Summer has a fleeting ripeness. Each long day is a blessing, but also a challenge. Many of us feel a pressure to live to the fullest, to squeeze from the day every last drop of sweetness.
Then autumn arrives and the crispness in the air and the falling leaves are as familar as the smell of home. It’s a slow and cosy season, a time for reflection and nostalgia. Something about it feels rather "cwtch".
Cwtch (pronounced cutch) is the Welsh contender for the Danish hygge tradition. It’s hard to put into words, but immistakeable when you feel it. A cwtch is a kind of deeply anchoring hug. It brings with it complete comfort and safety, and makes the outside world feel very far away. A cwtch transports you back in time, to the feeling of warm and safe, enveloped in your parent’s arms.
We think the "cwtch" concept goes hand in hand with the cosiness of autumn. Here’s how you can incorporate more cwtch moments into your life.
A slow Sunday is a consciously restful day. There are no time constraints, no chores. Just a restorative day of being, rather than doing.
Beginning the day with a book in bed, hands hugging a mug of coffee, the cafetiére in reach. Lazy mornings with a stack of books and the golden flicker of a candle. Toes wrapped in woollen socks, pressed into the warm nook of the sofa. Ambling to the bath for a carefree afternoon soak. Pottering in the garden, rustling up a delicious snack, or ordering in a feast.
Each element is quite simple…put together it’s an indulgent set-up.
In the autumn we have to adapt to lower light levels and temperatures. With less to go around, the benefits of being outdoors are amplified the more time we spend out in it.
This includes getting our vitamin D levels up to stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and exposing our immune systems to healthy NK cells in forests, which help us to fight infection. But the benefits aren't purely biological.
Going outside for a crisp walk, or even to drink a cup of tea while wrapped up in the garden, allows you to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors and the warm cosiness of home on a deeper level. We feel things in contrast, not in isolation, so it makes sense that a dose of cold air makes a cosy hearth even more inviting.
If you think about it, cwtch is exactly what you want home to feel like. Your sanctuary.
We think that cwtch, like hygge, is all about natural materials and warmth. Like a homely and remote Welsh cottage, ablaze with a fire and full of the smells of homecooking.
If you'd like to bring cwtch home there's no need to embark on a costly renovation. Begin simply, by letting the natural light in. A chink of sunlight through the window, the amber glow of a candle in the evenings. Then create a space to relax in, a cosy corner that feels like a cwtch in itself, with warm blankets and some of your favourite things. This can be somewhere where you spend your evenings, or even somewhere you go to for a few minutes a day, to take a tea break and just pause.
How you invite cwtch cosiness into your home is deeply personal. One person’s cwtch may be another’s kitsch, so to speak. But here are some of our favourite ideas:
- A stack of logs
- Dimmable, warm temperature light bulbs (2,000-3,000K)
- Soy/beeswax candles and essential oil diffusers, like these from Bougie Cannwyll
- A Welsh sheepskin rug
- A woven woollen blanket, the coldatnight ones are gorgeous
- Indoor plants and foliage
- Stacks or shelves of books
- A favourite mug, steaming with your tipple of choice, and plenty of welsh cakes
Autumn is the season of harvest. It has always been a time to gather together and share nourishing food. In Wales, this would have meant warming soups, thick stews and welsh cakes hot from the griddle.
At Bokhara Brasserie we're embracing the cosy seasonality of the harvest with a limited edition Autumn Thali. Its name means a 'large plate' and the dish includes a mix of curries, flatbread, rice and pickles. A Thali revolves around six key flavours: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, astringent and spicy. Each element complements the others, creating a well-balanced and extremely delicious plate. Comfort food of the highest degree.
Our limited edition Autumn Thali Box Halloween takeaway is available Halloween weekend with a choice of Meat, Vegetarian and Vegan Thalis. Call 01656 720212 to order.