A Restaurant Worth Travelling To: The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye


In this series, we travel to some of the UK’s very best restaurants. These establishments are destinations in their own right and merit a day trip or overnighter. This month, we paid a visit to the far-flung Three Chimneys on the Isle of Skye for an unforgettable meal...

The concept…

In 1985, Shirley and Eddie Spear launched The Three Chimneys, a bistro-style eatery serving home-cooked, traditional Scottish dishes with a fine-dining twist. It was unlike anything the island had ever seen. Soon after launching, the restaurant began achieving recognition and awards, including Scottish Restaurant of the Year in 1990 and a Michelin star not long after. In the last four years alone, the team has retained AA Three Rosettes for fine dining, a Visit Scotland five-star rating for its accommodation and won The Good Food Guide’s Editor’s Choice for Restaurant of the Year 2018. 

In 2019, this global reputation remains (in 2018, the Wall Street Journal described The Three Chimneys as one of the “five restaurants genuinely worth travelling for” in the world), but there’s been a change of guard. This April, the restaurant with rooms was purchased by Scots-born international hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray. Thankfully for fans of the restaurant, Gray’s aim is business as usual, with the introduction of additional investment over time. The Three Chimneys is now a part of his new Scottish hotel and restaurant collection, The Wee Hotel Company, and Shirley Spear will still be involved with the much-loved site. Here's what to expect from a stay over at this longstanding Hebridean bolt hole.

The setting…

Over the last three decades, the Spears have turned the restaurant’s remote location into its USP. The Three Chimneys is housed in an original Skye croft house on the edge of Colbost, a small village on the north coast of the island. From the restaurant windows, guests can gaze out over the sandy shoreline, gaping expanse of loch and towards Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral seat of Clan McLeod: trust us, locations don’t get much more Scottish than this. The rustic charm extends inside, where the original croft stone walls are a feature, the place settings are crafted from local slate, the chairs woven with tweed and the vases filled with thistles. If you’re looking for further immersion, book into the Kitchen Table, where there’s no partitioning, glass or cameras: just an uninterrupted view of the chefs at work. The space can seat eight people as one party, reserved for exclusive use for two or more, or shared with other couples.

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