Sebastien Gouwy – Department: Kitchen
Sebastien has been part of the kitchen brigade at Ardanaiseig on and off since 7th May 2003 and if there’s anyone around here who has the inside track on Highland adventures, it’s him. From cycling and fishing to climbing Ben Cruachan, Sebastien likes to keep busy by taking full advantage of having such beautiful countryside on his doorstep.
What do you do in your spare time?
Sebastien: If the weather is not too bad, like proper Scottish weather, I spend time on the loch fishing for trout, pike, perch, and salmon if I’m lucky. I can bring guests on the loch for a fishing day. The best moments are over summer, like July and August around 4 or 5 o’clock in the evening. It’s very quiet, it’s warm in the heat, it’s so nice. I really enjoy that. Even Kilchurn Castle is only half an hour by boat.
You can go up to climb Cruachan. It’s half an hour by car, just behind the power station. There’s a car park on the side. You can climb Cruachan at any time, you can see a view that’s amazing. When you’re on the top, you can see Loch Awe, it’s like a tiny line. You see miles and miles away. You can even see Dalavich, you can see far away.
I cycle for pretty much 10, 12 hours a week, it can go to even 20 hours a week some crazy weeks. I go to Oban, Fort William, Inverary, Dalavich on the main road. It’s only one road from here and Taynuilt so I turn right or turn left. I conserve my money for petrol, I don’t need to drive. I’ve got a car I only use once or twice a week. Sometimes I just start it for 5 minutes in the morning to make sure it’s working.
What do you like most about working at Ardanaiseig?
Sebastien: I love this place, I love the location, I love Scotland anyway. That’s the reason I’ve been here for years and years. Sometimes you move somewhere and you think, “Wow, that’s amazing.” It can be dark, you know, but I love it.
Written by Rosalea Collinge
All photos credited to Sebastien Gouwy.