I’m a summer baby and I love warm, sunny weather the most (that must be down to my Italian blood!), but I have to admit, autumn and winter are times that I look forward to for so many reasons. After my August birthday, I always feel a little sad to say goodbye to summer for another year, yet the prospect of autumn just around the corner puts a different spring in my step.
There’s just something wonderful about crisp, chilly mornings and crunchy leaves; all the autumnal colours changing around us; and the atmosphere of the festivities of the latter half of the year… Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas. In Denmark, they call it hygge – and I love it!
So, as the seasons change, here are some of the things I’m most excited about this autumn and some ideas for you to add some hygge to your life. Let the season of hygge begin…
Twinkling candles add a warmth and glow to cooler, darker evenings. They create a cosy atmosphere in an instant, and scented candles give a little added extra by bringing your sense of smell to life. Think warm and spicy cinnamon, and sweet, comforting toffee apple. Autumnal fragrances are so comforting and homely, making you feel like you’re wrapped up in a big, warm blanket of hygge! I’m excited to light my new Cinnamon Pumpkin and Hello Autumn candles any day now.
Check out Yr Studio on Etsy for a range of delicious scented candles to create your perfect atmospheric glow.
Pumpkin spice everything
What is it about pumpkin spice?! I can’t resist it. Roll on the pumpkin spice lattes, candles, bath bombs and more. Gone are the days when pumpkins were just a bit of Halloween fun in October. Now, they offer so much more throughout the autumn months – interior design accessories, hearty soups, scrumptious desserts, delicious scents, and the good old Jack-O-Lantern.
Have you tried the Lush Punkin’ Pumpkin bath bombs yet?
Scarves, bobble hats and chunky knits
As a girl who really feels the cold(!), I’m a huge fan of autumn and winter clothes. It’s always a joy to dig out the chunky coats, cosy knits, snug bobble hats and thick scarves in favour of summer styles. Layering up is the way forward from October onwards. I have far too many hats and scarves already, but adding a couple more to the collection can’t hurt! This year I’ve gone for warm, rich berry shades to add to that autumnal feel. Wrapping up warm in all my favourite winter clothes means the festive season is on it’s way, bringing cosy nights in and chilly days out.
Crackling logs and bonfires
Bonfire night is one of my favourites for that hint of hygge! Nothing quite compares to the crackle of a bonfire or the comforting warmth of a log fire on a cold night. The warmth and glow of a fire creates a focal point for gatherings with loved ones and an unrivalled cosy atmosphere. Combined with snuggly blankets, chunky socks, hot drinks, toasted marshmallows, cuddles with the dog and flickering candles; surely this is the definition of hygge!
Every year, there’s a great free firework display at Caerphilly Castle, but I’m on the lookout for somewhere with a crackling bonfire this year too (hot soup and toasted marshmallows would be a bonus!) – Any suggestions?
Colourful dog walks
The changing colours of the trees and the crunch of leaves under foot during autumn makes for extra enchanting walks with my furry friend. Wrapping up warm and getting out into nature is refreshing in every way. I love to see the landscape transforming through the autumn months, and feel the power of nature as my breath mists up in front of me and the wind blows out the cobwebs. And returning home to thaw out after a frosty adventure only makes you appreciate hygge even more!
There are lovely autumnal walks near Castell Coch or through the oak forests near Sugar Loaf mountain, where you can warm up with coffee and cake at the lovely Sugar Loaf Vineyard afterwards. Or take a trip a little further afield to Westonbirt National Arboretum to see autumn in all it’s splendour!
Get togethers with family and friends
There’s no better feeling than being cosy and warm indoors with all your favourite people, while the autumn weather whips up outside and the winter chill starts to creep in. It warms the soul to enjoy hearty meals with your loved ones, especially if it involves pumpkins, spices, candles and fires! Cosy gatherings should always involve good food and drink to compliment good company – it’s all central to the hygge lifestyle and I embrace it. Throw in a classic board game for good measure and it’s a recipe for making great memories!
Butternut squash and Gorgonzola risotto is one of our favourite crowd-pleasers. I can feel a recipe blog coming on…
Sweet treats and baking
Talking of recipes, I can’t neglect the sweet treats and bakes with flavours that go hand-in-hand with autumn. Everyone who knows me knows I have a sweet tooth, and at this time of year, I love to indulge in rhubarb and cinnamon cake, chocolate orange cookies, bonfire brownies, homemade blackberry jam, cinnamon buns, gingerbread, spicy rock buns and sticky toffee pudding. These treats are ideal for warming you from inside on a cold autumn day, and the smell of freshly baked goods adds extra hygge to any home. Look out for some of my favourite recipes coming soon…
This autumn, why not take a trip to a blackberry picking hot-spot and collect berries to make your very own jam? It’s surprisingly easy and there’s a lot of satisfaction in eating toast with your own homemade jam for breakfast!
Snuggle up with a good book
Reading is something that I love, yet always struggle to find time for in my busy life. But when the nights draw in and the urge to go out into the cold evening diminishes, snuggling up with a good book, a hot chocolate and a cosy blanket by the fire is the perfect evening for me. Books are an escape to a whole new world and I’m looking forward to some of my autumn adventures this year. My reading list this autumn includes Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, and The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse, among many others.
You could even learn all about hygge with The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking!
So, as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, take some time to appreciate autumn for the wonderful season that it is, and add some hygge to your life!