An intelligible yet stylish Scottish boutique hideaway for two where the lines between indoor and outdoor are beautifully blurred, perfect for those wanting to be enveloped by the raw majesty of the Scottish Highlands.
From the inside, 57 Nord is an intimate off-the-radar retreat, a cosy den fusing contemporary Nordic design and Highland crafts: a style combo of Norse hugs Gael. But its exterior represents a minimalist hideaway, a viewing platform onto the wild elements of the Scottish Highlands. Vast floor-to-ceiling, sliding windows replace conventional walls and enable uninterrupted gazing out over the mesmeric landscape of Loch Duich, Loch Ash, Loch Long and occasionally the Northern Lights add their magical beauty.
The larch framed panorama is made up of water, Loch Duich, inky blue and reflective, the snow-dusted Kintail Mountains, the crumbling Eilean Donan castle and a never-ending sky, smudged with clouds. To-get-away-from-it-all is a hackneyed phrase - but here it rings true.
57 Nord is an outpost retreat to switch off, leave behind the busy world and succumb to the huge, elemental environment. In the face of such staggering nature, it’s humbling to view oncoming storms, the pale streaks of dawn or the ethereal formation of sunlight and clouds. And it’s not just for gazing.
There are wanders around lochs, ruined castles and remote peninsulas to keep mind and body active. Come home to the flickering Danish wood burner, a dram of whisky and that endless view; and begin to shed layers and connect on a deeper level with the surroundings - and ourselves.
There’s a quiet, confident sense of wholeness here in this modern interpretation of a Scottish crofters dwelling. There are nods to local tradition with larch timber sourced from the Isle of Skye, and a black iron roof.
The rugged architecture contrasts perfectly with the luxe interiors, where a studied design mixes modern and mid-century Scandinavian pieces with Scottish artisanal crafts with use of natural materials such as wood, stone, marble and brass. This design pays homage to the history of the Norse-Gaels of Western Scotland which dates back to the 9th century. But most of all there’s a feeling of absolute cosiness - guests can own and create their own experience with nature in this utterly remote retreat.
The bedroom is pared-back simplicity and understated elegance. As a patron of local products, an Isle of Skye paint, infused with organic seaweed, was used on the walls accentuating the striking oak canopy bed, which is softened by fluffy sheepskins, wool throws in muted hues, rounded Scandinavian furniture and pendant lighting. A Hypnos mattress and 600 thread count sheets add to your comfort, and of course, the cinematic, ever-changing views of lochs, mountains, castles and forest-clad hills present an awe-inspiring start or finish to the day.
The bathroom is a place of supreme relaxation, taking inspiration from zen-like spas with marble tiles, glowing brass taps and a handcrafted vanity area made from ash. The deep stone tub, created in the shape of a smooth pebble creates the perfect cocoon to soothe away any remaining cares. Organic products from Swedish coastal company L:A Bruket are at ease with the philosophy of this all-natural retreat, taking their inspirations from ‘Sun, wind, rock and ice; salt, sand, mud and water’ to create products driven by nature.
Welcoming guests to this remote hideaway is a generous and thoughtfully prepared hamper containing locally sourced foodie gems including artisan bread from the nearby baker, homemade jam from picturesque Plockton, hot smoked salmon from Skye and Highland fine cheeses.
Reflecting the owners proclivity for slow living, 57 Nord are passionate about provenance and quality. Coffee connoisseurs will be well-catered for with freshly ground speciality coffees from a roastery in Glasgow which sources beans from around the world – the current being a single origin coffee from Guatemala. A house honesty bar allows guests to sample sommelier-selected wines and a curated selection of local gins and whiskeys.
For a treat, 57 Nord can arrange a chef to come to the cottage to produce a wonderful meal or two. Private chef Greig Wilding is recommended, from the Highland Kitchen. In consultation with you, a bespoke menu will be created, which could feature lamb haggis, Kilpatrick oysters or charcoal roasted venison. For an evening out, try Kinloch Lodge on Skye, or further afield, feast at the Michelin starred Loch Bay and world famous Three Chimneys.
Founder Mumtaz Lalani’s aim for 57 Nord was for guests to rediscover the luxury of slow living.
“In today’s world, life is busy, we have hectic schedules and multiple demands on our time. It’s easy to get lost in technology and all the noise around us. We found the tranquillity of the Scottish Highlands to be the natural antidote to all of this.
For us, the setting here at 57 Nord embodied its wild beauty perfectly, overlooking as it does, the meeting point of three ancient sea lochs, the Kintail mountains, and the iconic Eilean Donan Castle. There is a feeling here that time has stood still. It’s a place to take stock and unwind; to slow down, recharge and reconnect; and to rediscover beauty in the small moments.”
Remote but easily accessible, 57 Nord is located on the scenic coast of Wester Ross, just two hours by car from Inverness Airport and 15 minutes from Skye.
This part of the Highlands is home to famous distilleries, Michelin starred restaurants, with breathtaking hikes on the doorstep and longer drives and walks minutes by car. Road trips are heaven here- twist through the hairpin bends of North Coast 500 to reach Bealach na Ba – the UK’s most remote peninsula.
Easy access to Skye means a morning or afternoon visit is easily possible. The Old Man of Storr is an iconic must-see landmark and the mist-swirled Cuillin Ridge with its crystal-clear waters at Fairy Pools are ideal for wild swimmers. Skye is also home to traditional pubs, seafood restaurants and artisan shops and the original single malt whisky Talisker distillery located on the shores of Loch Harport.
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