The complete renovation of a run-down cottage has led to an exciting new venture in Portree as 1 Bosville Terrace Restaurant opened its doors to visitors and local residents on April 29.
The brainchild of head chef Mairi Lamont, in partnership with Coolin View Guesthouse owner Eddie Tweedie, the transformation of the cottage aims to ensure a place to eat for all – open all day and all year round.
“We’ve had good local support,” said Mairi, originally from Annishader, north of Portree. “As we’ve been working on the refurbishment over the last 12 months, we’ve had loads to people asking how we’re getting on and when will we be opening.
“It’s great because we want to serve that local trade, to offer something a little more modern and in a mainland style.”
With treats such as chargrilled steaks, smoky sausages, rustic fries, and pizza on the menu, 1 Bosville also makes the most of its port location with a selection of fresh shellfish, as well as the ever-popular fish and chips.
“There’s something a bit more traditional and something a bit more modern, so there’s something for everyone,” added Mairi.
And as head chef, Mairi is used to catering for all tastes having worked her way up through restaurant and hotel kitchens since starting out washing dishes at Skeabost House Hotel when she was 14 years old.
She’d followed in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother who both spent many years at Skeabost House, under the ownership of the McNab family.
Only seven years on from her kitchen porter beginnings, and Mairi had secured her first major award for her cookery from the Scotch Beef Club, an association whose members include the internationally-renowned Gleneagles Hotel.
She moved to head chef position in the Harbour View in Portree
following the Skeabost House Hotel sale, then a stint at the Isles Inn before a move to the mainland saw her spend five years at Arisaig’s Cnoc Na Faire Hotel, where Mairi won a Medallion food award for her restaurant.
In 2008, Mairi returned home to Skye to take up the head chef post at the Royal Hotel in Portree, before undertaking the Marmalade Hotel with 2nd chef, and partner, Andrew.
“I’d got stuck with a lot of admin, so much paperwork and not so much chef-ing in Marmalade,” she said. “That, and I think turning
40 last year, left me wanting to try doing something for myself.”
Having spied the Bosville Terrace cottage in the Isle of Skye Estate Agents window, Mairi approached Eddie Tweedie, who owns and runs the neighbouring Coolin View Guesthouse with brother Jim.
“We sat down and I said I’m not here to buy, but I am interested in the wee cottage next door,” she said. “He listened to my ideas and it’s all come from that.
“The biggest issue in Skye for people is finding the premises, but to also have people like Eddie, that trust you and have faith in you, it makes all the difference.”
For Eddie, the 1 Bosville Terrace Restaurant is a step into something unknown – but one that highlights his confidence in Mairi and her team.
“From the moment I met Mairi her enthusiasm was infectious,” he said.
“Although my wife Elaine and I own and rent out residential, as well as commercial, properties in Scotland and abroad, this is our first venture into the restaurant business and we are delighted to be doing it along with Mairi and Andrew.”
And for Eddie’s guests at the Coolin View, the new 1 Bosville Terrace Restaurant provides guesthouse breakfasts, as well as – thanks to its all-day, all-year opening hours – the opportunity for a delicious spot of lunch, afternoon tea or dinner, just next door.
But there’s even more as, alongside 1 Bosville’s modern cuisine, full of fresh local produce, there’s something special on offer for those with a sweet- tooth with Mairi’s sister-in-law, Nicola Lamont, adding her widely-praised ‘Cakes by Nicola’ cakes, cupcakes and truffles to the new restaurant’s menu.
“I’m just excited about the future now,” said Mairi, adding: “I’m a little nervous also as this has all been a big step, but thanks to Eddie and his brother Jim and all my friends and family for their support. It’s so good to be back in the kitchen!”