By Scott McGlashan / Edited by Feraz Ahmed & Jose Morales
Scotland – In the Scottish Highlands, Loch Ness is an area of stunning beauty, notably known for its apparent monstrous inhabitant, Nessie. In 1924, a man named Robert Kenneth looked across the water from the drawing-room of a lochside property, and it was then that the famous photo of the alleged monster was taken. Today, this property is known as Highland Escape, a charming six-bedroom, private hire house that has been meticulously restored to celebrate Scottish art, culture, and history.
As soon as the property appeared on the market, founder Mathew Meredith, who works in London’s music business, couldn’t wait to get his hands on it. Due to its beautiful location and remarkable history, it was his ultimate goal to restore the property to its former glory, adding a few contemporary touches while remaining sensitive to its past.
- The House ~
The Old Manse, as the building is also known, exudes a typical Victorian exterior with turreted roof, sash windows, and impressive stonework. Alongside The Old Manse is Bona Church, a quaint and spacious addition to the house which caters to intimate weddings and ceremonies.
When entering the house, you will be immediately taken aback by its elegance. A large entrance hall sets the tone of what you can expect through the rest of the property. Antique furniture pieces that have been locally sourced from the Highlands stand out sophisticatedly against the walls’ mellow hues, and the sweeping staircase entices you to explore the rest of this captivating building.
The living room is an ample and inviting space where no money has been spared, and its roaring open fire conjures up images of relaxed evenings and a warming glass of whiskey in hand. Specially chosen antique furniture enhances the room. An elegant and remarkably comfortable sofa from British company Tetrad adds a beautiful and luxurious touch. The addition of a large Harris Tweed footstool expands on the traditional Scottish elements found in the decor, a reminder of the attention to small details that make this place unique.
The pieces of artwork that hang splendidly in each room tell the history of the Jacobite uprising. The local prints that pepper the walls are from the famous Leakey’s bookshop in Inverness. Adjoining the living room is ‘the snug’ room, which also boasts an open fire, antique furniture, various pieces of artwork, and delicate hints of luxury such as the bespoke handmade blinds by Mulberry. This room is where guests can relax, read one of the many books on offer or watch some television.
The country kitchen is both spacious and bright and is equipped with everything guests could possibly need. A mix of traditional and contemporary appliances furnish the room, including a large fridge/freezer with wine cooler, double-sized cooker, dishwasher and wash machine. Adjoining the kitchen and leading to the backdoor, is the fantastic addition of a boot room, providing guests with Wellington boots, jackets, and raincoats.
Next to the kitchen is the impressive dining room, which seats up to twelve people. From this palatial, yet comfortable room, guests can take in the remarkable views of Loch Ness. From this room is where the famous photograph of the mysterious Loch Ness monster was taken.
- The Rooms ~
The property has six bedrooms over two floors, which allow up to 12 guests to enjoy this lavish escape. Each of the bedrooms has its own distinct character, yet manage to blend with the rest of the property seamlessly. There are two super-king four-poster beds, two super king sleigh beds, and two king-sized beds, each embellished with lamb’s wool throws. On the second floor, each of the rooms benefits from en-suite Jack & Jill bathrooms, which are generous in size and offer a selection of premium towels and toiletries while boasting the most exquisite interior design. All of the rooms offer tea and coffee stations, and branded dressing gowns and slippers, allowing guests to relax in true highland comfort.
- The Experience ~
What sets this private hire accommodation above the rest is that when guests book directly with Highland Escape, they can completely tailor their trip to make it as relaxing or as adventurous as possible with the assistance of the concierge service team. Highland Escape provides numerous bespoke packages that truly allow guests to get to know the area and enjoy this house to its fullest. Additionally, Highland Escape offers luxury golf tours, clay pigeon shooting, and exclusive access to fishing areas in the Highlands.
For guests who do not wish to cook while on vacation, the team at Highland Escape has the answer, offering a set of private chefs who can prepare a bespoke restaurant-quality meal in the privacy of the home. As the fire in the dining room flickers, guests can experience a delicious meal made with local produce of the highest quality. These are just some of the services available, which will make your getaway experience at Highland Escapes one of the most memorable.
Private tours by Tour Highlands can also be arranged, with guests benefiting from a fully customized itinerary, a luxury vehicle, and their very own knowledgable driver. These individually designed tours help guests delve into the region’s history, culture, and heritage.
Highland Escape provides a unique and unforgettable stay in a stunning area of Scotland. Its team has cleverly managed to merge the freedoms of a self-catering vacation with the added benefits of luxury hotel services. If you are looking for an exuberant getaway in a remarkable location and at an economical price, look no further than the impressive Highland Escape. – GM
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