Luxury Scottish Hotel
Boath House succeeds “the great stone house” mentioned in a court circular of the time of Mary Queen of Scots. It has been described as the most beautiful Regency House in Scotland and was built by Archibald Simpson of Aberdeen, whose portrait hangs in the house. Simpson was regarded as being head and shoulders above the men of his time, and by some as an architect of genius.
It was on the rising ground in front of the house, on a misty morning in 1645, that part of the Montrose’s Royalist force awaited the Covenanting army commanded by the Duke of Argyll. At that time there was a tower dating back to the mid 1500’s and it is said that the army camped at a well in the grounds at a site which is now outside the bottom of the walled garden.
The house was built for Sir James Dunbar, and the family retained it until 1923. It passed through various hands and unfortunately into a state of disrepair in the early 90’s, at which time Don and Wendy bought and restored the magnificent building to something approaching its original splendour - we have posted a selection of photos on Flickr showing some 'before' pictures. An interesting dovecote, contemporary with the old house, still stands today in the nearby village of Auldearn, and is maintained by the National Trust for Scotland. The garden also dates back to earlier times and has been restored to almost its original 'kitchen gardens' status providing the property now with vegetables and herbs for the kitchen, as was customary in bygone days. Historic Scotland’s Garden Society were able to provide us with details of the layout of much of the original walled garden and over the years we have rebuilt the plot from scratch.
Country House Hotel in the Scottish Highlands
Boath House was built around 1825 for the Dunbar family, replacing a house which had been on site since the mid 16th Century. Much has changed since those halcyon days. The policies of the house are now only 20 acres compared with an estate of nearly 2200 acres in its former days.
The owner of Boath House, Sir Alexander Dunbar, bequeathed sixty acres of the land to create the new Nairn Dunbar Golf Club. He played the first shot in 1899 using a specially made club.
The kitchens were originally in the basement and the Butler's pantry is now the ladies toilet. The new kitchen was originally Lady Dunbar’s bedroom with what is now the private dining room as her private dressing room. The privy was removed many years ago and is now used for storing wine.
What has not changed is the traditional fine food served in this classical Georgian Country Mansion. Local Scottish fare, freshly prepared and changed daily, based on traditional foods and old recipes, combined with contemporary ideas gives a balanced and interesting menu whilst retaining the ethos of quality, freshness and value so important in the traditional Scottish kitchen.