Winding his way down Baker Street resulted in Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty having a worldwide smash hit that’s still played on the airwaves today.
But it was a stroll along an un-named street in Strathpeffer that resulted in him buying an elegant, much-admired property that would become his home in the Highlands.
Eaglestone is a charming B-listed house in the conservation area of the spa village, which during Victorian times attracted visitors from far and wide.
Today, Strathpeffer sits on the hugely popular NC500 route, and lockdown aside, continues to attract visitors keen to experience its leafy streets and stylish, historic buildings which give it the feel of an Austrian village.
When the present owners of Eaglestone, Stuart Fearn and his wife, Dr Alice Mongiello, viewed the house some 15 years ago, Gerry owned the property.
But it wasn’t the star –who had hits with Night Owl and Stuck in the Middle With You with his band Stealers Wheel – who showed them round the house, but the singer’s gardener.
“We didn’t meet Gerry himself, but shortly after we bought the house his surveyor and architect sent us some designs which he had drawn up to turn the coach house into a music studio with accommodation,” said Stuart.
“My son and daughter are much more musical than I am, but we didn’t need a music studio to be honest, so decided against using the plans.”
The traditional former coach house sits nicely within the grounds and is currently used as garaging, workshops and storage, but it has the potential to be turned into a two-bedroom cottage – ideal if you were looking to offer self-contained accommodation or have relatives live close by.
As for Eaglestone, on the market at offers over £475,000, it’s one of the most stylish, traditional properties in Strathpeffer.
Built around 1860 to an unusual design, it has a continuous open-fronted veranda around the house and curved gable ends.
“It has a very nice symmetrical look, and having two bow windows on either side of the front is unusual,” said Stuart.
“It even has the original concave glass in the sash windows.”
Stuart, a semi-retired IT consultant, and Alice, a lecturer at the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness, moved north from the Central Belt, attracted partly for work and partly for their love of mountains – Alice is a keen Munro bagger.
“It was a great move for us and living in such a spacious house with nice gardens has been pretty idyllic and a perfect place to bring up a family,” said Stuart.
“Like a lot of people are finding out now, I found I could work online from home – Strathpeffer has good broadband and telecommunication links.”
Now, they’re preparing to say farewell to this happy home and let another family enjoy the experience of living in a charming house filled with period features.
The accommodation begins with a grand entrance hall offering access to a drawing room and dual-aspect dining room, both with bow-fronted windows and a curved wall.
The drawing room also has French doors opening out to the established gardens.
There is a bright and spacious family sitting room, a dining kitchen with two-oven Aga, a sizeable utility room-boot room and a WC on the ground floor.
On the first floor there is a master bedroom which is adjacent to a family bathroom and a dressing room-sixth bedroom.
There are four further light-filled bedrooms, a shower room and a WC.
Both the master bedroom and the third bedroom have a curved wall which give them a stylish, unusual look.
“Lots of original Victorian features, such as ornate cornicing and open fireplaces, remain so the character of the house hasn’t been messed around with or made into a contemporary, modern space,” said Stuart.
“I think my favourite room is the lounge, where on a Saturday night it’s lovely to have a real fire on and sit and watch TV with the kids.”
Outside the house, which was once home to a village doctor and surgery, there’s more than an acre of land featuring raised decking, lawns, hedging and specimen trees, while the gardens and house are sheltered by mature woodland.
Strathpeffer has a small supermarket, highly-regarded primary school, restaurant, hotels and a modern doctors’ surgery.
Contact Galbraith on 01463 224343.