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Killiehuntly Farmhouse: An Organic Garden in the Scottish Highlands


Killiehuntly Farmhouse: An Organic Garden in the Scottish Highlands

January 22, 2018

In my next life, I’d like to be like Anne Storm Pedersen, who with her billionaire husband bought a 4,000-acre Scottish estate in 2011. Killiehuntly has farmland, forests, and rivers and an enviable location in Cairngorms National Park in the Highlands of Scotland (one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited).

With a greenhouse to rival Queen Victoria’s Crystal Palace, Pedersen’s organic farm supplies food and flowers to guests who reserve rooms in the circa-1800 farmhouse. (The full-board hotel and outbuildings have been remodeled in a style best described as “Scandi-Scot.” See the interiors on Remodelista: In Scotland, A Luxe Nature Retreat from a Danish Billionaire.)

The kitchen’s farm-to-table fare, said Pedersen, “is all about homemade, local, simple, and honest, beautiful food served in a setting where people come together to spend precious time away from the daily routine.” Almost all ingredients are grown at Killiehunty (save for exotics such as coffee, tea, and chocolate).  The cook relies on greenhouse-grown produce to stock the larder during darker, less-productive months. Elsewhere on the estate, chickens lay eggs, rivers are home to char and trout, and grazing Highland cattle occasionally provide meat. After the summer and fall harvest comes the hunting season, which is “an important time to take advantage of the exceptional bounty of this land,” said Pedersen. Let’s take a closer look at the estate.

Photography by Martin Kaufmann, courtesy of Killiehuntly.

Above: Inside the spired greenhouse, Pedersen and team grow edibles such as tomatoes and squash, which require warm temperatures.

To the uninitiated, “full-board” means meals included, and at Killiehuntly, that’s a sprawling breakfast, lunch packed in a chic Mismo backpack, afternoon tea, and a three-course seated dinner.

Above: A farmer (fittingly, wearing wellies and a linen apron) tends to the vegetable patch.
Above: Self-seeding borage grows in abundance in the vegetable garden.
Above: A farmer with an egg-laying hen.
Above: Killiehuntly has a large organic garden, bordered by a fence and low stone walls, with rows of raised beds  for fruits and vegetables. The produce supplies daily meals in summer and fall, and the kitchen draws from its larder in the winter and early spring.
Above: The main farmhouse dates to 1800; the owner commissioned architect Nicholas Groves-Raines, a specialist in refurbishing old buildings, to bring the structure into the 21st century. The original stone was sourced on the property, and Groves-Raines was able to supplement the supply with additional local stone to bolster the structure.
Above: Highland cattle have plenty of pasture land on the 4,000-acre estate.
Above: Killiehuntly organizes outdoor adventures for guests upon request, including fly fishing, hunting, hiking, and mountain biking.
Above: The car stables, located next to the horse stables (now converted into lodgings), house an early-edition Land Rover for guests’ outings.
Above: The “bothy,” a Scottish term for a small hut, is a separate structure located a stone’s throw from the farmhouse; it has its own enclosed herb garden and is available for family rentals.
Above: The refurbished farmhouse at night.
Above: Killiehuntly farmhouse in winter. The estate is located in Kingussie, in Cairngorms National Park in the Highlands of Scotland.

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