this winter, i've been enjoying a book called "the little book of hygge- danish secrets to happy living." you may be unfamiliar with the word [hygge] but i know you've felt it. it's that feeling of curling up in a blanket with a cup of coffee as you sit by the fire; it's that feeling you get when you enjoy the company of good friends while eating a warm dinner as the snow falls outside. basically think sweaters, scarves, sweets, hot drinks, candles and fireplaces and you have a good start on this concept of [hygge]. my wife got me the book as a christmas present to help me get through these new england winters i now find myself in, and in a small way, it's working. whether it's getting more light from candles lit around the house, spending more quality time with friends, or drinking hot toddy's every night, this winter has been more pleasant than last year.
on my quest to achieve total [hygee-ness] this winter, i've been searching out bars in portland, maine that have this [hygee] qaulity. one main component i've been looking for are bars with fireplaces, which was surprisingly hard to do. however, it's not just fireplaces, it can also be candle light, comfortable seating and a general cozy atmosphere. below i've listed all the bars i've found that have fireplaces and a few that were able to achieve [hygge] without them.
bars with fireplaces
ri ra - irish bar with several fireplaces throughout the restaurant with an overall cozy feel
boones fish house - large stone fireplace in the dining area
bull feeny's - another irish bar with several fireplaces... though i'm not sure if they actually work
liquid riot - a tad open to be cozy but it does have a working gas fireplace in the back corner
eve's at the garden - it's as comfy as a hotel bar can be, but there are a couple fireplaces to enjoy
honorable mention - no fireplaces but still cozy
bramhall pub - dark but with enough candles to make you think there is a working fireplace
flatbread - a little open but with large pizza ovens that warm the place up
the grill room - a nice pizza oven you feel the heat from if you sit at the cheifs table
the armory - no fireplace but it really does feel like it should have one.
the bearded ladys jewel box - candle light for a great atmosphere and a cozy balcony space to sit
little tap house - overall cozy feel with candle light on the tables and great poutine
maps - "down in the basement" type coziness
lfk - intimate nooks with comfortable seating and amazing hot toddy's
brian boru - there must be something about irish bars
this is not a complete list; there are probably other bars and restaurants which are perfect for a cold night. these are merely the places i've been to and had that feeling of [hygge], hopefully i'll find more. i hope everyone out there, no matter where you live, can find a great place to get together with friends this winter and enjoy some quality [hygge].
candle light at the bearded lady's jewell box
the nooks at lfk
fireplace at liquid riot
candles in the fireplace at bull feeny's
pizza oven at the grill room
fireplace at the portland harbor hotel