History

History


Shirley and Eddie Spear’s immense pride in Scottish food, its culture and traditional dishes, were behind the ethos which they brought with them to Skye in 1985 to fulfil their dream of owning a bistro-style eatery, serving fresh, home-cooked food. They soon began to achieve recognition and awards, their first major one in 1990, as Scottish Restaurant of the Year. That same culinary ethos, plus high standards of customer service created an iconic Scottish destination experience and remains at the core of The Three Chimneys to this day. Shirley's work in the Scottish Food and Drink Industry has been recognised in many ways.  For two years she was Chair of the Scottish Food Commission and helped to launch the Good Food Nation. In the Queen's 90th Birthday Honours List, Shirley was awarded an OBE for Services to Food and Drink in Scotland, recognising a lifetime's work in Skye and throughout the country. 

In that last four years alone the current Three Chimneys Team, under Shirley and Eddie’s direction, have retained their coveted AA Three Rosettes for fine dining, their AA Notable Wine List Award, a consistent AA and Visit Scotland Five Star Rating for The House Over-By Accommodation and Breakfast, an AA Award for the best UK Restaurant Service and The Good Food Guide Editor’s Choice for Restaurant of the Year 2018. 

The Three Chimneys Restaurant and The House Over-By have now been purchased by Gordon Campbell Gray and will become part of his new Scottish venture, The Wee Hotel Company…

 Shirley Spear, founder of The Three Chimneys, has commented:

“Eddie and I have dedicated most of our working and family life to The Three Chimneys, here in the Isle of Skye and we are extremely proud of how the restaurant has developed over the past three decades. This could not have been possible without the support of many wonderful people, who have all worked exceptionally hard to help us build our reputation over the years. Together, we’ve taken The Three Chimneys’ biggest business constraint – the restaurant’s remote location – and turned it into a unique selling point. We always knew we had to create a memorable experience which exceeded customer expectations in order to grow the business here. 

 “We have now reached a point in our lives where we want to travel more and work a little less. Our focus has been on finding the right person who shares our vision for what The Three Chimneys can develop further for the long-term future, and we are extremely pleased to have found that person in Gordon. We know The Three Chimneys, The House Over-By and our exceptional team will be in great hands. We are also very proud of the fact that Gordon is so keen to invest his outstanding expertise in this remote, fragile area of the island, knowing he has already fallen in love with our beautiful views and peaceful surroundings here at Colbost.”

Gordon Campbell Gray, founder of Campbell Gray Hotels and The Wee Hotel Company has commented: 

 “I cannot tell you how privileged I feel to have been given the opportunity to buy somewhere as iconic as The Three Chimneys. I have admired Shirley and Eddie for so many years, and when we were chatting on one occasion and Shirley hinted that perhaps they might consider selling, it was a magical moment.  

 “I am very flattered that they would allow me take over the reins of their amazing achievement and the simply outstanding team. For the past few years, I have wanted to come home to apply the skills and knowledge I’ve developed across my career. I have been lucky enough to live in and travel to many counties but, at the end of the day, Scotland is simply one of the most stunning countries in the world; the best! 

 “I am thrilled to be able to invest time and effort here and to work within a hospitality sector which is, and should be, the envy of the world. The Three Chimneys is a simply wonderful place to begin that journey.”

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