After reading this interview with hygge-lover Erica Lee, Friday Fika has become a regular feature of family life in our home. There is something special about Fridays – the sense of the expanse of the weekend, a feeling of relief that the working (or school) week is over and that we can finally slow down for a moment, a sense of satisfaction that we achieved at least a few of the things on our ever-expanding ‘to-do’ list.
As life seems to speed up and the pressures of work and keeping up with social media build, it is ever more important to find time for each other, and for ourselves. Coffee breaks are increasingly just a take-out latte hastily drunk at our desks, or a tepid cup of tea that we were too distracted to actually drink. We thought we’d explore the idea of fika a little more, and try to inspire you to make time to connect with your loved ones or carve out a regular moment of calm in your week.
What is Friday Fika?
Close cousin to the concept of hygge, fika is a Swedish word that can be used as a noun and a verb. It essentially translates as meaning the sharing of coffee and having a catch-up. Historically, a Swedish woman was expected to offer her guest a grand total of seven different types of cake or homemade delicacy, but thankfully now a shop-bought packet of biscuits will do just as well! Although fika, like hygge, has become a bit of a buzzword, for Swedes it is just part of everyday life.
How do you fika?
The idea is that you make time to really connect with your guest or loved one, so turn off your phones and meet at a time when you can properly stop, even if it’s only for ten minutes. If you can make a homebaked cake or some buns (cardamom are our favourite), fantastic, but if you can only find a take-out coffee and some waffles that’s fine too. The main point about fika is that you take a break. The extras are just add-ons. So, pour yourself a cup of tea or brew some good coffee, light a candle if you are at home, and really slow yourself down.
(image above by Erica Lee)
If you have children, make the fika time a regular time so everyone knows it’s happening. Friday afternoon is perfect. Take it in turns to talk about your week, and plans for the weekend. Teach them to listen to each other and to reflect on the good and bad things that have happened – sharing like this is a great skill to learn in case they hit a rocky patch and need to know how to open up. It’s amazing how often a week can fly by without us really knowing how everyone else is. Fika is a perfect way to catch up and check in. Some weeks you won’t manage it, and that’s ok too.
Fika can be a very powerful yet incredibly simple way to embrace a slower pace of life, or to truly enjoy a moment in your day, fully conscious and away from the busyness of everyday life.
If you are feeling inspired, here’s the recipe for cardamom buns that we use, via fixfeastflair.com. Don’t be put off by the complicated-looking folds, they are super easy to make, and look even more charming if they aren’t perfect. They are so tasty, you’ll have to be quick off the mark to get one! Pair with some simple linen napkins and lay a beautiful tablecloth to make your fika feel really special. Our table linens are all machine washable so you don’t need to worry about sticky fingers or coffee spills. In fact, any marks will just be reminders of happy times together, and who can complain about that?
Happy Friday fika-ing lovely folks!