The Highlands of Scotland are famous for hospitality. Ard Daraich is no exception and as an old-fashioned highland home, we welcome our guests as friends. The house is painted in soft colours and decorated with family portraits and furniture. Some rooms are lined in painted wood, a highland tradition, and the bath is free standing. Visitors comment on the friendly unspoilt atmosphere and with our local knowledge, we hope to help you find enjoyable things to do and see.
Were you brought up cooking from the fat pink book that sat on both of our mothers kitchen shelves? If you too were taught to cook from the cookery bible of the 50’s and 60’s you will remember the name of Constance Spry. She, who designed the flowers at the Queens Coronation and invented that ubiquitous dish, Coronation Chicken!
Ard Daraich was the house and home of Constance Spry and was bought by Norries parents, David and Edith Maclaren in 1969.
As the latest development at Ard Daraich, we are now offering self-catering in the main house with full use of the garden.
The original 1909 croft cottage was extended in 1929. The larger, more formal rooms are now offered as our second self catering option. Built loosely in the Rennie MacIntosh style as a gentrification of the original Edwardian cottage, these rooms still have many of the 1930s features including original fireplaces and Crittall windows. Ard Daraich Garden House now offers stylish, upmarket, comfortable accommodation for four.
With a separate gate and path leading through the garden, the glazed front door gives lovely views of the planting beyond which is especially colourful in the Spring and Autumn. There is a large drawing room on the right with hearth and wood burner, comfortable seating, antique furniture family portraits and a television. To the left is a kitchen and dining room. Up stairs, through selves full of books, are two large bedrooms, both king size, one with huge Tudor four poster bed from Kenilworth Castle (given to Norrie’s mother as a twenty first birthday present) the other, the Italian room, decorated with a fine painting of Umbrian landscape, Italian furnishings and stunning views of the garden. The bathroom has wood lined walls and the original free standing bath, the perfect length for relaxing and looking at the garden in peace.
Anna & Norrie Maclaren, Owners
Artist and Gardener, Anna Raven and her husband Norrie Maclaren have lived at Ard Daraich for over 15 years. Norrie took over the Hill Garden and Shrub Nursery in 1999 from his parents who bought Ard Daraich in 1969. Once the holiday home of Constance Spry, The Maclarens, both father and sons, developed a garden that is now of special interest. On her arrival, Anna converted the potting shed into a self catering cottage within the garden making it an ideal retreat for garden lovers. The main house offers a self-catering option for 4 and Anna paints in her Studio whilst Norrie had a career in photography, film and television. The house is full of art and personal memorabilia and The Maclarens welcome everyone as friends. In the spirit of Highland hospitality!