This is the Art House, a cosy slice of Scandinavian chic nestled on Skye’s rugged coastline that is filled with good things. Like epic views, a warm welcome and a dog named Watson.
You’ve simply got to take things slow at the Art House, Sally and Rob’s laid back bolthole nestled in the hamlet of Heaste. For a start, just getting there takes you off the beaten path – five miles of bumpy driving down a wiggly lane through rugged moorland, with regular stops to shoo stray lambs out of the way. When we arrived we were a sodden, muddy mess after a two day hike through an enormous storm, but the lovely Sally took us in, washed all our clothes, put the kettle on and dried our hiking boots by the fire.
Sally and Rob built the Art House themselves and it’s a real labour of love. Huge picture windows look out over Loch Eishort, a view so perfect that it’d look like it’s been painted, except that, like all of Skye, it’s always changing. We watched out for Skye’s famed golden eagles but were rewarded instead with a calf being born. Inside, everything is pared back and relaxed, the decoration touched with natural elements like driftwood, vintage glass bottles and art by Sally herself. Oh, and Watson the dog. You can probably tell quite how keen I was on the beautiful Watson by how heavily he features in these pictures. He’ll let you cuddle him in return for playing the Neverending Stick Game.
Breakfasting is a feast of local ingredients, big pots of coffee and fresh orange juice, with Radio Four burbling happily in the background. We headed off for a wild swim and a hike, armed with Rob’s detailed directions and map of the island, and then drove down to the Sleat peninsula for fresh seafood at the Eilean Iarmain Hotel in Isleornsay. You can spend hours by the little harbour there, looking out on the perfectly clear water and the tiny lighthouse in the distance. When we eventually got back there was time for a last dram of whisky by the fire before bed. Perfect.
Not only is Art House rather wonderful, it’s also a right bargain, at £40 per person per night. Go right now, before they get booked up. And say hi to Watson. http://www.arthouse-skye.co.uk/