Our Story

Previously known as the Clifton Cafe, just outside of Hastings, Havelock North and Napier, Hygge at Clifton Bay is under new and dynamic ownership, focusing on making the most of the beautiful landscape and rustic setting in Hawkes Bay, creating delicious food and exceptional service.

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A Place For Family

Several years ago, Robyn had an idea of creating a place the whole family could enjoy. Finding that there was a lack of family and kid-friendly restaurants in Napier and Hastings, the concept of Hygge was born.

After being a kindergarten teacher for many years, she wanted to create somewhere that people, especially mothers and children, could go and still feel all the things that home offers, somewhere that the whole family can enjoy together.

Children could play, mothers could shop or browse, families could relax, spread-out and feel welcome - all this while being taken care of with delicious food and refreshing drink.

Front of Hygge Cafe during a function
Hygge at Clifton Bay Cafe Logo

Hygge is Born

The term “Hygge” was discovered some years back and has always resonated with Robyn and Kerrys’ philosophy on life, especially when at home. Hygge is a Danish word meaning the essence of what is good in life - warmth, happiness, enjoyment, comfort, peace - the loving acceptance and enjoyment of the moment. This philosophy sits behind all that is HYGGE. Unable to find any other name to match their vision, they settled on the term Hygge itself as there was nothing else that truly captured the feeling they wanted to bring.

When searching for a location, they wanted somewhere that not only met all their criteria, but also acted as a destination. After a lengthy search, the original Clifton Café was settled on - a rustic woolshed style building right next to the sea, capturing the stunning views of the Hawkes Bay. At 20 years old and in need of love and attention, a deal was struck and the business was bought; now it was time to start the renovations! It would need a complete transformation both inside and outside, but with a deadline of 30 days, the task of creating Hygge would not be simple.

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Creating a Sanctuary

Fittings, building, plant, painting, grounds and utilities would all need to be reworked. Working long days and late nights, the goal was eventually reached with Hygge being officially opened on the 11th of May, 2018.

The ambient interior and natural outdoor area, the children friendly hill with rocks, tunnel, slide and driftwood logs instantly proved popular for families.
Major Council seawall revetment work has seen a new limestone wall, with a new road and gardens along Hygges’ seaside boundary.

The deck under the olive trees was designed for Yoga sessions and wedding ceremonies in summer, with both the ocean and Cape Kidnappers serving as a stunning backdrop. The kitchen was upgraded to cater for any size of wedding or function, and we believe it's some of the tastiest food that Hawkes Bay offers. Music has always been something Robyn and Kerry were passionate about, so every Sunday there's a live music event - outside in the summer and inside in the winter.

Hygge has been set up as a place for anyone and everyone, we welcome all. There's no need to hurry, there's no need to be anything other than who you are.

Read more about our founding in an article written by Stuff.