A Summer of Luxury | Holiday with… Johnstons of Elgin’s Simon Cotton

Umbria in Italy and Speyside in Scotland may not, on first reflection, have much in common. But they are favourite destinations of Johnstons of Elgin’s CEO Simon Cotton, who shares his summer plans in today’s ‘Holiday with…’.

What is your favourite holiday destination?
The best two holidays I have ever had were at a place called Villa Pia in Umbria. It’s a large villa where families with young children can socialise together and let the children run free and safely. It’s set in the Umbrian / Tuscan countryside but the best thing of all is the freedom from stress when you are with young kids.

What is your top tip for surviving the summer heat in style?
Come to Scotland. We have had an amazing summer this year with some of the world’s most beautiful countryside (plus whisky and cashmere, of course).

Have you ever had a ‘lightbulb’ moment related to your business or career while taking some downtime?
I have probably never had a lightbulb moment when not in downtime! I think our brains need time to process and not just take in information. At Johnstons, we try to take time to socialise as a team and drive to places together (particularly as our mills are five hours apart).

What is your holiday read this year?
For the first time ever I didn’t read at all this year. I forced myself to talk to my kids and spend as much quality time with them as possible.

Your favourite al fresco drinking/dining spot?
Five minutes from our mill we have some amazing beaches where you can sit with a drink or an ice cream at 11pm in almost full daylight in July. You really can’t beat Speyside in the summer.