Is there anywhere else in Scotland you can finish your day with a swim in the Atlantic?
There are few places in Scotland or, in fact, in the world, more breathtaking to see than the coastline along the Isle of Mull. Matthew and Julia Reade have been admiring the spectacular view for over three decades.
As the owners of Calgary Café on the north-west point of the island, the Reade family have been welcoming visitors to this exceptional spot to soak up the landscape, wildlife and sense of peacefulness for the past 34 years.
Now, after many joyful years, Matthew and Julia are retiring and selling the business. “We felt it was the right time to give somebody else the opportunity to live and work here,” says Matthew. “We’re not moving far as we’ve built a house nearby overlooking the bay. We couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.”
When Matthew ventured to Mull as a teenager, he had no idea the lifelong connection with place he was about to forge. “I grew up working on a dairy farm in Somerset,” says Matthew. “When I was about 16, my father sent me and my brother to start a dairy farm on Mull. Then I met Julia and eventually we bought Calgary Farmhouse together.”
A derelict farm originally, Matthew and Julia renovated the space into a seven-bedroom hotel and restaurant, combining Matthew’s passion for woodwork and sculpture for the furnishings and Julia’s catering background for the restaurant. “We were accidental hoteliers,” Matthew remembers. “I was 22-years-old and had barely any experience of staying in hotels, so it was a real learning curve.”
After 22 years as a hotel and restaurant, and once their two sons, Tom and Charlie, were older, Matthew and Julia converted the hotel into self-catering accommodation. The one constant has been their café. “It’s a very busy spot,” says Matthew. “We welcome a lot of day trippers and many people who return to Mull every year. There’s people who have been coming here all the years we have been here.”
Right next to the Calgary Café is Calgary Art in Nature, a popular woodland trail featuring sculptures that celebrate the beauty of nature. Even on a wet day people come to enjoy the Art in Nature trail which brings many visitors into the café.
Situated next to the beach, Matthew says its one of the best places for a family to live. “Our boys grew up here with the beach on our doorstep which they just loved. We employ seasonal staff in the summer and when they finish a shift they run down to the beach and swim in the sea. Is there anywhere else in Scotland you can finish your day with a swim in the Atlantic?”
The Reades are excited to see what the next owners of Calgary Café do. “It doesn’t necessarily need to be a café,” Matthew adds. “It could be a licensed restaurant, or a yoga retreat, or a recording studio. It’s such a versatile space.”
Calgary Farmhouse is on the market at offers over £395,000 and the Licenced Tearoom (which includes three letting properties and staff accommodation) is for sale at offers in the region of £575,000.