Have you heard of Hygge?
It’s the Danish word for cozy and for the Danes it’s a way of life. Now you can seek out your own hygge (pronounced HOO-gah) — a lifestyle that includes the pursuit of fuzzy socks, hot tea and good company — on the East End.
So while our winter might be bad for sunbathing and water sports, there are other ways of seeking bliss.
Here are eight places to get cozy on the East End.
Sherwood House Vineyards
Prominently positioned on Main Road in Jamesport, Sherwood House earns its status as a cozy North Fork retreat courtesy of its rustic charm and warm wood accents.
The tasting room’s well-placed couches next to the impressive stone fireplace appear to beckon, encouraging guests to sink into their depths and enjoy the ambiance.
Stop in and enjoy a flight.
Sherwood House Vineyards, 1291 Main Road, Jamesport, (631) 779-2817
Jedediah Hawkins Inn
Bountiful in its sense of Old World charm and rustic elegance, Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport is a veritable tour de force on the North Fork when it comes to setting a mood.
Modeled in the Italianate style complete with ornate architectural details and a belvedere, the Jedediah Hawkins was built in 1863, when it was revered as one of the finest residences on the North Fork. Years later, after the house fell into disrepair, it was blessedly saved from the wrecker’s ball and meticulously restored.
Don’t miss the inn’s foremost attraction, the authentic speakeasy, located downstairs.
Join the eatery for a wine dinner with Saltbird Cellars in the speakeasy on Jan. 13 ($85). Call the restaurant for reservations.
Jedediah Hawkins Inn, 400 South Jamesport Ave., Jamesport, (631) 722-2900
Few things warm your bones quite like the decadent hot chocolate served at this Greenport café.
There, Aldo Maiorana makes espresso the way he likes it: strong. The red and yellow walls cast a warm hue over the solid wood tables, making this a prime cozy spot.
If you live on the East End and are looking for a “third place” the Front Street coffee shop is a good option. The fresh-roasted coffee, tasty lattes and outstanding scones also make it a must-stop for visitors.
Aldo’s Café, 103-105 Front St., Greenport, (631) 477-6300
Orient Country Store
The homemade soups at the Orient Country Store are, quite simply, the best around.
Pictured above is the tomato coconut curry, which is made with a blend of spices, coconut milk and puréed tomatoes. It is delicious.
Another cute, down home touch: If you get your meal to stay, the soup is served in a mug bearing the store’s logo.
Their comfort food will warm your tummy on a cold day.
Orient Country Store, 950 Village Lane, Orient, (631) 323-2580
Homeside Florist and Greenhouse
OK, so this isn’t a place to relax with a warm coffee or stiff drink, but a walk through the greenhouse is sure to add some color and warmth to an otherwise dreary day.
Pick up a succulent or spider plant to get your green fix in winter.
Homeside Florist and Greenhouse, 139 Main Road, Riverhead, (631) 722-3380
Brix and Rye
The exposed brick and dim lighting combines with classic cocktails and live music to create a unique atmosphere at Brix and Rye in Greenport.
The establishment’s diverse menu, which features everything from Trader Vic’s mai tais and gin gimlets in the summer to hot apple toddies of amaretto in the winter, also sets the Main Street subterranean bar apart from the competition.
And in January 2016, a New York Times piece focused on hot toddies and other warm drinks labeled the bar “sophisticated” and likened its dimly lit decor and old-fashioned drinks to a speakeasy.
Brix and Rye, 308 Main St., Greenport, (631) 477-6985
If you’re wintering on The Rock, few places are more inviting than The Tavern at Shelter Island House.
In winter, Wednesday is burger night with half-price beer or wine with burgers.
The bar opens at 3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday during the winter. The restaurant opens at 5 p.m. on those days.
The Tavern at Shelter Island House, 11 Stearns Point Road Suite 2, Shelter Island, (631) 749-5659
North Fork Roasting Co.
Either jumpstart your day or spend a leisurely weekend morning getting your caffeine fix at this Southold hot spot.
Curl up on the couch, pick up a copy of The Suffolk Times (The New York Times will do in a pinch) and sit in front of the fire — a perfect antidote to a dreary winter’s day. If you’re lucky, you might get to pet Sinatra, owners Jennilee Morris and Jess Dunne’s chocolate lab.
The café also offers breakfast and lunch.
North Fork Roasting Co., 55795 Main Road, Southold (631) 876-5450