Your Guide To Hygge In The Fredericksburg Region
Fredericksburg has fully relaxed into Fall, so it feels like the perfect time to embrace the lifestyle/decor trend that has taken the world by storm: Hygge. Pronounced “hue-guh,” hygge is, in a nutshell, the Danish art of coziness.
According to the Danish tourism bureau, “In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There's nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life.” No wonder it’s become so popular worldwide! How popular? There are currently over 2,500,000 Instagram posts using #hygge. Pinterest even predicted it would be the hottest decor trend of 2017.
Interesting fact: Hygge actually comes from a Norwegian word meaning "well-being." Since winters are so dark and cold in Scandinavia, hygge has become an important way to keep spirits up during those long months.
Wondering how you can bring a little hygge into your life, while keeping it local? We’ve got a few hyggelig (hygge-like) suggestions that you can do right here in the Fredericksburg region.
Candles set the stage- Denmark and other Scandinavian countries are well known for using lots of candles, in the wintertime. Candles create a warm, comfortable glow. As opposed to overhead lights which tend to be a bit harsh. Add another layer of coziness with scented candles that have comforting or fresh fragrances. Gather your hygee candle staples at Pye and Co. or Ladyburg, in downtown Fredericksburg. Both locations have unique designer candles in delicious fragrances. Bed Bath and Beyond and Target, in both Stafford and Spotsylvania County, are great places to stock up on basic candles. Especially, tea lights! World Market, Dottie's Den, and HomeGoods in Spotsylvania, carry several unique candles at friendly prices. If you’re in Stafford, try Simply Beautiful Spaces and Olde Virginia Gourmet & Gifts.
Coffee Shops and Hot Tea- Is there anything cozier than a coffeeshop? Spending time with loved ones in a comfortable, easy setting is exactly what hygge is all about. Downtown has a number of independent coffee shops to choose from like Agora Downtown Coffee Shop, 2530 Espresso, Hyperion Espresso, Highpoint Coffee and Italian Station. Spotsylvania’s C'este Bon Cafe and Stafford’s Bella Cafe, Grounds Bistro, and Coffee & More are also a great choices if you’re searching for a locally owned spot. Though not a Mom and Pop shop, Starbucks can definitely bring on the hygge! Locations can be found all over Stafford and Spotsylvaina Counties. Be sure to snag a bag of locally roasted coffee from Rick’s Roasters Coffee Company out of Stafford Co., Deir House Roasters in Fredericksburg, or Virginia Commenwealth Roasters, and enjoy your favorite coffee at home. If tea is more your style, try PA Dutch and Spice Co., in downtown.
Rent a cabin or stay at a cozy Inn- If you want to take your hygge experience to the next level, a weekend at a cabin or an Inn would be a perfect retreat! Think: a crackling fireplace or bonfire, board games, and lots of warm blankets! Remember, hygge is also about togetherness. A hygge holiday wouldn't’t be complete without loved ones and plenty of time away from your phone. Spotsylvania County’s beautiful Stevenson Ridge or the cabins at Lake Anna State Park would make a wonderful getaway! If you’re looking for historic charm, The Richard Johnson Inn has loads of it and it’s walking distance from several downtown coffee shops. Lavender Heights in Stafford is also beautiful, local, and cozy.
Surround yourself with anything knitted or soft- This could be a favorite blanket or those sweatpants you never wear outside of the house. Yep those are hyggelig, too! Any clothing that brings you joy and encourages ease, and warmth are prefect. There are several shops in the Spotsylvaina Towne Center that carry cozy leisurewear and accessories. Soon to join those ranks is H&M which is set to open in 2018. If you’re in Stafford, check out TJ Maxx or Target for fashionable, soft sweaters and scarves.
Nurture real connections with loved ones- Genuine human connection is at the heart of hygge. An ideal scenario would be curled up on the couch, under a blanket, candles lit, mug in hand, dinner cooking away on the stove, playing a game with a few close friends. Hygge evolved as a way people coped with the isolation and darkness Scandinavian winters can bring. The perfect cure is real, soul nurturing time with people you love.
As with everything, food is essential- What better way to enjoy time with family and friends than over an amazing meal! In the world of hygge, this would ideally be hot comfort foods, homemade sweets, and hot drinks. Not the best cook? Orofino’s Italian Restaurant offers cooking classes, as does Whittingham’s Kitchen (both in Downtown) and Champion Chef, in Spotsylvania. If you’d rather meet up at a restaurant, Stafford’s Log Cabin and Hot N’Fluffy both have a great hyggelig vibe. Downtown Fredericksburg’s Orofino’s Italian Restaurant, Sunken Well Tavern, and The Bavarian Chef are great options as well.
Get outside. Yes, outside.- Hygge isn’t about hibernating with cookies and hot chocolate. It also involves getting a healthy dose nature. Fresh air and exercise is a wonderful balm for ennui, anxiety, and the winter blues. After all, you need to get cold before you can truly enjoy getting cozy. A couple of great walks that we recommend are Crow's Nest in Stafford County, and the Ni River Trail Loop, in Spotsylvania County. Be sure to follow the Facebook Page, “On The Fredericksburg Va Trails” for information on Fredericksburg trails. So, take a walk, go for a hike, go fishing, or ride your bike to a coffee shop. Just be sure to bring a friend to make it extra hyggelig.
Written by Brenda Sapanghila