The owners of the Boath House hotel have claimed expectations from Michelin are “at odds with achievable profit margins”.
Don and Wendy Matheson, the owners of the Michelin-starred, nine-bedroom property in Nairn, as well as their son Sam and head chef Charlie Lockey, have decided to “re-evaluate” their relationship with Michelin and move Boath House in a “new direction”.
Wendy Matheson said: “Whilst we are extremely proud of the Michelin star we gained 10 years ago and it undoubtedly enhanced our reputation, our restaurant has consistently made a loss. We believe that the expectations from Michelin are at odds with achievable profit margins and put an enormous stress on a small family run business like ours.”
The announcement follows the news that three-Michelin-starred chef Sébastien Bras requested to not be included in the 2018 edition of the gastronomic guide to the country, citing “great pressure”.
Michelin is set to reveal which restaurants have won a star at a live event next week.
Matheson said: “The feedback we are hearing time and time again from our customers is that they want an experience that is more informal and relaxed.”
Major changes are being planned across the whole operation, including a café to open next year in the property’s walled garden, which will be “casual and rustic” and offer “simple, good food” cooked in a wood-fired oven. The dining room in the main house has recently introduced more approachable and less expensive options to its menu.
A major refurbishment of the rooms is also underway and will be completed this winter. Matheson added: “We are confident that this is where the accommodation and dining market is going and that we will have a more sustainable product.”
The derelict 19th century mansion was bought by the Mathesons in the early 1990s and took six years of renovation.
Videos from The Caterer archives