A world-renowned Skye restaurant is to enter a new chapter after owners Shirley and Eddie Spear revealed they are selling up after 34 years.
The Three Chimneys restaurant and rooms at Colbost on Skye will now be taken over by award-winning hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray, who is returning to Scotland to live on a permanent basis.
Mrs Spear 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.
“Together, we’ve taken The Three Chimneys’ biggest business constraint – the restaurant’s remote location – and turned it into a unique selling point.
“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.”
Mr Campbell Gray, who operates and runs The Wee Hotel Company, has promised to continue the running of The Three Chimneys as it currently is, maintaining the features and assets that have been so influential in generating the global recognition of the restaurant.
He has also committed to ensuring all staff retain their jobs, with plans to invest over the coming years to enhance the restaurant and rooms further.
Mr Campbell Gray said: “I cannot tell you how privileged I feel to have been given the opportunity to buy somewhere as iconic as The Three Chimneys.
“For the past few years, I have wanted to come home to apply the skills and knowledge I’ve developed across my career.
“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.”
The acquisition comes after The Wee Hotel Company took control of the 12-bedroom Pierhouse Hotel and Seafood Restaurant at Port Appin just over a week ago.
Yesterday, local councillor Ronald MacDonald described the announcement as the “end of an era.”
He said: “I am sad to see Shirley and Eddie leave. They have really built up The Three Chimneys to becoming a world class establishment and I truly commend them for that.
“It is very much the end of an era in one retrospect, but the beginning of a new chapter in the other.
“I believe the new owner is someone who will maintain the standards that have been set and perhaps will go beyond to take it to the next level, which would be good news for Skye.”