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The Simplicity of a Scandi Valentine’s

The Simplicity of a Scandi Valentine’s
8 February 2019 James Brooke

Contura shares authentic and meaningful Valentine’s rituals from Scandinavia to save loved-up Brits £620 million on gifts this Valentine’s Day.


Love it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Whether you celebrate it or not, you may be surprised to hear that Brits have been known to spend as much as £620million[1] on Valentine’s gifts.

This year, Catharina Bjorkman, lifestyle expert at Swedish wood-burning stove brand, Contura, is encouraging Brits to take a step back and enjoy a humbler Valentine’s Day, with a focus on thoughtful gestures and quality time spent with loved ones rather than on splashing the cash.

“Every year Brits debate the thorny issue of what to buy their loved ones”, says Catharina; “will another bunch of red roses suffice? What if the amusing card you’ve spent hours choosing falls flat?

“In Scandinavia we take a much more relaxed approach. We have a number of different customs to celebrate this holiday of love, but one thing is certain; less is most definitely more.”

Hot on the heels of Scandi trends such as hygge (cosiness and QT) and lagom (a balanced lifestyle), Catharina shares her favourite Scandi Valentine’s rituals, guaranteed to inspire UK couples and bring some wholesomeness back to romance in the run-up to the 14th February.


Forget over-the-top declarations of love and expensive, grand gestures, Swede’s like to keep it simple on Valentine’s Day. A small gift of jelly hearts or traditional pastries to share with loved ones, is gesture enough.

Swedish culture is all about balance, which is embraced even for this romantic holiday. Think cosy evenings spent curled up on the sofa, enjoying the heat of the log fire, delicious bakes, warm drinks or your favourite tipple, and enjoying quality time with your partner, family or friends. What could be more indulgent and romantic than that?


Young couples practice the tradition of ‘gaekkebrev’, sending love letters, for Valentine’s Day in Denmark. These poems, rhymes or notes are typically decorated with cut-out designs and signed off with dots rather than the sender’s name. If the recipient guesses the sender’s identity correctly, they are gifted an egg at Easter!

And if love notes or poetry aren’t your thing, how about a bunch of flowers? Whilst red roses may be the Valentine’s flower of choice in the UK, in Denmark it’s traditional to gift more seasonal flowers such as Snowdrops. These delicate white flowers are often thought to symbolise hope and the beginnings of Spring. Now that’s romantic.


If you find the idea of Valentine’s Day a little cloying, take inspiration from Finland. Fins call Valentine’s Day ‘Ystävänpäivä’, literally meaning “Day of Friendship”.

The emphasis isn’t on romantic love, but celebrating all kinds of love and the joy it brings. So, whatever guise you choose to celebrate under – Galentine’s Day, Ystävänpäivä, or simply the fact that it’s a Thursday, raise a glass to all your friends on February 14th.


Inspired by Nordic legends, Valentine’s Day and spring celebrations have become interlinked in Norway.

Legend has it that the sight of birds mating is a sure sign of the start of spring and the beginning of the season of love. Many Norwegians enjoy looking for birds on the 14th February for this reason.

Watching pigeons scavenge in the park on your lunchbreak perhaps isn’t quite as romantic, but any excuse to spend time with your loved one, right?

For more information on Contura, please visit


 Notes to editors:

  • Rooster PR will coordinate comment, interview and profile opportunities for Contura UK Country Manager, Phil Wood. The Contura PR team will also arrange visits to the nearest Contura Design Centre dealerships or the Contura showroom in Doncaster to see the product range.
  • Sources detailed in footnotes.

For further press information, please contact:
Elsa Findlay/Jo Kendall/Julie Aguilera
Rooster PR
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
E: [email protected]

About Contura
Contura is Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood burning stoves, offering an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.

Starting at £1,295, Contura stoves are premium yet affordable. Award winning, timeless Swedish design means the products complement or enhance any style of home, whilst also offering outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality and ease of use.

Designed and assembled at the factory located in Markaryd, Sweden, and manufactured to the highest standards, Contura stoves are highly energy efficient, offering powerful convection, superior combustion technology and clean burning systems. Currently, 95% of Contura stoves are DEFRA Clean Air Act exempt and thus approved for use in Smoke Control Areas.

Contura stoves can be purchased through a network of 165 independent retailers nationwide.

Contura is part of the NIBE group, a Swedish manufacturing company producing world class solutions in sustainable energy across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

Contura is a founding member of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) in the UK.

For more information please visit

[1] Mintel, ‘Valentine’s spending overtakes Easter in UK’, 7 Feb 2018