Coorie In - how to hygge the Scottish way

Coorie In - how to hygge the Scottish way

In 2021 we continue to find ourselves at home more than we'd probably planned, cosiness is more than ever a top priority.

We've previously looked at the Scandi trend of hygge as a design and lifestyle concept that can help us enjoy being at home and the simple pleasures of life. But there's another kind of hygge up for grabs closer to home. Some old fashioned Scottish coorie. To coorie in is an opportunity to snuggle up with our nearest and dearest, share a story, a brew and laugh away life's troubles.

So here's how you hygge the Scottish way.

coorie 1
Image credit: James Glossup/The Art of Coorie

'Coorie' is a Scottish word traditionally meaning 'to snuggle' or 'cuddle'. It's what Gran says when she pats the little patch on the sofa next to her, gesturing for you to settle in for a chat and a cup of tea, probably accompanied by a hearty wedge of sponge cake.

Like Gran's warm encouragement to sit down and take a moment, coorie inspires us to slow down and balance out our working hours with moments that matter. On the couch with our loved ones. Or in the rugged countryside.

scotish highlands

Image credit: Nomadasaurus

The other side of the coorie coin is the Scottish love of the outdoors and their undying optimism despite the cold and rain, to get out there and plug into nature. There's a Scottish saying, as in Scandinavia, that there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing. Properly layered, the Scots love heading into the Highlands whatever the weather, to hike, camp, forage, kayak, stargaze or go wild swimming in the chilly lochs. Like the Scandinavians who love their winter swimming, the Scots attest to the invigorating rush of a cold dip. They are also as happy to trudge through the muddy countryside in their wellies as the Scandis are willing to hop on their bike through rain or snow.

The Scots have known for years what modern science is recently confirming, that nature really is beneficial for our health. This is the backbone of lifestyle choices and interior trends like biophilia which recognize the health benefits of being in nature or bringing nature into our home and work environments as much as possible. So as much as coorie is about cuddling up on the sofa or in the pub, it's just as much about getting outdoors. Although we might not have the wild vistas of Scottish highlands over here, the principal is the same whether its rolling hills, Yorkshire moors or a wander through Hampstead heath, where if you're feeling particularly coorie inspired, you could take a dip in the swimming ponds!

Gabriella Bennett, author of the book, 'The Art of Coorie - How to live happy the Scottish way' suggests that Scots have been pursuing happiness for centuries by living a slow-paced existence, using what's around the to feel contented. They understand that exploring in nature go hand in hand with relaxing afterwards in the comfortable company of others in a cosy pub or at home in front of a roaring fire rugged up in tartan.

Traditionally coorie also tends to involve a feed of something homemade and stodgy, but you can also explore foraging or get into some home smoked cuisine. Combine the nature and nurture with a fishing trip and smoke the catch for a truly coorie experience.

But regardless of what you eat or where you coorie, the benefit will be the same. You'll feel that life will take its course whether you fret or not.

Bennett also argues there is a sustainable tenet to coorie that's not about buying things to make yourself feel good, but to use what you already have to feel contented. With the principles of nature and connection with our friends and family come a return to a simple, sustainable way of life that's not about consuming but enjoying the free pleasures of nature and good company.

“The new coorie represents a way of life where peacefulness comes from engaging with our heritage and landscapes”- Gabriella Bennett.

coorie 2

Image credit: Harry Bennett/ The Art of Coorie

Coorie is about looking back to embrace the present, lovingly wrapped in tartan. In the heart of London, far enough away from the North for coorie to sound all too romantic, what can we take away from coorie? While rugged highlands and lochs may be beyond our grasp right now, we can live our own version of nature, however we can. Even if you're in isolation, think about bringing nature to you by invigorating your apartment with plants. And treasure your sofa time. Consider swapping out your coffee buzz with a slowly brewed cup of tea. In your best tea cups, why not? Throw in a shortbread. And remember your Nan. Not many of us may have the luxury of being with a grandparent, but if you have any memory of tea with the matriarchs of your family - hold onto it and pass on the preciousness of moments spent in good company. Coorie in with whoever you can.

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