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The Stunning Beauty & Tranquility Of The Boath House


The Boath House is a luxury country house, widely renowned for its style, quality and fine cuisine. This award winning house and gardens with café restaurant and shop is nestled on the Moray Firth coast in the majestic Scottish Highlands.


This beautiful historic Regency House has been in the Matheson family since the early 1990’s. The house is set in 22 acres of stunning scenery with ornamental lake, streams, parkland and walled gardens. Paul Andrews spoke to Wendy Matheson to find out more.


When was the business founded?

We purchased the house as a derelict building in 1992 and partially opened in 1996.


What does it do?

We are a 9 bedroom boutique hotel with a Georgian dining Room and garden restaurant with a small curated gift shop. We have over 16 acres of gardens, woodland, lake and streams. We also run a small b&b business from our own home and I run a garden design business.


Tell me a little about the history of the business?

It took around 10 years to make money. We reinvested in the business every year and we have gained a reputation for fine dining and gained four rosettes and a Michelin star for 12 years.


Predicting a change in customer demand for more casual dining and a business need to help pay for the upkeep of the gardens we built a garden restaurant in 2018. This has been extremely popular and helped with gaining a more local clientele which proved to be invaluable during the pandemic.


Are there any other family members working in the business?

One of our sons has been GM for the past 9 years but has taken a sabbatical to take a course for a year. Our daughter has been working for us throughout her teens and all through university. Our other son has been involved in various photographic projects for us.


How important was the business in your life as you grew up?

All the children have grown up living in the hotel and earning money working in the various departments, mostly gardening; waiting; KP and housekeeping. We built a new family home at the bottom of the grounds 7 years ago. The kids are now in their late 20’s and 30’s.


What has helped your firm stand the test of time?

We took this project on with passion and vision and are so happy that this has rubbed off on the next generation.


What values are important to the family and the business?

Integrity, honesty and hard work.


Do you build the family ownership into the marketing and brand narrative and if so, how?

Yes we do, we market ourselves as a family run business.


What do you think makes working in a family business special?

Total trust and dependability and you have control. The fact that family will go the extra mile when necessary. It’s also good for them to learn resilience and how to adapt when necessary too.


Are there any disadvantages associated with working in a family business?

Not a disadvantage as such but you do have to make sure that the rest of the team feel totally included and valued.


What advice would you give to anyone in the next generation considering joining their family firm?

Prepare to be 100% committed.


If you could talk to your younger self before you joined the business, what would you say?

All the sleepless nights and worry will be worth it! Don and I have two catch phrases we have used on numerous occasions:


The first is “Let’s not and say we did “ which pertains to the day I asked him to turn the car around and have a look at the mansion house for sale written on a handmade board 30 years ago.


The other is “Wendy, you have no idea how much work that is” which is what Don says every time I come up with another idea!


Regrets?

Perhaps to have made a little more time for the children when they were all younger. The younger children used to spend a lot of time either sat on a tractor with the groundsman or in the kitchen with the chef. They do seem to have good memories of it all though!


If you could sum up the family business in three words, what would they be?

Solidarity, Trust, Pride


Find out more about this beautiful destination by visiting their website here

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