You may remember some time ago, I wrote a post about the Danish culture of Hygge, a concept centred around celebrating the little things in life, most often associated with staying cosy during the long, winter months and enjoying time with friends and family, but also getting out into the fresh air in the summertime and having picnics or a simple glass of wine in the garden with a good book.
Well, it seems that the Scandinavians have got it right again with the Swedish culture known as ‘Fika’. According to Wikipedia, Fika is:
” a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning “to have coffee”, often accompanied with pastries or sandwiches”.
Sounds pretty spot on to me! However, you may be thinking “So what? Everyone can enjoy a cup of coffee”, but there’s much more to it than that. For the Swedes, this is an opportunity to pause your day, share time with friends or colleagues, much like Hygge, but essentially it’s a moment in which to leave the stresses of work behind you, unlike here in Britain or the US, where coffee is a fuel to be taken in short bursts at your desk or on the commute. I think whether you’re at work, in the middle of studying or in between school runs, everyone could do with practising the art of Fika.
And what’s Fika without the right equipment?! It seems many of the homeware retailers out there are embracing the trend, too; Oliver Bonas has dedicated a small collection of tableware entirely to Fika, and you can find an ever-growing number of Fika inspired cups, mugs and teapots in many stores across the country.
Here’s my pick of everything you need to take a little pause in your everyday life and embrace this longstanding Swedish tradition…
Over the next few days I’m going to post some gift guides to help you along with your Christmas shopping, especially when faced with buying presents for those ‘difficult to buy for’ people in your social or family circle. Basically, I’m hoping I can do the hard work for you and all you will have to do is click on the product link and buy! Done. Dusted.
When buying presents, the first thing we do is think about what the prospective gift receiver likes or has an interest in, so I thought I would organise my gift guides into types of people that we all have amongst our friends and family. The Coffee Aficionado. The Green Fingered Friend. The Foodie. The Gadget Freak. The Traveller. The Arty Crafty One. You know who I mean? Thought so. Ok, let’s get started…
Firstly, the Coffee Lover…
S H O P H E R E :
1 The World Atlas of Coffee £13.60 // Amazon
2 Alessi Heart Shaped Coffee Spoons Set of 4 £17.96 // Amazon
3 Murmur Dune Set of 4 Small Mugs £40 // Houseology
4 Porcelain Stars Coffee Cup £7.99 // Zara Home
5 Bialetti Moka Express Coffee Maker 6 Cup £32 // House of Fraser
6 Maison Blanc Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans £5 // John Lewis
7 Barista & Co Plunge Pot 8 Cup in Copper £44 // Amara
8 Coffee Lover Sign £12.97 // Etsy
9 Bodum Travel Mug £12 // Selfridges
Next time I’m going to be looking at what you can buy for the keen cook in your life!
Have a lovely weekend and good luck with the shopping…
Upon visiting my local library recently, I discovered an enticing range of gorgeous new hardback books which had been placed on display as new titles available to borrow. Their beautifully styled cover graphics, smooth matte feel and on-trend subject matters set them apart as definitive ‘coffee table books’ and of course I was soon marching out of the library with an armful piled high for my solitary perusal later that evening accompanied by a chilled glass of something nice.
Wikipedia defines a coffee table book as: “an oversized, usually hard-covered book whose place is for display on a table intended for use in an area in which one would entertain guests and from which it can act to inspire conversation”
Couldn’t disagree with that. Coffee table books should also reflect the home owner’s personality and interests – after all they are there to inspire and stimulate conversation and there needs to be a good solid interest in the subject to begin with, no? In this age of online pin boards and instant snaps, it’s a refreshing treat to curl up with a good heavy book and pore over the beautifully photographed images, read the stories behind them and be inspired by what you see in your own time and with no other distractions. (more…)