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Killiehuntly Farmhouse, Cairngorms, Scotland

A Scandi-Scot hideaway in Scotland’s Cairngorm mountains.

✓  Incredible Nordic-style interiors
✓ A greater purpose of conservation and rewilding
✓ Farm-to-fork dining
✓ Tactile Lithuanian linen bedding

This achingly stylish house-hotel is an excellent example of destination design, made even more impressive by the dramatic backdrop of Scotland’s Cairngorm mountains. Owned by Danish billionaire couple Anders Holch Povlsen and Anne Storm Pedersen, the 17th century Scottish farmhouse has four bedrooms and nearby are the more private quarters of a Bothy, hayloft and cottage.

Who stays here? 

Creative couples making a design pilgrimage. Sister properties Kyle House and Lundies may also be on their itinerary, as well as Gleneagles (now under Hoxton management) and Hauser + Wirth’s Scottish outpost. 

Rooms 

The four bedrooms are named after trees on the estate: Alder, Birch, Elm and Oak. Each bedroom has a handmade Swedish mattress and Lithuanian sheets made from 100% linen, altogether conducive to the best sleep of my life. There’s no phone, TV nor minibar – guests are invited to help themselves from the complementary minibar in the lounge downstairs.

We stayed in Elm, which has muted blue walls, a bespoke bed made by local carpenters and a pink Arne Jacobsen “7-series”-chair. The adjoining bathroom, whilst private to Elm, was not connected directly with the room. The tung-and-groove-clad room had a roll top bath, separate shower and Danish Meraki toiletries. It’s worth noting that Birch and Oak share a bathroom.

Food and drink

A stay here is full-board at the weekend – but it’s worth enquiring about your options for dinner if you stay during the week, especially if you’re travelling without a car.

Dinner is served in the dining room at a communal table with the other guests, dinner party style, and the menu features local meat and fish, and vegetables grown in the kitchen garden. The farm-to-fork approach is continued at breakfast, which is served at the kitchen table. There’s fresh eggs from the estate hens, homemade granola with fruit compote and yoghurt, freshly baked brad and homemade jams.

Lunch is a ‘piece’, or a Scottish packed lunch, normally consisting of a sandwich and slab of cake. It’s wrapped in brown paper and string and left in the porch for guests to pop in their pocket ready for the day of hiking ahead. The shortbread served in the kitchen at afternoon teatime is divine. 

Design details

Owners Anders Holch Povslen and Anne Storm Pedersen enlisted interior designer Ruth Kramer to combine Danish design with Scottish craftsmanship, terming the aesthetic result ‘Scandi-Scot’. The mix is compelling, with furniture from Hans Wegner strewn with Highland sheepskins, contemporary Danish artwork hanging above Orkney chairs and a muted colour palette that looks like it was pulled straight from the Scottish skies.

Service 

Like being hosted by generous friend, or staying at a luxurious catered chalet in the Alps. The ‘hosts’ are a Scandivian couple who live on site, though I warmed much more to the friendly housekeepers.

Packing list

Most of the year, you could bet on packing for wet weather walking. Don’t worry if you forget anything – there are piles of jumpers by the door, waterproof jackets in the porch for guests to borrow and a Danish rucksack in each room. A Ganni dress with a slouchy cardigan would make you fit right in at dinner.

Getting there

Killiehuntly is roughly four miles from the village of Kingussie, which has rail links to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness, as well as a limited Caledonian Sleeper service. It’s 40 miles south of Inverness, which can be reached via London City Airport on British Airways.

Kingussie, Highland PH21 1NZ, Scotland
killiehuntly.scot 
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