07 March 2018

Is Cwtch the new Hygge?

"Hygge" is a lifestyle trend which has been a buzzword for over a year and is showing no signs of going anywhere. If the concept of Hygge has passed you by, here’s the lowdown from Cardiff-based social influencer, Reena Simon, owner of the wildly popular Instagram account @Hygge_for_Home, and specialist in all things Hygge.

Hygge is Danish word which refers to a quality of cosiness and contentment, or well-being. Hygge is a way of life for the Danes and is about making time for family and friends, enjoying moments which revolve around food and relaxing. And here in Wales, we have our own word for this, Cwtch. 

Cwtch has no literal English translation, and for the Welsh it has a multitude of meanings, but it’s essentially associated with all things warm, loving and a general sense of happiness. We love to cwtch (cuddle), but cwtch can also be regarded as a small cubbyhole. In addition we find something that is warm and cosy to be ‘cwtchy’, so as you can see it covers a pretty broad spectrum. But where in Wales can you really indulge in some good cwtch action? We’ve rounded up some of the best places to eat, sleep, relax and shop in true cwtch style. 


Interior of an eco cabin.

Treberfedd Farm, Ceredigion by Treberfedd
There are plenty of options for those who like their accommodation to be super cwtchy and loaded with Hygge inspired cosiness. Check out Saffir, a luxury eco cabin on Treberfedd Farm overlooking the Aeron valley – an idyllic hilltop location for glamping in Wales. Award winning interior designers Cream & Black designed the interiors and you’ll love the finishing touches and beautiful original details as you sit back and enjoy the views of the surrounding rolling hills from the large octagonal windows. 

Interior of Fforest tent
Fforest by Fforest
For those who love the coast, Fforest Farm has been created to enjoy outdoor living in beautiful surroundings. Situated in 200 acres by the River Teifi gorge, next to the Teifi marshes nature reserve, minutes from Cardigan and stunning sandy beaches and coves, Fforest is an escape from it all. There are several types of accommodation to choose from, but the stand out option is the Dome. With its solid wood floor and wood-burning stove, bespoke furnishings and amazing views it’s hard to beat for a cwtchy, coastal trip away


Brød, Cardiff 

Exterior of Brød.

Brød, Cardiff by Brød
Since opening in late 2015, Brød has been providing an authentic slice of Danish food culture, right in the heart of Cardiff’s chic Pontcanna area. Homely baking, aromatic coffee, unique products, friendly service and a cwtchy environment are the heart and soul of the Brød experience. Betina (the owner) said: “It’s a space where people come to savour the simple things in life - time with friends and family and a little breather in the marathon of our busy lives.”

Betina moved to Wales in 1998 from Copenhagen and very quickly felt very at home, but the one thing she really missed was the bread. That was the catalyst for her to set up Brød. Her grandfather was a baker in central Copenhagen and her family were very used to tales of making bread, pastries and cake - and plenty of sampling too, so bread was always at the heart of family life. 

Mafon, Llanberis

Bowl of stew and dumplings.

Mafon, Llanberis, Snowdonia by Mafon
One of the things that the Danes like to do best is enjoy some cake and a hot drink - something that the Welsh certainly have in common! This tiny cafe in Snowdonia is so inviting and the lady behind it makes the most beautiful cakes, including some great vegan and gluten free options. And if you don’t have a sweet tooth, there’s lots of savoury dishes on the menu to tempt you too. 


Melin Tregwynt, Pembrokeshire

Four Welsh blankets handing from an old shed.
Melin Tregwynt, Pembrokeshire by Dafydd Davies
Woolly blankets are a must-have if you want to add some super cwtchy moments into your life and your home. And when it comes to Welsh wool blankets, Melin Tregwynt are the gold standard. 
Melin Tregwynt HQ is a small white washed woollen mill in a remote wooded valley on the Pembrokeshire coast. There has been a mill on this site since the 17th century, when local farmers would bring their fleeces to be spun into yarn and woven into sturdy Welsh wool blankets. And even now centuries later the looms continue to work their magic. 

Owned by the same family since 1912 Melin Tregwynt fabrics are simple in spirit, timeless in design and simply wonderful pieces to look at and to own.

West Morland Sheepskins, Llandeilo

Sheepskin chair.
West Morland Sheepskins  by Westmorland Sheep Skins
If you want to leave Wales with a bit of cwtch to take home with you, it doesn’t get better than a visit to West Morland Sheepskins. This family run business from the North of England has found a home here in Wales and can be found nestled in a quiet street in the pretty town of Llandeilo. Go there to experience the fluffiest, softest sheepskin home accessories and slippers money can buy.

Mabli, Brecon Beacons

Knitted jumper and shorts for a baby.

Mabli Natural Knitwear by Malbi
Cwtch is not just for grown-ups! If you love cwtchy, Hygge inspired kidswear then check out Mabli, a line of miniature Merino wool clothing and blankets for little ones, aged up to 12. Designed by a Welsh Mama and focused around traditional Welsh tapestry patterns, Mabli is quite simply gorgeous. The award winning clothing is made from the softest wool that’s designed to last, with the idea being that it can be passed down through the generations. Available at stockists across Wales and online.