Good morning everyone I’m pleased to be kicking off the blog tour for The Belle Hotel by Craig Melvin today!
The Belle Hotel will be published in ebook and paperback on the 21st February 2019 but you can pre-order your copy using the link below.
13 October 2008. Welcome to the worst day of Chef Charlie Sheridan’s life, the day he’s about to lose his two great loves: his childhood sweetheart, Lulu, and the legendary Brighton hotel his grandfather, Franco Sheridan, opened in 1973.
This is the story of the Belle Hotel, one that spans the course of four decades – from the training of a young chef in the 1970s and 80s, through the hedonistic 90s, up to the credit crunch of the noughties – and leads us right back to Charlie’s present-day suffering.
In this bittersweet and salty tale, our two Michelin star-crossed lovers navigate their seaside hangout for actors, artists and rock stars; the lure of the great restaurants of London; and the devastating effects of three generations of family secrets.
The Belle Hotel is a unique and funny book that was an entertaining read.
The story follows the lives of Franco and Charlie as they try to manage The Belle Hotel throughout the years. This hotel definitely has a colourful history and the reader has a fly on the wall view of all the highs and lows that it goes through. I liked the funny chapter headings that seemed to sum up in just one sentence what each decade was about and never failed to make me smile. I’ve heard a lot from my parents about how kippers were very fashionable in the 70s so found it quite amusing to read about The Kippers Wars!
The two owners of the hotel were very interesting and I found I kept changing my opinion about them throughout the book. On one hand I felt sorry for them as they both seemed to work quite hard for little reward and never seemed to be able to just relax and enjoy the experience. However on the other they made me groan out loud over some of the decisions they make which even I realised were daft ones! Lulu was another intriguing character who whilst obviously exasperated by Charlie and his antics obviously still wants to help him which I thought showed a lot about who she was as a person.
I found this story quite compelling and surprisingly gripping in places as there always seemed to be something going on at the hotel or with its owners. The story is broken up by recipes and letters which added to the story and made it seem quite realistic. The author is actually in the hotel industry so I did wonder at times if any if the book was based on real life experiences, though for his sake I hope they didn’t happen directly to him.
This is the author’s first book and I’d definitely like to read more from him in the future as I think he gives an insightful look into the hotel industry.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Unbound publishers for my copy of this book which I received in exchange for an honest review.
About The Author:
Craig Melvin holds an MA in Creative Writing from Sussex University and works as restaurant consultant in
London and Brighton. He was mentored by Albert Roux at catering college and has worked in the restaurant and hotel business ever since. He also runs http://www.lunarlemonproductions.com with his wife Mel. The Belle Hotel is his first book.