“Cawdor House is a small boutique hotel and Café Lavender is a café with a German bakery, and both are fully licensed. The hotel has been open since 2016 and the café opened in 2020. I think the Highlands Gift Card is a really good idea because when you give a gift, it’s nice to give people a flexible choice on where to spend it. The gift card will encourage people to be experimental and try businesses or experiences they haven’t tried before. It could also encourage tourism. We have the most wonderful nature in the Highlands, a lovely and welcoming atmosphere and a lot of really individual businesses to experience.
“When people spend their Highlands Gift Card at Cawdor House, they get a unique experience and a personal welcome. The produce we serve is local, organic, and on the healthier side, so homemade breads, fresh eggs and fruit from local farms. My husband Andreas is an artist, so his photography is displayed around the hotel.
Tourists could visit any part of the Highlands and have a completely different experience each time
“It’s a quirky hotel, offering something different, and there’s a real soul in the house. I think the important thing is being authentic in what you’re offering. Tourists could visit any part of the Highlands and have a completely different experience each time. We make sure guests receive lots of information about the local area, about the restaurants and the places to visit, we have to work together.
“People can also spend their gift card at Café Lavender. I think people feel at home in the café. In Germany, we have Kaffee and Kuchen, the ritual of meeting friends and family on a Sunday afternoon for coffee and cake, and that’s what we tried to recreate at Café Lavender. People bring a book, or sit in the sunshine in our outdoor garden to chat with friends enjoying German afternoon tea.
“People recognise and realise how important it is to shop local. Everyone wants to have a vibrant town centre, but if we don’t visit our businesses, they won’t survive. The Highlands Gift Card will help to keep money local, and that benefits everyone. Now, we need to raise awareness that the gift card is here, it’s a really nice option for birthdays and other occasions throughout the year.”