The Danes are obsessed with cosiness. All of them. Even the toughest leather-clad biker will recommend a bar based on its 'hygge' factor. In Danish, however, 'hygge' means more than just cocoa and tea lights. It's about a feeling - a sense of warmth and companionship. So, as another long winter waits in the wings, it's time to get that hygge feeling. Here are a few hotspots in that most cosy of capitals, Copenhagen.
While the Viking bling and Renaissance art are reason enough to visit Denmark's National Museum (Ny Vestergade 10), when it comes to catching that hygge vibe, it's hard to beat the museum's historic dollhouse collection, set up like a picture-perfect vintage town in a darkened exhibition space. Peer inside the meticulously detailed rooms and wish you were tiny enough to slip inside and snuggle up.
Retro-cool cafe-cum-bar Dyrehaven (Sdr. Boulevard 72) was once a spit-and-sawdust working-class bar (the studded vinyl booths, easy-wipe floors and kitschy wooden bar tell the story). It's now a second home for Vesterbro's young bohemians, who head in for the cheap drinks, tasty grub (the 'Kartoffelmad' egg open sandwich is a classic, made with homemade mayo and fried shallots), and late-night, laid-back camaraderie.
Another intimate, former working man's bar (original fittings include the bar, communal oak tables, tucked-away poker machines, and a few old-timers), Fischer (Victor Borges Plads 12) serves classic Italian soul food like freshly made linguini with aglio e olio (pasta with garlic, olive oil and chilli). It's all seriously good and authentic, which isn't surprising considering owner and head chef David Fischer worked at Michelin-starred La Pergola in Rome. Foreign credit cards not accepted - bring cash.
Stained-glass ceiling, wooden wall panels, oil paintings and dim lighting. It could be the reading room at your private country estate, but it's actually the Plaza Hotel's Library Bar (Bernstorffsgade 4). On a cold autumn night, this is a top spot for a tranquil little nightcap.
While hygge is more than cushions and candlelight, it does help to have the right props. Stock up on all the essentials at design department store Illums Bolighus (Amagertorv 8-10). It's a multi-level design nirvana, with everything from glass tea-light holders to heavenly throws, classic Danish chairs...and, yes...um, cushions.