Spring is great. It’s often overlooked as a transition from sparkly, merry winter to hot summers on the beach, but I love it. Bursts of pink and white blossom and lilac skies and April showers and brightening evenings and all other sorts of colourful gorgeousness ensue. But another reason I love spring is that it’s the start of afternoon tea season. I’m a big fan of the quintessentially British tea party, with its twee bunting and mismatched crockery and scones (scone as in gone, not scone as in cone at Hello Hygge HQ)… but what if we could weave a touch of hygge into our afternoon tea? I spoke to Tina Gloggengieser, the Dane behind Hygge Tea, a new range designed to spread the joy of hygge through luxury teas.
“I decided to set up Hygge Tea because I am passionate about real tea, and being Danish, also the concept of hygge,” said Tina. “Tea fits in well with hygge, as it’s about enjoying the simple indulgent things in life, with yourself or others. Light a candle, relax and have a hyggelig time.”
Coming in flavours like Chocolate Brownie, Baked Apple Chai, Marzipan and the
gorgeously named Around The Fire, this is no ordinary tea collection. Of course all the classics are there – English Breakfast, Earl Grey and Mint – but it’s these creative representations of cosiness which caught my eye. Most of us enjoy tea every single day, so why not make the most of these moments with an extra-comforting blend? And there really is something for everyone in this range. “My favourites are Vanilla and Rhubarb and White Musk (as I love my green teas) for a daytime drink and the Cosy Chamomile before bed.”
I have a real thing for afternoon tea, and one of my favourite ways to spend a weekend is munching on cake (for obvious reasons). But for ultimate hygge, why not throw your own hygge tea party? I wanted some tips from a real Dane. “For a hygge tea party, I would include my Hygge teas, flødeboller (Danish treats) and some pastries and cakes,” said Tina, “with lots of candles and earthy decorations.” It was when I visited Copenhagen that I really understood why Denmark is so famous for its pastries – I ate a frightening number of spandauers on that trip, and I have NO REGRETS. A platter of warm Danish pastries with jams, a pot of the smoky, spicy Around The Fire Hygge Tea and a table adorned with flickering tealights is enough to get anyone in the Danish mindset, especially when you’re watching the spring rain fall outside from the comfort of your own cosy home.
But tea is in the British DNA, as hygge is intrinsic to Danish culture. So how can we bring the two together for a uniquely British-Danish experience of cosiness? “I would encourage a Brit to take a moment everyday and just stop their busy lifestyles, relax and cherish something they enjoy,” said Tina. And she’s right. Even if we’re having the day from hell at work, or we’re drowning in all the errands we have to run, we can always take a moment for tea. Whether that’s a lazy weekend indoors with friends or five minutes to ourselves in the middle of the day, it’s important to take comfort where we can get it,
Tips for throwing a hygge tea party
- Create the right ambience – lots of candles, cosy blankets and fresh flowers
- Comfort food! Nothing pretentious here – we’re talking homemade cinnamon buns, Danish smørrebrød (open sandwiches), pastries with jams…
- Get the tea right! Hygge Tea is of course a great place to start, but for a spring tea party what about a light, fruity homemade lemonade?
- Keep it intimate – get the balance of guests right and the party will make itself brilliant
- Make a nest – this isn’t a time for formal place settings or napkin rings! Layer up with thick blankets, cushions and faux fur throws to let people create their own cosy space
- Appeal to all the senses – put a few drops of vanilla essence, some cinnamon and a grating of nutmeg in a pan of water and bring to the boil. Turn it down to a simmer and let the scent seep through your home for warming, comforting scents
- Phones away! We’re glued to our little screens (guilty as charged), so it’s good for us to take a break sometimes and to live fully in real life for a while. Put it on charge in another room for a bit so you’re not tempted to check Twitter halfway through a friend’s anecdote
- Make everyone feel welcome. Keep your guests warm, fed, watered and laughing and you’re getting it right!
Check out Hygge Tea at www.hyggetea.com. Prices start at £4.25 for 15 luxury teabags.
Will you be throwing your own hygge tea party? Let me know in the comments!