Press release 26th April 2019
THE THREE CHIMNEYS IS UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP
The Three Chimneys has been sold by current owners Shirley and Eddie Spear after 34 years.
The world-renowned restaurant with rooms, at Colbost on the Isle of Skye, has been purchased by Scots born international hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray.
Gordon, who is returning to live in Scotland permanently, aims to carry on business at The Three Chimneys as it has always been run, with the introduction of additional investment over time. The Three Chimneys will be part of his new Scottish hotel and restaurant collection, The Wee Hotel Company.
All jobs at the iconic restaurant with rooms are secure and all current staff will remain in position, including head chef, Scott Davies, whose clean, pure style of cooking and commitment to using hyper-local produce has grown The Three Chimneys’ reputation as one of the best restaurants in the world.
Reservations in the restaurant, and bookings for The Three Chimneys’ six adjacent bedroom suites in The House Over-By, will be honoured under the new ownership and the current, local management team will remain in Skye. It will be business as usual.
Shirley and Eddie Spear, who reopened The Three Chimneys at Easter in 1985, will remain indirectly involved with the business for a transitional period ensuring a smooth handover of their heritage. Gordon has invited Shirley to continue to work with him in an advisory capacity, sharing her knowledge and experience of Highland hospitality and tourism as the Wee Hotel Company develops. She is delighted to have been invited to assist with the growth of this exciting new Scottish company.
Shirley Spear, Co-owner at The Three Chimneys, said:
“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 said:
“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 countries 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.”
Serving the best of Skye, Land and Sea, The Three Chimneys has established itself as a multi award-winning, destination dining experience for more than 30 years. Based within an original Skye croft house, The Three Chimneys is renowned for serving inspirational dishes that optimise the richness and variety of Scotland’s natural larder. The adjacent six bedrooms in The House Over-By opened on 1st May 1999 and these will be refreshed to an even higher standard over the next year or two.
For more information about The Three Chimneys, please visit www.threechimneys.co.uk
For more information about The Wee Hotel Company, please visit:
For further details, press images, and interview requests, please contact
Mikaela MacKinnon or Jon Perkins at Taste Communications
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About The Three Chimneys
One of Scotland’s most iconic restaurants with rooms, The Three Chimneys at Colbost, on the Isle of Skye, opened in 1985 when owners Shirley and Eddie Spear exchanged their family life in London returning home to Scotland for one as novice restaurateurs in one of the most remote areas of the UK. Their dream was to specialise in traditional, home-cooked Scottish dishes, and they fell in love with a crofter’s cottage in north-west Skye that was – and still is – The Three Chimneys.
Day-to-day operations at The Three Chimneys and The House Over-By are led by General Manager Petri Pentikäinen, Head Chef Scott Davies, Restaurant Manager James Alexander-Thom, Scott Ross, Marketing and Communications Manager and Guest Services Manager, Sarah Campbell, Eddie and Shirley’s daughter.
In 1999, the business was expanded with the opening of The House Over-By, adjacent to The Three Chimneys restaurant. Home to six luxurious bedroom suites, the House Over-By has maintained Gold 5-Star awards from VisitScotland and the AA, achieving consistent 100% marks for impeccable housekeeping for the past 20 years.
Having retained 3 AA Rosettes continuously for the past 20 years, The Three Chimneys was awarded the title of UK Restaurant of the Year in the Editor’s Awards within the Waitrose Good Food Guide 2018 and has retained its place in the UK’s top 50 in the new 2019 guide.
About Gordon Campbell Gray
Born in Scotland, Gordon is a renowned hotelier and the founder of Campbell Gray Hotels. He has been personally involved in every aspect of the creation, design and philosophy of each hotel.
At this stage, he has decided to hold a more ambassadorial role to allow him more time at home in Scotland to live and work, supporting the development of The Wee Hotel Company.
As the word “luxury” becomes increasingly overused and so often synonymous with excess, the philosophy of The Wee Hotel Company is based very much around a greater sense of integrity and looking after guests seeking a genuine hospitality experience. Alongside this, Gordon is passionate about the environment, encouraging other hoteliers to do more to reduce waste and take better care of the planet.
During his twenties, Gordon spent several years running Save The Children projects in Bangladesh, Morocco and Nicaragua. He is Vice President of Save The Children and an ardent fundraiser for this and many other charities.
Gordon was named “Hotelier of the Year” by the Hotel and Caterer in 2002. He was given the “Leading Legend” award by Leading Hotels of the World” at their annual convention in Tokyo, and also received the “Outstanding Contribution to the Hotel Industry” award at the Hotel Cateys in London.