40 Winks is “the most beautiful small hotel in the world” according to German Vogue. It is situated in vibrant and trendy East London.
How would you describe Carskiey Estate in a nutshell?
Carskiey is like being on a beautiful island, although you are still on the Scottish mainland, not that far from Glasgow. It has a very remote feeling, yet it is incredibly accessible. It is the last 7500 acres on the Kintyre peninsula with over 9 miles of coastline and it is completely private.
What we have tried to create is a relaxing, comfortable and hospitable away-from-it-all experience. It is not a formal place. We just want everyone to enjoy themselves and have a great time full of happy memories. Even though it is quite grand, you always feel welcome and not in the least bit intimidated as some of these Scottish places can be.
Please tell us more about the estate.
We bought the estate 8 years ago. In addition to Carskiey House and Shore Cottage, there are a further five habitable dwellings. There is a wonderful cottage where the shepherd lives, the manager’s house — he is the third generation of the same family looking after the place — the Lodge at the bottom of the drive, the Flat a newly restored artist's studio situated in a woodland setting overlooking Strone burn, and Strone Cottage, a wonderful, remote cottage, 3 miles away up the glen. It’s a brilliant place to go for a picnic: an indoor one by candlelight or outdoors with a bonfire.
What was your inspiration to buy the estate and rent the house and cottage to holiday guests?
I have always loved being by the sea, waking up in the morning and looking through the window onto this wonderful, ever-changing sandy beach with palm trees growing in the gardens.
The house was literally untouched since it was built during 1905 to 1908. We did not have to replace a single window. Even the slates on the roof are original. My whole working life I was involved in restoring big houses and I never ever thought I would want one myself, but when I saw it...I changed my mind.