Long dark winter nights and a bitter chill in the air?
IMO, there’s nothing better than coming home in the evening, shutting the world out and curling up on the sofa with a good book in hand!
While fiction is usually my go-to, this Autumn I’ve been inundated with beautiful non-fiction books that speak to the current trend for Scandinavian hygge and entertaining stylishly at home, both things I intend to do far more of now that I have a proper home to call my own.
So, here are some of my fave new reads that would make both excellent gifts for yourself, or as Christmas presents for your nearest and dearest.. (there I said it – quite possibly the earliest I’ve ever used the C-word on the blog, eeek!)
How To Set A Table
First up is How To Set A Table**: a beautiful little guide to styling a perfect table setting for entertaining, whether you’re hosting a leisurely brunch, extravagant dinner party, birthday picnic or breakfast in bed. This gem of a handbook offers practical information on traditional table etiquette and place settings, alongside more creative suggestions for centrepieces, napkin folding and mix ’n’ matched crockery styling, to help you navigate the nuances of table setting and develop a table style that reflects your own unique personality. Perfect for the coming winter months, when all you want is to entice your friends to come to yours..
→Published by Ebury Press
Nørth: How to Live Scandinavian
Why are Norwegians the happiest people in the world? What is lagom? How can we get a little more Scandi-style in our lives?
These are all the buzz-word questions just now, and Danish entrepreneur and restauranteur Brontë Aurell’s new book, Nørth: How to Live Scandinavian**, is here to answer them! Chock full of inspiration and ideas, how-to’s and recipes to help you experience the very best of Scandinavian philosophy, cookery, culture and design, this gorgeously put together book is perfect for snuggling up on the sofa and devouring, a kanelbullar and mug of hot coffee at your side, as you learn how to forage, drink aquavit and embrace the long cold winter months like a true Scandinavian..
→Published by Aurum Press
Real Nordic Living
Continuing the Scandi theme, Real Nordic Living: Design. Food. Art. Travel** by Dorothea Gundtoft, ventures beyond the immediate preconceptions of hygge and knitted sweaters to investigate all aspects of contemporary Scandinavian style. Divided in four sections investigating design, new Nordic cuisine, the arts and travel, this beautiful stylist sourcebook profiles a range of inspirational Scandinavian creatives – including model Helena Christensen, designer Finn Juhl, and chefs Magnus Nilsson and Mikkel Karstad – and discovers how they create hyggeligt moments in their lives everyday. Taking some time to yourself and curling up with this stylish book is definitely a great place to start..!
→Published by Thames & Hudson
Cook Yourself Happy
Yet more Nordic lifestyle inspiration, this time via Scandinavian TV personality Caroline Fleming’s new book, Cook Yourself Happy – The Danish Way**, which draws upon traditional family recipes passed down through the ages, designed to boost your sense of wellbeing, both inside and out. It’s a beautifully photographed book, with simply styled recipe shots interspersed with evocative Danish scenery, and crammed full of delicious sounding dishes, from classic smørrebrød and warming soups to meatier main courses (plenty of meatballs), seafood and hyggeligt desserts. There’s even an entire chapter dedicated to breads – and we know that the Danes have some of the best baked goods in the world! Fødselsdagsboller, anyone?
→Published by Jacqui Small
The Flexible Vegetarian
Not eat dairy means I frequently find myself going stretches of time not only eating vegetarian, but frequently vegan, without giving it a second thought. Jo Pratt’s The Flexible Vegetarian** embraces the philosophy of wanting to cut down on the meat and fish you eat, choosing it only on occasion, or maybe only if it’s organic. The recipes are designed to work alone, or with the addition of meat or fish should you choose, ands caters for all occasions, moods, tastes and guests, from the stocking of a ‘flexible’ store cupboard to contemporary brunch, soup, small and big plate dishes. Miso Mushrooms on Toast, the Buddha Breakfast Bowl and Seeded Wasabi Tofu are all dishes I’m eager to try out!
→Published by Frances Lincoln
Lastly, Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr. Lyan, of London’s White Lyan and Dandelyan bars) brings us Good Together**, a guide to drinks and dishes designed to promote quality time spent with the people you love, which in his words is ‘the most effective panacea’ for today’s busy world. Good Together sees Mr. Lyan call on his many friends from the world’s best restaurants to share the dishes they love to make for their friends and family, served alongside his stellar cocktails for the perfect home gathering. Eschewing the traditional complicated cocktails of his bars, the recipes here are all very adaptable – for example, where gin is suggested Mr. Lyan says vodka can easily be substituted – making this a great little inspiration book for the upcoming festive season!
→Published by Frances Lincoln
Have you bought any great new interior trend or cookery books lately? Let me know which you’d recommend!
These books were gifted by their respective publishers but all thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own. All photography © Kate Baxter.