Posted on

Step aside Denmark. Norway takes world’s happiest nation crown

Knocking their Scandi neighbours off the top of the happiness index, Norwegians put their joyful outlook down to shared experiences, the great outdoors – and lots of country cabins

This week five million Norwegians woke to happy news. Their country now comes top in the World Happiness Report, having leapfrogged several countries. We celebrated our official happiness with an extra piece of brown cheese on our breakfast bread. Best of all, we’re above Sweden, the neighbour we love to beat in skiing, football – and euphoria. And we’ve knocked Denmark, three-time world champion, into second place. How did we do it?

I have visited every country in the world so ought to be in a position to look at my countrymen and women from the inside and out. Norway and Denmark share the word and concept of hygge – making a cosy, convivial atmosphere. Both nations cherish sharing activities with friends and family. For us, it’s skiing in the mountains of Hemsedal, hiking by the fjords and picking berries in the forests. But the Danes lack both peaks and fjords.

Continue reading…

Posted on

Off the beaten-track Barbados: readers’ tips

Dodging the cruise ships and resorts, our tipsters track down stunning walks, quiet beaches, lots of local colour – and rum
• Enter next week’s competition – the best tip wins a £200 hotel voucher

The west coast has plenty of swanky bars but you have to go to a local rum bar to get the authentic Barbados drinking experience. Nigel Benn’s Aunty’s Bar in the north-east was bought by the British boxer Nigel Benn for his exuberant elderly aunt Lucille. Arrange your own transport rather than going with a rum tour group and you’ll have more fun with auntie and her other regulars. Put some reggae on the jukebox, sip a glass of Old Brigand rum from the nearby distillery and listen to some great local stories surrounded by pictures of someone’s favourite nephew.
On Facebook
Emma Patel

Continue reading…