If you’re going to get away from it all, Estonia’s west coast seems a very good place to do it…

We’ll be honest, Estonia isn’t the first place we think of for a holiday destination.

And Saaremaa isn’t a place we’d even heard of as a holiday destination. If pushed, we might have assumed it was an anagram, or a herb from an Ottolenghi recipe but no, turns out it’s an island off Estonia’s west coast. And home to Pilguse Residency.

Founded by Maria Tamander and cinematographer John Mathieson, and dating back to 1558, the Pilguse Residency is a beautiful farmstead and luxury boutique residency, a collection of cottages, cabins and bedrooms spread across some 90 hectares of land. Accommodation options include the Ööd mirror cabins, beautifully mirrored cabins overlooking the fresh water reed marshes that are formed from the fresh water springs running under the estate, and the “Laundry Cottage”,  a two bedroom cottage overlooking the fields where horses and cattle graze and an apple orchard is housed.

Guests can immerse themselves in a host of activities, both on the estate and around the island. Saunas are central to the Pilguse experience, such as the restored smoke sauna and the Estonian designed ‘iglu’ sauna., following which guests can cool down in the freshwater springs or relax in the hot tub. Alternatively, you might want to try your hand at horseback riding along the natural woodlands, tackling the foraging and hiking trails or fishing and kayaking in the lake.

Heading up the kitchen is Head Chef Albert Veenendal, who works with the natural produce around him to create a changing menu and all day dining experience. Signatures include sharing dishes from the smoker: whole smoked trout or chicken; foraged vegetables; pickled and cured fish. The estate is also home to its own distillery, the Elda distillery, where a range of gins and vodkas are crafted using local botanicals including seaweed, berries and wild flowers.

For booking enquiries, come on, you know what to do…