Ho­tel plan re­vived for love nest of Chanel and Duke

The Herald - - NEWS -

PLANS to turn Coco Chanel’s for­mer High­land love nest into a lux­ury ho­tel have been re­vived.

Plan­ning per­mis­sion to breathe new life into Rose­hall Es­tate in Suther­land, a reg­u­lar haunt of the fa­mous French de­signer and the 2nd Duke of West­min­ster dur­ing their long af­fair , is due to ex­pire next month.

But the own­ers of the derelict es­tate have now ap­plied to High­land Coun­cil to re­new the con­sent, keeping hopes of the am­bi­tious de­vel­op­ment alive.

Un­der plans ap­proved in Fe­bru­ary 2014, the 20-room Ge­or­gian man­sion near Lairg would be fully re­stored and turned into an up­mar­ket ho­tel, car­ry­ing many of the de­sign fea­tures cre­ated by Chanel.

Hav­ing been ne­glected for more than 60 years, work on the project had been ex­pected to be­gin early in 2015, but the plans have re­mained on the draw­ing board.

The prop­erty has been on the mar­ket for al­most two years with a price tag of £3 mil­lion.

It was built in 1820, but its most colour­ful pe­riod was dur­ing the 1920s af­ter it was bought by the Duke of West­min­ster, Hugh Grosvenor.

The wealthy landowner would spend his sum­mers at the prop­erty with Coco Chanel, who was his lover be­tween 1923 and 1929.

The de­signer fished on the es­tate’s river and caught more than 50 sal­mon, ac­cord­ing to for­mer prime min­is­ter Sir Win­ston Churchill, who stayed with her at the prop­erty.

She re­designed the whole of the man­sion’s in­te­rior, mak­ing it unique in the UK.

De­spite her leav­ing the home 85 years ago, a num­ber of the rooms still bear her work, in­clud­ing frag­ments of wall­pa­per she de­signed.

She had hand-blocked wall­pa­per shipped in from France, and over­saw lo­cal work­men as they put to­gether sim­ple fire­places.

The plan­ning per­mis­sion re­newal ap­pli­ca­tion – for a ho­tel and five new-built guest lodges in the grounds – has been lodged on be­half of Ghu­lum Choudry of the Rose­hall Es­tate.

Ma­lik Af­sar, an agent at West­min­ster-based es­tate agents RE/MAX Cen­tral, which is mar­ket­ing the prop­erty, said: “We have had in­ter­est but we haven’t had any se­ri­ous com­mit­ment.

“It’s still a huge op­por­tu­nity. This will go at a very good price, I’m very con­fi­dent and sure about it.”

COCO CHANEL: She re­designed the in­te­rior.

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