Stay with Kate Middleton’s brother in the Scottish Highlands
Exterior of the Victorian-era Glen Affric lodge in the Scottish Highlands.
If you’ve ever felt eclipsed by the achievements of an older sibling, consider James Middleton. The 32-year-old little brother of Kate Middleton, future Queen of England, has said it can be ‘frustrating’ always being overshadowed by his big sister. “Aside from the fact of — yes, I am the brother of someone very important — I am, at the end of the day, just James,” he told TYD magazine.
After winding up his marshmallow-customising company in 2017, James moved north for a job at Glen Affric – a luxury estate in Scotland owned by Pippa Middleton’s father-in-law, David Matthews. He’s in good company, as Prince Charles just opened a B&B in the area as well.
James Middleton and his four dogs at Glen Affric estate.
Not far from Loch Ness, Glen Affric is not the only luxury property in the Matthews family’s portfolio – they also own the iconic Eden-Rock St Barths resort in the Caribbean, which charges around $45,000 per night and has hosted celebrities like Beyonce, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt.
Horse riding is one of the activities offered at Glen Affric.
Like Eden-Rock St Barths, Glen Affric is managed by Oetker Collection, a German company known for it’s elite five-star hotels. The company has a new luxury concept in the UK called Masterpiece Estates; it’s a collection of unique and historic properties around the British Isles that come with attentive hosts (like James Middleton), fine dining, a range of activities and privacy. Lots of privacy. In case you need to flee the press after a failed marshmallow venture.
Glen Affric is waterfront, yet private.
Hosts at Masterpiece Estate properties can be as involved or as absent as you like. They can arrange activities and oversee special celebrations, or take a back seat and leave you to it. At Glen Affric, James can take you hiking, biking, fishing or hill stalking (a British term for hunting). He can also help you knock back some traditional Scottish whiskey, arrange babysitting and make sure your kid’s party goes off without a hitch. Quite the multitasker.
The Hound Lodge in Goodwood.
But seeing the Scottish Highlands with the youngest Middleton is not the only unique experience offered by Masterpiece Estates. Formerly known as The Kennels, the Hound Lodge in Goodwood was once the most deluxe set of dog houses in the world. Quite literally. The pampered pooches had central heating installed in their kennels 100 years before the neighbouring guesthouse for people.
A lavishly decorated bedroom at the Hound Lodge.
In homage to its history, Hound Lodge still warmly welcomes the furry friends of patrons – though the kennels have been extensively renovated with human comfort in mind. The décor reflects the property’s sporting history and there are plenty of pet-friendly leisure activities on offer.
The pool at Farleigh Wallop. Photography by Marianne Majerus.
Just over an hour from London you’ll find another Masterpiece Estate, Farleigh Wallop, which has been owned and tended to by the same family since the 15th century. Despite the Fawlty Towers-esque name, Farleigh Wallop offers premium service in the heart of a picturesque 4,0000-acre estate. The gardens are beautiful, the chef has a Michelin star, and the Jane Austen-themed tour of the area is a must-do.
The Farleigh Wallop dining room.
Classical English gardens at Farleigh Wallop. Photography by Marianne Majerus.
Four-poster beds feature in Farleigh Wallop’s bedrooms.
Bathrooms at Farleigh Wallop have large free-standing bathtubs.