If her name, Mimi Theobald, sounds familiar, don’t be surprised, although you may know Mimi, a former Army nurse who grew up in Garve, by her nickname – the female Gok Wan.
Mimi, who is selling her home of the past two years, Woodside House at Heights of Woodside in Westhill, Inverness, is a well-known milliner who has featured in the P&J several times over the years.
Originally from Ross-shire, she moved to Australia and married a Navy submarine captain. Looking for something to fill her days while he was at sea, she signed up for a one-day hat-making course and instantly discovered a natural talent.
Hooked on millinery, she went on to train under celebrity designer Neil Grigg and had a baby girl, Kitty, who is now nine. Since returning to Scotland, she’s won a string of awards and set up her own business, the Hats By Mimi fashion house.
It’s to Woodside House, one of the flagship homes within this prestigious development on the eastern fringes of Inverness, that many clients come to have a bespoke hat created.
“It’s a very grand home and rather stately and feels as though you’re living in the countryside although it’s close to Inverness. I use one of the front rooms as a room to meet my clients,” said Mimi, 31.
However, not all her clients have visited here…
“I’ve made hats for lots of celebrities including a special top hat for Russell Brand who shared a photograph of himself wearing it, without any clothes, on Twitter. I’ve also made several hats for Jackie Sinclair, Simon Cowell’s ex-girlfriend, to wear to Ascot. She invited me to join her at Simon’s box at Ascot. Simon wasn’t there but Gary Lineker and judges from Strictly were.
“It was fun but they are just people to me. People think making hats for famous people is important but it’s not, I prefer making them for clients I’ve got to know over time as they appreciate the workmanship and time that’s gone into making each hat. It’s a long process but you do it because you love it, while making hats has introduced me to a lot of lovely, wonderful people in the Highlands.”
Mimi is also quick to sing the praises of her neighbourhood. “The street has different types of houses and is home to a lot of young families so it’s quite special. Kitty has made some great friendships while living here.”
Woodside House, as one might expect from someone with a flair for design, is an exceptional modern and stylish home, built 10 years ago and featuring quality finishes and tasteful design throughout – the work, Mimi says, of her mum, Lyn McMillan, from whom she inherited her fashionable genes.
Features of note include underfloor heating on the ground floor, a central vacuum cleaning system and a sophisticated security system. The house occupies the largest and best-positioned plot within this development of luxury houses with several rooms enjoying great views of the Moray Firth, the Black Isle and beyond.
The accommodation begins with an impressive and welcoming hallway where the bay-windowed sitting room and formal dining room are located on either side. Both of these fantastic public rooms are front facing and have great views.
There is a sitting room with french doors leading into the gardens and doors opening up into a spacious and well-equipped, modern dining kitchen, which has a range of integrated appliances including dishwasher, ovens, microwave and coffee maker.
The family room is located off the kitchen and has a freestanding wood-burning stove while the lobby has a walk-in larder with shelving and additional storage facilities. There is a WC/cloakroom, utility room and boot room. A beautifully presented double bedroom with a large en suite shower room completes the ground floor.
The staircase leads to a bright, airy and spacious landing which has magnificent views, feature fireplace and is the perfect place to relax unwind and admire the views over the Firth. On the other side of the landing is a study area which overlooks the rear gardens to the countryside beyond.
The master bedroom has a bay window and a balcony to enjoy the stunning views while a walk-in dressing room and en suite bathroom with twin hand basins, spa bath, WC and shower make this the sort of bedroom you dream of waking up in.
The house, which is on the market at offers over £795,000, has three other double bedrooms, all of which have balconies, a bay window and en suite facilities.
Outside, the gardens extend to around an acre and include manicured lawns fringed by colourful flower beds. There’s a sweeping tarred drive leading to the front of the house, a turning circle, an integrated double garage and plenty of room for outside parking. To the rear of the house, there’s a flagstone patio that’s perfect for alfresco dining and a sheltered garden with a greenhouse, potting shed and garden shed.
“I’m looking to do something different with my life, perhaps expand the business and open up a shop. The exciting thing is I don’t really know what I’ll be doing until I’ve sold the house,” said Mimi.
Contact: Strutt and Parker on 01463 719171.