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Here’s how to create a cosy festive igloo at home

Every few years we get a styling trend that really ups the ante and makes you second guess how you’ve been decorating things your whole life, and right now, it’s Igloos. Take one look at Instagram, where #igloo has almost half a million photos linked to it, and you’ll see exactly what we mean. Add to that the fact Brits have searched for igloos for hire1 more than 3,600 times already this month on Google, up from 1,900 searches per month in the Summer, and it’s easy to see this icy trend is heating up once again for winter.

With Fowey Hall in Cornwall re-launching its magical winter igloos again for the Festive season, and bookings already through the roof, Luxury Family Hotels has teamed up with Jess Martin, decorating expert at Ginger Ray, to offer some tips and tricks to those wanting their own festive igloo experience at home this Christmas instead – actual igloo optional!

So, what does Jess recommend you do, if you don’t have an igloo of your own?

1. Comfort is key

“My number one piece of advice would be to think about comfort”, Jess says. “Make soft furnishings and textured the base of the style and work from there. Including scatter cushions, blankets and throws is practical but also encapsulates the scandi vibes you are going for.”

“The number one essential item in the igloo (or igloo-adjacent space!) will be a table and somewhere to sit -everything else can be built around this. Benches or cushions can be arranged around a central table where food and drinks can be displayed.”

For more cosy, apr├Ęs ski vibes, try a low coffee table or if you’re feeling crafty, a reclaimed pallet for a really rustic experience! Then, scatter cushions and lots of soft furnishings will bring the cosiness down to ground level and encourage lounging. Lazy girl winter: activated!

2. Make it cosy and warm

“Next, think about making it as comfy as possible, remember you are entertaining outside, so you need to make sure that your guests don’t get chilly by providing plenty of snuggly blankets. Then, decorating the walls or ceiling of the igloo will add the perfect festive vibe. String lights and foliage garlands wound around the poles or across the table will bring a super Christmassy atmosphere.

Credit: Ginger Ray

3. Light up the hygge

“Lighting and layering is everything when it comes to creating the cosiness of an igloo. Twinkly string lights and candles will add that perfect touch of warmth. Layering different textures of faux fur, blankets and cushions will give you that Scandi vibe and for an even chicer look- go for neutral colours. Also, think about setting an inviting tablescape – Igloos are centred around socialising so set up a space that makes people want to sit down and enjoy some time with friends over a hot chocolate or even a mulled wine.”

Jess continues: “We saw igloos all over Instagram last winter, after Covid restrictions forced celebrations and socialising outside. They became a practical and super cute way of hosting people outdoors. The unique shape and translucent walls allow you to show off a cosy and enticing interior whilst allowing guests to admire the surrounding views whilst inside the igloo. It’s no wonder Fowey Hall decided to re-launch the igloos in the outside space!”

George Bennet, Group F&B Manager at Luxury Family Hotels says: “When we launched the Igloos at Fowey Hall last year, we uploaded some fairly relaxed social media content on a Sunday morning, which we hoped would catch the eye of people scrolling through their platforms over a coffee and breakfast.. we just did not expect it to take off at such an astonishing rate! I’ve still not seen anything like it to this day.

The demand was through the roof; we made hundreds of bookings in the 24-hour period following the social media post. It was clear when we responded to enquiries that most people who couldn’t get their original request were happy to move the date just to visit! This year, we planned it better, but we still had locals call the hotel at 00:10 the day the post went live!

This year’s food offering for the pods is a ‘Market Menu’, a daily changing menu consisting of food from local producers and will differ slightly to the a la carte inside the hotel. It offers locals and hotel guests local food to enjoy whilst looking over the twinkling lights of the estuary. We just want to give visitors the warmest welcome back this year, and considering the fact the Instagram hashtag #IglooDining already shows more than 21,800 images, we just hope our Igloos live up to the standard set by Instagram!”