It is just after 10am Sunday morning in Kerala, as I type this. Maybe because brunch is associated with late Sunday mornings, or maybe because I just read Jocelyn’s post (or maybe both) my mind is wandering in the direction of food experience. While we have had (and hosted) many a fine brunch in Kerala at the moment my brunch-thinking has drifted to Copenhagen. You do not need to speak Danish to sense the hygge in the image above, or to want to experience it in the space pictured below.
If you need a primer on hygge, the best place to find it is this article just published in the Guardian, which also happens to be how my attention was brought to Wulff & Konstali:
…“Hygge is when you treat yourself, it’s not that healthy, but it’s good food,” Agnete says.
“We are very proud of this word hygge,” Poul adds. “Everybody has a little laugh when you say hygge.”
This is strikingly true. Throughout the day, everyone I mention hygge to breaks into a broad smile. Danes talk about hygge the way Italians talk about food. This might be why in his book Wiking, the chief executive of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, proposes it as “the overlooked ingredient in the recipe for Danish happiness”. It is, he writes, along with the social equality and life security born of the welfare model, the reason why Danes are ranked as the world’s most contented people in surveys year after year.
Places like Wulff & Konstali and Bang & Jensen have perfected the art of providing hygge-to-order for busy Copenhageners, making the city arguably the best place for foreigners to experience this particular brand of laidback informal homeliness.
Otherwise, hygge largely happens behind closed doors, accessible only to foreigners lucky enough to know a patient and welcoming Dane.
Hygge is perhaps most associated with hunkering down with cocoa and candlelight on a cold and rainy evening, but it can also be the gentle good time of a summer bicycle ride.
Whatever it is, as I sit soaking in the sun in Amager, I am painfully conscious that I’m not feeling it.
The brunch, probably the most Instagrammed in the city, is wonderful – bacon, egg, porridge, fruit and other goodies all arranged in little ceramic bowls on a wooden plank. But my mind is racing about where to go next. I’m not relaxing, and I’m alone.
According to Agnete, hygge is not an easy state to achieve, and difficult, if not impossible, to have by yourself. “There’s a lot of work behind hygge, you have to think about it, and you have to agree what’s hygge for everybody,” she says….