Shirley and Eddie Spear sell The Three Chimneys on Skye after 34 years

The most famous restaurant on Skye has been sold by its popular owners who have enjoyed a successful 34 years at the helm.

Published 26th Apr 2019
Updated 31 st Oct 2023

Shirley and Eddie Spear have handed over the world-renowned restaurant with rooms, at Colbost on the Isle of Skye, to Scots born international hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray.

Gordon, who is returning to live in Scotland permanently, aims to carry on business at The Three Chimneys as it has always been run, with the introduction of additional investment over time.

The Three Chimneys will be part of his new Scottish hotel and restaurant collection, The Wee Hotel Company.

The hotelier added that all jobs at the iconic restaurant with rooms are secure and all current staff will remain in position, including head chef, Scott Davies, whose clean, pure style of cooking and commitment to using hyper-local produce has grown The Three Chimneys’ reputation as one of the best restaurants in the world.

Reservations in the restaurant, and bookings for The Three Chimneys’ six adjacent bedroom suites in The House Over-By, will be honoured under the new ownership and the current, local management team will remain in Skye. It will be business as usual.

Shirley and Eddie Spear, who reopened The Three Chimneys at Easter in 1985, will remain indirectly involved with the business for a transitional period ensuring a smooth handover of their heritage.

Gordon has invited Shirley to continue to work with him in an advisory capacity, sharing her knowledge and experience of Highland hospitality and tourism as the Wee Hotel Company develops. She is delighted to have been invited to assist with the growth of this exciting new Scottish company.

Shirley said: “Eddie and I have dedicated most of our working and family life to The Three Chimneys, here in the Isle of Skye and we are extremely proud of how the restaurant has developed over the past three decades. This could not have been possible without the support of many wonderful people, who have all worked exceptionally hard to help us build our reputation over the years.

"Together, we’ve taken The Three Chimneys’ biggest business constraint – the restaurant’s remote location – and turned it into a unique selling point. We always knew we had to create a memorable experience which exceeded customer expectations in order to grow the business here.

“We have now reached a point in our lives where we want to travel more and work a little less. Our focus has been on finding the right person who shares our vision for what The Three Chimneys can develop further for the long-term future, and we are extremely pleased to have found that person in Gordon.

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"We know The Three Chimneys, The House Over-By and our exceptional team will be in great hands. We are also very proud of the fact that Gordon is so keen to invest his outstanding expertise in this remote, fragile area of the island, knowing he has already fallen in love with our beautiful views and peaceful surroundings here at Colbost.”

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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