One of my favourite things about moving to the Scottish Highlands over a year ago has been the discovery of all things ‘Coorie’ – a Scottish term that traditional means to be snug or to cuddle but has transformed into a wider notion of highland relaxation and sentimental cosiness. Think of it as our version of Hygge, a view of Scotland life with an emphasis on community, winter nights and crackling fires as well as delicious food made from fresh local produce and the handmade comfort of rustic wools and modern tartans.
All of this is explored in Beth Pearson’s book The Coorie Home: Beautiful Scottish Living, in which she discovers classic highland traditions related to modern Coorie fundamentals and explores how we can bring this slow living into our homes and way of life.
Beth points out that research has recognised a link between the quality of your location, how you interact with it and your mental well-being. Significant attributes of a Coorie home are the entrance, the exterior façade and the garden, with bringing the outdoors ‘inside’ a vital element of Coorie living. The calm and serene nature of the Scottish wilderness transported inside your home mean it is the perfect place to have a cup of tea with a soft blanket and enjoy a moment of quiet.
‘Colsie’ – the habit of embracing winter darkness and finding comfort and warmth in life’s simple pleasures.
Coorie life is rooted in the importance of community and togetherness, as Beth points out this goes back to Scottish traditions of tribes and family clans. Your Corrie home is a space for you to gather with those that soothe your soul, put the kettle on or even have a wee tipple, share some fresh bakes or shortbread and simply ‘be together’ as a collective and connected group.
Beth’s Coorie Book Recommendations
• The Living Mountain by Nan Shepard
• Elsewhere, Home by Lelia Aboulela
• Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay
• Landing Light by Don Paterson
A Coorie wardrobe is one that is comfy, snug and brings a sense of warmth, whether you have some woollen socks or ‘baffies’ (the Scottish term for slippers), you will feel restful and cosy. Handmade knitted cardigans need not be stuffy and old fashioned but instead modern, stylish and high quality. Quirky colour combinations in modern tartans can feel geometric and truly unique. Put on some chunky knits and your walking boots and head out to explore the beauty of the Scottish countryside.
“Story is really important in Scotland: we are in a small country with long dark winters and the traditions of sitting around a fire sharing stories to past the time are deeply ingrained” – Phillipa Cochrane
Corrie life has strong links with the outdoors, and what better way to appreciative nature and all if its offerings than the act of foraging. Increasingly prevalent in rural areas, there is a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in collecting your own fresh produce and ingredients straight from the land. Even more popular in recent times is the production of gin in Scotland, and there are now many distilleries that are generating fresh and varied flavours that sum up the splendour of Coorie living.