“Heaven at the top of Scotland: 2 seriously cool boltholes with walls of glass that drink in views of water, mountain and sky (self-catering, sleeping 2 apiece)”
One of the loveliest features of these pleasure domes is that while they’re huge, they’re only intended for 2 people apiece, and each has just 1 bedroom. They’ve also been built with privacy in mind, and as you’re completely invisible to the rest of the world, you can sleep with the curtains open and wake at dawn to see the first light of day creeping over the mountains before splashing down in the loch. OK, it might seem like an early start, but you can go back to sleep immediately and you won’t regret it for a moment.
As for the bedrooms themselves, they’re deliciously uncluttered. You have concrete resin floors, wood-clad walls, then a couple of armchairs and a vast 7ft feather bed dressed in crisp white linen. You don’t get wardrobes, but there's uncovered hanging space on each side of the bed, and acres of tartan curtain in case you want to shut out the light. The huge ensuite bathrooms are a thing of great beauty, with Caithness stone walk-in power showers and clawfoot baths for a good soak. There’s also a bath outside on your terrace, and cosy bathrobes to whisk back and forth in.
The rest of your cottage is an open-plan space: a lounge with a wood-burner, comfy chairs and that fabulous view, then a kitchen/dining area. Tucked away, you'll find a laundry room (with a washing machine and tumble dryer).
Croft 103's kitchens are divine - there is little in this world that's going to make you want to cook more than being here; even the washing-up is a dream. The Sonos system plays in every room, so you can cook local shellfish with cool tunes floating around you, and you’ve got all the kit: huge aluminium fridge/freezer, gorgeous oven and hob, coffee maker, built-in microwave, even a barbecue on the terrace. Ceramics come from Lotte Glob, and you get stunning surfaces, beautifully polished black Caithness stone that you’ll want in your kitchen at home. There's an electric handwhisk, champagne flutes, kitchen scales. In short, no excuses!
You can eat inside or outside on your enormous terrace with views of sea and mountain. You’ll need to bring most of your food with you (although basic ingredients are provided) and that will mean a supermarket stop en route. If you fly into Inverness, you’ll find all the big supermarkets in town. If you come up the west coast, Oban and Fort William also have big supermarkets, but after that (ie the final 200km) there’s really nothing bigger than a village shop to harvest from. Your hosts Fiona and Robbie own the small supermarket in Durness; it’s not Waitrose on the King's Road, but it’s got lots of the little things you might forget. Finally, a fish and meat van passes through once a week and you can order great local produce in advance.
You can arrange for homemade meals to be waiting in your freezer in case you want a night off, and there are restaurants a drive away - not least Mackay’s, Fiona and Robbie’s small hotel, which serves the best food in town. Note that most shut in mid-October and don’t open until mid-March. In season, you can also try Smoo Cave for a pizza or Sango Sands for pub grub. Finally, if you want to splash out, head 55km south to The Albannach at Lochinver for the best food in the North (it recently gained a Michelin star).