— Please tell us a little about Carskiey.
What we’re trying to do is to make it a comfortable and hospitable holiday experience. It’s not a formal place. We just want everyone to enjoy themselves. Even though it’s grand, you get a very domestic feel from it.”
— Carskiey House
— Please tell us more about the estate.
Overall, there are five habitable and five uninhabitable cottages. There’s a wonderful cottage where the shepherd lives, the manager’s house — he’s the third generation of the same family looking after the place — the lodge at the bottom of the drive, a barn, and a wonderful, quite big cottage three and a half miles away. It’s a brilliant place to go for a picnic. We’re restoring it currently and it will be ready in 2015.”
— Drawing room Carskiey House
— What was your inspiration to buy the estate and rent the house and cottage to holiday guests?
The house was literally untouched since it was built in 1905 to 1908. I didn’t have to replace one 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.”
— Please tell us more about the different rooms in the main house.
There are nine main bedrooms in the house. They’re enormous. And the bathrooms are all really wonderful. There’s a room called the hydrotherapy room, which is like a treatment room.
On the servant’s side is a butler’s pantry with a nice big kitchen. That’s where the cook hangs out. There’s an enclosed kitchen courtyard and four additional bedrooms above the kitchen all named after food.”
— Shore Cottage on the beach
— What about the holiday cottage?
— Argyle coastline
— What kind of services do you offer to your holiday guests?
We provide daily cleaning and turn down in the evening. I’m keen to add to those services. In Scotland you usually take the house and do everything yourself, but we’d like to help people with whatever they need. We don’t want to get in their way, but we want to be there if they need it.
The idea for the holiday cottage is that it’s self catering, but our cook can come down there as well, even if it’s only once or twice a week.”