The Culloden Estate and Spa was little more than a wooded slope in the historic townland of Craigavad when the Belfast stockbroker William Auchinleck Robinson came along. The financier, originally a Scot, decided that the patch of rugged coastal land would make a nifty spot for his baronial mansion. Nestled below the Holywood Hills (note the spelling — this is no Chateau Marmont, and quite right too), the site was sheltered from the infamous North and North Easterly winds of the Lough. So he shipped a boatload of stone over from Scotland and got to building.
Nearly 150 years hence, and you can still feel that sense of both wildness and comfort in the grand old walls of this historic estate. Now Northern Ireland’s longest established five-star hotel, the place has all the modern trinkets and baubles to please the international globe-trotter (an ESPA spa, chirpy and excellent staff, a superb dining room). But it also maintains the indisputable romance of its Irish Sea perch.
This made it a very happy location for our Autumn/Winter style shoot — a story that combined the elegance of modern British craftsmanship with the wilderness of the Irish coast.