A brand new hotel will open shortly on Islay. The new hotel is located in Bruichladdich, a stone's throw away from the neighbouring distillery, and will use the building known as The Abbotsford, not to be confused with Abbotsford House in the Scottish Borders where Sir Walter Scott used to live and work. I have no knowledge of the history of The Abbotsford on Islay, apart from the fact that it used to be a Guest House some time ago, was owned by Elspeth Pearce and has been on the market off and on in the last years. Whatever the history was, a new chapter will be added soon when the new hotel opens her doors around the 14th of May.
The website is already online for some time now and the opening lines sound very promising: "A luxury small hotel providing relaxed & informal accommodation in the village of Bruichladdich on the Island of Islay. You can choose to stay for bed and breakfast, Dinner is also available in our restaurant each evening." Curious as I am I sent the new owners, Paul and Joan Graham, an email and Paul replied promptly with some interesting information and a wee introduction: Continue reading.....
I am Islay born and bred, Joan is from Oban. She had never experienced island life until we bought a hotel on Mull and fell in love with the islands. Unfortunately Joan contracted Lhymes Disease which is a chronic and tiresome condition therefore we had to sell our Mull venture as it was getting bigger and bigger. We sold up and moved to Pitlochry but soon realised our want was to be back on the west coast. We had previously looked at The Abbotsford prior to going to Pitlochry but decided it was a big job (how right we were). Anyway here we are and very happy to be back. The hotel, being renamed "an taigh osda @ bruichladdich", meaning "the hotel @ bruichladdich" has been totally stripped out, insulated, high pressure hot water system and central heating installed. The 8 bedrooms have been converted into 5 luxury en-suite bedrooms with king size zip and link beds in four rooms allowing to be used as twins or doubles.
The restaurant will seat approx 24 covers and our Chef (and good friend), Chris Robertson joins us next week to start kitchen design and installation. The seasonal menus will feature heavily with local produce along the lines of our previous business, locally caught crab, lobster, mussels, venison. We are on track to open around the 14th of May and are already fully booked for the Whisky Festival. Our website is on line and will be updated with room and food photos as soon as we are able.
The new Hotel seen from the Bruichladdich Pier
If you want to make a reservation or just wish them good luck with their new venture you can contact Paul and Joan by email at email@example.com, by phone on 01496 850587 or have a look at their beautifully designed website at www.antaighosda.co.uk