Thursday, January 28, 2010

Highland Living

Main Staircase laid with carpet in the Campbell of Cawdor Plaid. Firearms taken from defeated French invasion forces from 1797.

Are you one of those people (like me) who collects all of the Oscar winning movies from every year? If so, then you have Braveheart in your collection. And so it might follow that you have a little place in your heart for the Scottish moors, castle strongholds, and tartan plaids.

Scotland has a rich history full of legends and romance from the drama of MacBeth to Nessie to the enchanting castle keeps. I recently received a copy of the upcoming book Highland Living from Flammarion due out mid-February. The authors, Stephane Bern and Franck Ferrand, splendidly capture the heart of Scotland with their tales of the early clan chiefs on through to the most recent inhabitants of Cawdor Castle. It reads like an historic novel with all of the color and depth of an epic family chronicle.

But I have to say, my imagination was first captured when I opened the book and found page after page of brilliant photography by lifestyle photographer Guillaume de Laubier. You may be familiar with his work as it has been featured in Elle Decoration, Vogue, and A French Country Home (Flammarion, 2005). Castles and common dwellings, formal gardens and windswept moors, grand sittings rooms and cozy hunting lodges are all represented here in beautiful full page color.

Cawdor Castle

The stories and photos focus on the Scottish National treasure, Cawdor Castle and the lands surrounding. We get a insider's view of lifestyle and decor inside the castle walls and the other dwelling on the vast properties.

I am showing just a few of the photos that particularly caught my eye.

Main staircase with a group of monogrammed fire buckets.
The tale of Cawdor Castle is strewn with the personal remembrances of the current Dowager Countess of Cawdor, Angelika Cawdor. She has also written the Forward, in which she ponders the question: was Coco Channel inspired to design her famous logo after seeing the interlocking C's after visiting the Castle of Cawdor?

The Main Drawing Room of Cawdor

The Drawing room shows off the architectural volume common to 17th century architecture. But even in it's grand scale, there is a sense of comfort, even coziness here, I think.

Portrait Gallery

Pryse Campbell, the 17th Thane of Cawdor

Dining Room Mantle

Doorway leading to the Dining Room

Hallway at Cawdor

The keep at Cawdor was built between 1370 and 1380, maintained and owned by descendants of MacBeth himself. The castle has been open to visitors since 1976, but had been losing money until Angelika transformed it to what you see today. Now it is regarded as a fine cultural and heritage enterprise. As old as it is, it is no wonder there are legends of ghosts and spirits, all of which are written about in Highland Living. Wouldn't it be wonderful to sit in the castle restaurant and feel the presence of a Thane of days past sitting next to you?

The history of how the castle grew to it's present size and appearance is captured beautifully in this book, as well as the creation of the gardens and additions of surrounding properties which encompass 18,000 acres of forests. These forests are known as "the Big Wood" and look today almost "exactly as it did after the end of the last ice age", because of the guardianship of the family of Cawdor.

The tree house in The Big Wood

But the estate does not end there. The Cawdor estate covers 58,000 acres, over 90 square miles. A hunting lodge or two would of course be necessary.

Hunting Lodge Dining Room at Drynachan

I loved this photo of the Dining Room in the Hunting Lodge at Drynachan. Apparently guests at the lodge in the 19th century entertained themselves by decorating the walls, and it has stayed like this since. So very modern looking isn't it? The white walls with the river of local scenery washing across it is wonderful!

Sitting Room at the Hunting Lodge

This Hunting Lodge can be rented for Family vacations. Located in the heart of the Highlands, I am just dreaming of making that visit.

Desk at the Hunting Lodge

It would be the perfect place to tromp through the moors and discover ancient cottages.

Cottage roofed with Heather at Culloden

The moors at Drynachan

Highland Living is full of stories about Cawdor and the estate, but it also contains other fine jewels of information. At the end of the book, there is information about visiting Cawdor Castle as well as many other places of interest. There is a listing of the Best Hotels, Restaurants, and Bed and Breakfasts. There is also information on Shopping, Fishing, Golf, Riding and Shooting.

And I cannot forget the whole section on recipes served at the Castle, like Pheasant Curry, Cranachen, and Roast Rhubarb and Apple Crumble with Creme Anglaise. Top it off with Cawdor Elderflower Cordial.

Haggis, the traditional dish of the Highlands

So I hope you are curious and inclined to look into Highland Living. It is the perfect companion for taking tea by the fire and letting your imagination take flight.

Tea in the small Dining Room. Family Crest on the table linen.


La Maison Fou said...

I was thinking of the Highlands last night, Maid of Honor was on,.....Ooohhh Scotland.

What a wondeful place to wonder around & get lost in!

Nice pics,

Lee said...

Your picture choices are gorgeous. The blue in the main drawing room is my favorite blue. I also get weak around stone cottages, and this one is especially charming with the heathered roof. I'm not sure I'd trust my friends to decorate my walls (visions of Pizzeria Uno), but it may have been safer then if their friends were all "renaissance men".

KayEllen said...

oh my,

I feel like I stepped into the pictures~~just~beautiful :)

Loved it!

Thank you for the tour,

Kay Ellen

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

My favourite part of the world, without question. I fell more at home in the Highlands than anywhere on the planet. This book is a must have for me! How can I wait another week?

If you're interested in Cawdor, I think you'd enjoy the book, A Charmed Life, by Lisa Campbell. She grew up at Cawdor, it was her family home.

Laura Casey Interiors said...

My maiden name is Campbell. I love everything Scottish. Thanks for the great post.

Callie Grayson said...

I want no NEED this book!!!
I try and visit my family in Scotland every year. I do hope I get to go this spring.
Cawdor Castle is stunning!


Design Wanna-be said...

I especially love the exteriors--so charming!

Toad said...

You've seduced me. I can't wait for release.

GrannySmithGreen said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely. I'm ready to move in! Can't wait for the book to come out. Like you said, the photography is beautiful!

mary said...

Beautiful review--as I'm half Scottish, these photos touched something in me. Also loved the shot of purple in the otherwise blue sitting room. Thanks,

Karena said...

Fascinatingn I would love to visit this part of the world!

donna baker said...

What a beautiful post.

columnist said...

Sadly the current Cawdor story is not a happy one, with the dowager countess, Angelika barely speaking to her stepson, the current Thane, (or Earl). I know the family, and is has been a fairly tortuous tale since the death of Hugh Cawdor, and was written about by Lisa Campbell, his daughter in "Title Deeds". It's worthy of its dark Macbeth context.

Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

Beautiful images, I've always wished I had a place appropriate for a tartan wall to wall carpet. I have a little inspiration file devoted to this....maybe someday. Hope you don't mind I linked to an old post of yours earlier this week.

Renee Finberg said...

this was so beautiful.
i have always wanted to go to Scotland.
and now, i want to even more.
thank you so much for taking the time to scan these pics in the book
and sharing them with us.

tartanscot said...

I spent an amazing day at Castle Cawdor several years back - it's a breathtaking home. Can't wait to see the new book - thanks for the head's-up!


Marie said...

Wow, beautiful book, I loved the pictures!

I thought the sketches on the wall was amazing and you're right I think Coco may have learned her trademark CC's from them.

katiedid said...

Hi La Maison Fou!
I know! I think I may have to plan a trip very soon.

Hi Lee! Glad you enjoyed. :)

Pamela! You lucky thing! And thanks for the book info. I will devour it I am sure!

katiedid said...

Callie! I envy you! I would love to go there, sigh!

Columnist....I was very curious about this, because the book mentioned that the castle was left to the dowager countess upon Hugh's death, which is not the norm. Than you very much for the book info! I will have to read up to quench my curiosity!!! Do tell us more if you can!

katiedid said...

Thank you so much Suzie! I have put a link for your mention in my sidebar. :) was my pleasure!

Scot...I thought of you when I was writing this post!! ;)

columnist said...

It was indeed a very unusual will, to leave the castle to the dowager, whereas of course the title goes automatically to the eldest son. He and his fmily live in one of the other properties on the estate. They did try to take the castle back when she was away, but were unsuccessful, and have antagonised an already bad relationship, so much so that she has threatened to allow the castle to pass to someone else after her death. The book details the hugely reckless life led by Hugh - drug and alcohol fuelled - which may have resulted in this spiteful act to his eldest son and natural heir. Angelika is Czech born. Read this from the Telgraph:

katiedid said...

Dear Columnist-

Oh my! Thanks so much for the scoop! Quite a drama it seems. In Highland Living, Angelika recounts that her girlfriends warned her not to marry Hugh because of his drinking and his many mistresses. And now the drama continues! Such a shame for the rest of the family.
Thanks also for the URL. Quite a story!

Sarah said...

Great post, I must get this book. My mother was born in Scotland and my favorite show is "Monarch of the Glen" - you would love it if you like Scotland. The scenery is gorgeous and so is the show. And my 104 year old great aunt lives in Perth. I can't wait to visit the Highlands!! I will stop in Castle Cawdor for a 'wee dram!'

Sarah said...

I meant to add a great movie to watch for the Scottish scenery: Michael Powell's 'I Know Where I'm Going' with Wendy Hiller made in 1945 - fabulous and filmed on the Isle of Mull. Available on DVD with lots of extras about Powell including an interview with fan, Martin Scorsese.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I just pre-ordered this book -fabulous!

Toad said...

My copy arrived today and I love it. Thank you for the recommendation.