveaway!

Albourne Estate

Comfort Food & Fires

I reckon we’d give the Danes a run for their money with our fondness for rich, comfort food here in old Blighty. Pies, creamy mash, crumble and custard, mac and cheese, roasts, sticky toffee pudding…. If you’re looking for easy family-pleasing weekend dinners, Rushfields in Poynings is the place to head for award-winning pies and treats.

And what’s a cosy supper at home without a fire?

We always sling a couple of bags of logs from Rushfields into the boot on the way out. The olive wood ones are especially good – slow burning and fragrant.

Rushfields

Sending cosy vibes to you and your families this year ✨.

Hot Chocolate Guide

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