This hotel is on the Isle of Mull, a car ferry ride away from Oban on the west coast of Scotland. It is a lovingly restored house on the hill with many reincarnations throughout its life from a morgue to an Officer’s mess and home. Enter to a big wooden staircase with huge flagging stones and two front rooms that look over the port that we arrived into. The library is all white washed light & modern (I think Isle Crawford had some influence here) with beautiful, deep, shuttered windows. There are painted grey floorboards (more people should do this) in the gallery with a B&B Italia sectional sofa/ottoman and Monocle newspapers.
A pebbled path leads through an old green wire gate to the steep road that descends to the village. It pops out next to the tackle shop, a red shop sitting pretty in a row. Out of everything, my favourite part of the very sophisticated hotel, was the washing hanging to dry under a simple canvas tent, divine. One night was not enough but we had to truck on!
Set in the most magnificent established gardens: heavily laden fig, pomegranate, citrus & prickly pear trees, begging to be picked & eaten off the branch. Edit the Bali influence & bad signage out of your memory and stay here as an alternative to the seaside or if you do not have the captain of your super yacht on speed dial.
We had a fun, long, late lunch, but could have easily stayed here for the day (you can purchase a day pass) and hung out at the super chic pools, laying about on daybeds sipping cocktails and squeezing in a spa treatment.
Although Ibiza has never made it into my top 5 (or top 100), I was not one to turn down the invitation of a week of luxury to celebrate my friends 40th on a super yacht off the coast.
I have heard over the years that there was more to the notorious party island, so I put in a little effort to scratch beneath the surface between sunbathing, paddle boarding, sea bobbing, jet skiing and long lunches.
I flew to Queenstown to have a concentrated meeting with my architect & visionaire, Kelvin Ho & Justin Hemmes. Unfortunately for the meeting, we got a little distracted by very fast boats, racing cars, local food & wine and the most amazing backdrop ever!! Here are some of my pics.
I am coming back in October & most definitely planning to have Queenstown & its surrounds in an upcoming book.
“God, I’m so tired” comes to mind. But there are many reasons to drag yourself through the day & dance till dawn every night!
To get going, first up a coffee and food needs to be organised! Delis do a great BLT (bacon fried to snapping point) and they deliver, even if it amounts to $5! Don’t be shy, call your local deli- the concierge will have the number.
I have my favourite haunts from many an early shoot morning: Columbine for the best BLT on 7 grain bread; Ceci Cela for perfect French baguette with ham; Joe’s for the best coffee in town (and although coffee is finally getting serious in NYC you still have to know where they are located); a lofty Balthazar Breakfast; Le Pain Quotidien; Brown Cafe for l.e.s breakfast platter; The Smile.