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Golden Getaway

29.12.21

Skye’s Kinloch Lodge introduces its 50th Anniversary package for 2022, Abode2 has an advance experience

Originally built as a farmhouse, Kinloch Lodge was converted into a shooting lodge for the Macdonalds of Skye in the 18th century. Today Isabella Macdonald is at the helm of Skye’s landmark hotel, welcoming guests into not just a hotel, but her ancestral, family home. It was opened as a hotel by Isabella’s father Godfrey, Lord Macdonald and High Chief of Clan Donald, and his wife, world-renowned cook Claire, in 1972.

In 2022, Kinloch Lodge, celebrates its 50th anniversary. To mark the occasion, it is introducing a new three-night package showcasing the very best experiences that the hotel has to offer, giving guests a real sense of place. From a wildlife walk with the hotel’s own ghillie to a shoreline foraging session with the restaurant’s head chef, the package invites guests to join the Macdonald family in marking 50 very special years.

Upon arrival guests are led into the hotel’s drawing room with its roaring fire and comfy sofas and the atmosphere is of being welcomed into a family home, not a hotel. Whilst relaxing, the eye is drawn to artefacts and heirlooms from the Macdonald family’s history, including a signed letter from Sir Winston Churchill, before being served a welcome ‘golden cocktail’ and the feeling of celebration truly begin. Dinner on each of the three nights, served in the beautifully historic dining room, are three-course affairs, with inventive dishes using homegrown produce from the hotel’s polytunnels and taking inspiration from Claire Macdonald’s early recipes.

The first morning is spent with Mitchell Partridge, Kinloch’s own ghillie and part of the Kinloch team for over 20 years. Mitchell has an unrivalled knowledge of Skye’s wild places and the wildlife that can be seen on the island. Beginning from the hotel’s front door, scaning the horizon and the ridgelines for the swooping forms of golden eagles, a species that has prospered in the area since being reintroduced, before heading closer to the loch’s edge to spot porpoises and, hopefully, otters. Mitchell gives an introduction to bushcraft skills too, lighting a fire using traditional techniques. In the afternoon, guests can enjoy walks around the Kinloch estate or head south along the Sleat Peninsula for a visit to Armadale Castle, the historic seat of Clan Donald and now home to an enchanting walled garden and museum.

The second full day takes on an epicurean feel. After a full Scottish breakfast, guests head off to Torabhaig Distillery, the newest whisky distillery on the Isle of Skye. The building was built out of stone from the ruined castle in the bay and today has a removable roof so that the copper stills can be more easily replaced. Visitors learn how the distillery is fed by the pure waters of the Allt Breacach and Allt Gleann burns before joining a tutored tasting of Torabhaig’s first edition whisky, a dram laced with smoke and peat. In the afternoon, guests join Jordan Webb, Kinloch’s head chef, for a foraging walk along the loch’s foreshore. Jordan explains more of his food philosophy – seasonal produce, locally sourced and cooked with creativity, while teaching some foraging skills. From identifying seaweeds and sea herbs, to tasting and picking bog myrtle and sea buckthorn, there’s much to learn and enjoy. The experience allows guests to spot foraged ingredients on the menu for their three course dinner in the evening.

Kinloch Lodge offers a Golden Anniversary package from £899pp sharing, including three nights’ half-board accommodation in a cosy double with sea view, welcome cocktail on arrival, Golden Eagle and wildlife walk, shoreline foraging, tour of Torabhaig Distillery, walk around Clan Donald lands and branded apron.

Kinloch-lodge.co.uk

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