Hygge at Home in Newport — Week 1

Midtown Oyster Bar

Hygge at Home in Newport is a weekly column celebrating comfortable, calm, and charming indoor experiences. Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a Danish word that translates to “the quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” While the concept of hygge is immaterial and a bit subjective, we’ll be offering recommendations for products, music, shows/films, books, food/drinks, and unplugged activities that inspire delight, coziness, and presence through this winter at home.

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Several years ago, I read a book called The Year Of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country by British writer Helen Russell. While her story is an entertaining firsthand account about culture shock as Russell and her husband relocate to rural Denmark from London, the book offers up a unique perspective on the concept of “hygge,” a word that’s recently enjoyed a ton of buzz here in America. In sum, Russell discovers that hygge – the hard-to-define feeling of slowing down, enjoying beautiful and comfortable indoor spaces, and appreciating the coziness and warmth of being in the company of your loved ones – is crucial to getting through a cold, dark winter and the key to this Nordic country’s consistent ranking as one of the happiest places in the world.

As winter sets in here in New England during this most challenging of years, one thing we can all be sure of is that we’re going to continue to spend a lot of time inside our homes. Probably a lot more time than we would prefer to. To make the long months ahead easier to endure, we could all benefit from embracing the idea of hygge and figuring out how to create an extra feeling of conviviality and wellness within our homes.

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We look forward to offering you ideas and inspirations for making your indoor spaces and experiences more enjoyable, comfortable and cozy during the months ahead. Want to share how you’re creating hygge at home? We’d love to see it. Just tag us @whatsupnewp #whatsuphygge.

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TO SHOP.

Five local-sourced products that are making me feel the hygge at home this week:

  1. This comfy sweatshirt from Mend.
  2. These Katahdin hair sheep throw blankets from Windmist Farm. I love the cozy texture, and they make great accents to a couch, chair or foot of the bed.
  3. This antique chest I picked up from a garage sale hosted by local urban forager and jewelry maker Harvesting Little Things this summer. Give her a follow for some interior design inspiration.
  4. This Wassail wine spices packet from Newport History Museum. Mulled wine is a Scandinavian winter/holiday tradition (they call it gløgg).
  5. This candle from Shore Creative that you still have a chance to win in this Island Wellness Center Giveaway:

TO WATCH.

The Mandalorian is worth a Disney+ subscription. Every time “The Child” (more commonly known as the internet as Baby Yoda) does just about anything, your heart will melt. Season 2 dropped on October 30th, and new episodes are released at 3 am on Fridays for your weekend viewing.

On Netflix, I recently finished watching all 6 seasons of Schitt’s Creek. If you liked the zany, underhanded humor of Arrested Development, you’ll enjoy this show. The character Moira Rose, played brilliantly by Catherine O’Hara, is the source of many laughs.

TO LISTEN.

Trey Anastasio, who performed at Newport Folk Festival last year, launched an eight-week virtual residency at the Beacon Theatre last month. You can tune into his Beacon Jams at 8 pm on Friday nights through November 27th via Twitch. More info on Beacon Jams here.

TO READ.

Charter Books is a new local bookstore on Broadway that’s planning to open later this winter. Right now, you can shop their inventory online with curbside pick-up. They plan to offer delivery soon as well. Give them a follow and support a local bookstore.

One of the shops recommended Newport books, Wicked Newport: Sordid Stories from the City by the Sea by Larry Stanford is full of juicy, shocking history. You’ll never look at some of Newport’s historical landmarks the same after reading it!

TO EAT.

Boru Noodle Bar is offering take-out and their spicy, invigorating Ramen dishes are extra delicious and warming on a cold night. I also highly recommend their crispy Brussels Sprouts. Call them to order at (401) 846-4200.

TO DRINK.

I recently wrote about the new Newport-based coffee company Hoist & Crane that launched this year. I ordered a Variety Pack and am still enjoying testing out different flavors on different mornings. Give them a follow for lots of soothing coffee ritual ideas:

TO UNPLUG

Remember that hand sanitizer shortage earlier this year? During that time I acquired an enormous bottle of Everclear to make homemade sanitizer.  It worked pretty well, college flashbacks notwithstanding.  But what to do with the giant leftover bottle? I found this delightful and easy homemade Limoncello recipe that only requires 9 organic lemons, water, sugar, and some patience in addition to the grain alcohol. The lemon peels need 20 days to soak, so if you make it this week, you’ll have Limoncello in time for Christmas.

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