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The recipe for cosiness this winter

During the winter months, all we want is to feel warm and comfortable – cosiness is king. With this is mind, we polled the nation to find out just what makes people feel the cosiest.

With thousands of responses, we delved into the data to work out the perfect recipe for cosiness this winter. Focusing on the five senses, the study revealed that the perfect cosy combination is:

The smell of fresh bread + seeing and hearing a crackling log fire + a hug from a loved one + a tasty hot chocolate = ultimate cosiness

Feet by fire

So there you have it – the nation’s favourite snug sensations. But why do these things make us feel so good? And why do we like to be cosy at all? To find out, we spoke to an expert.

According to Christian van Nieuwerburgh, Professor of coaching and positive psychology at the University of East London, our love of cosiness might be down to evolution:

“This need seems to relate to evolutionary psychology. The smell of fresh bread, a crackling log fire and a hug are indicators of safety, and we would unconsciously be drawn to them because they are good for our survival – the existence of sufficient food, knowing that it will be possible to stay warm, and being with someone who will protect you. This is especially true during the harsh winter months.

“In other words, human beings may be drawn to cosiness because it is indicative of having a safe, warm place to shelter from the elements.”

Interestingly, while bread, hot cocoa and a hug by the fire were voted overall the nation’s top cosy-makers, this differed between the age groups. Looking at the five senses, we looked deeper into the data to find out what makes each generation feel snug and warm inside.

Smells

For Generation Z, vanilla is the cosiest smell. Whether from fresh baking, a vanilla latte, or a scented candle, 17% of people aged 18-24 voted for the fragrance. Millennials, aged 25-44, however, prefer the festive smell of cinnamon (12%) so Christmas season is a great time for them.

Showing its wide appeal, the nation’s favourite – the smell of fresh bread – took the top spot for people aged 45-64 as well as for people of retirement age (65+) with 18% and 29% respectively.

Sounds

Revealing a strong split between older and younger voters, 32% of people aged 45-64 and over a quarter (26%) of over 65s love the crackling sound of a roaring fire or log burner on a cold winter’s day. On the other hand, for over a fifth of millennials and Gen Z (both 21%), you can’t beat the sound of rain against the window while you’re snug and warm inside.

Touch

When it comes to touch sensation, a nice warm hug was voted first by the nation altogether, and also came out top for Gen Z (24%), 45-64 yea olds (17%) and pensioners (23%). Sadly, during the era of social distancing, we haven’t been able to enjoy hugs as much as usual, but this has meant that when we do get them, they’re all the more special.

Millennials, however, seem to prefer a cosy blanket to a cuddle, with almost one in five (19%) giving this the top spot. Who knew that they were so suited to quarantine?!

Tastes

hot chocolate

Once again showing a strong generational divide, taste split the age groups in half. Siding with the nation, for the younger faction – over a fifth of Gen Z (22%) and 17% of millennials – a hot chocolate after a long cold day is ideal. However, older voters prefer a hearty winter stew to get through the cold nights, with one in five pensioners (20%) and 17% of people aged 45-64 voting it as their favourite taste.

Sights

The last sense, sight, finally brought some agreement between the age groups as all generations love to sit by the fire and watch the flames flicker. This is most popular with over 65s, with a huge 36% enjoying watching the embers glow the most, while 45-64 year olds also show a strong preference (34%). Despite being less popular for younger voters, sitting by the fire still came out top spot for Gen Z (23%) and millennials (21%).

Flickering candles

Whatever your age, you know what you prefer so work out what’s best for you. To start you off, we’ve put together some tips to help you stay warm and cosy this winter, whether in the house or in your holiday home.

  1. Try not to use your phone in the evenings as the blue light makes you more alert. If you must use it, turn down the blue light in display settings.
  2. Keep your slippers by the door so you can pop them on the second you get in. No chilly feet this winter!
  3. Light your favourite scented candle and spend an evening snuggled up while the fragrance fills the room.
  4. Bring out the cushions and blankets, especially snuggly faux-fur ones. Or perhaps treat yourself to a new throw if yours are getting a little threadbare.
  5. Ditch the overhead lights and use lamps where possible. For extra cosiness, switch out the regular bulbs for warm-toned ones to get a cosy glow
  6. Take winter breaks as often as you can. There’s nothing like getting away from it all and tucking yourself away in the countryside or by the coast to get you feeling cosy. Whether you like long walks in beautiful scenery, or just staying in and snuggling, find out more about our gorgeous holiday home parks here.
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N.B. All holiday home images are for visual purposes only. All holiday homes will be provided according to the grade booked, however the holiday home model may vary upon arrival.

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