Like some of us, Andrew Mellon found himself with time on his hands during lockdown.
The private chef’s business came to a halt during the pandemic, so he found himself on eBay where he came across a galley section of a Boeing 737 for £149. He said: “I was shocked it was so cheap as these galley units usually go for anything between £500 and £5,000. But this one hadn’t been photographed well, so it hadn’t sold."
Mr Mellon quickly snapped up the galley and has turned it into what he describes as a totally unique kitchen in his luxe holiday home, N/ine, which he bought in 2004.
"I have researched to see if anyone else has done a kitchen out of galley before and it seems I am the first to upcycle a complete galley into a working kitchen anywhere in the world," he said. “The unit can hold up to 1,000 items all organised and easily accessible, it’s a great piece of engineering. It also will be stocked full of ingredients, so guests don’t need to worry about bringing kitchen items.”
The flight theme continues in the kitchen area, which also has chicken wire clouds and a video screen behind two of the cabin windows showing landings around the world.
Me Mellon said: “It’s branded with American Airlines and has a similar look to its retro fleet of the ‘70’s to 2000. I have flown 1.8 million miles with American over 28 years, hence the connection.”
This is one of many quirky additions to the cosy home, which is only 280sqft. The property also features a chandelier made of 50 iconic Hermes boxes and a locally made wooden bath tub.
Mr Mellon’s eye for detail mean the cottage is decked out in its finest, including rare Hermes Nigel’s tartan, which has been turned into cushions and a lampshade, while Johnstone’s of Elgin cashmere can be found on chairs and the bed headboard in the sleeper loft. There’s also a cosy reading area and a private outdoor space with a vegetable garden and views of the sea.
“There’s a Shoji Japanese screen that can be moved so the bathroom is in the living space,” he said. “I’ve also put in sealed concrete floors, which are covered wit vintage rugs, and used a grey Craig and Rose paint throughout the property. I’ve had people say ‘wow, there’s just so much to look at’.”
An honesty bar with around 40 gins is also available, along with a daily housekeeping service. There’s also homemade cake and it is these little touches that Mr Mellon likens to the Four Seasons Hotel, which goes the extra mile for luxury and service. He said: “It’s great for Banff to have somewhere at the very high end of the self-catering market.”
The cottage, which is completely off-grid, is powered by two rooftop solar panels and will be available to rent nightly and for short and long breaks from the autumn.