Undressed For Dinner – Lakeland Book of the Year 2014 Stop For Breakfast – published Summer 2016
In 2013 Simon published his first book inspired by fifteen years building a business at the castle and raising a family. Undressed For Dinner – the story of a family trying too lead an ordinary life in an extraordinary place received critical acclaim and was Lakeland Book of the Year in 2014.
“A wonderfully honest account of life behind the kitchen door showing the real blood sweat and tears that go into making a successful family run hotel. I laughed, cried and cheered in equal measure.”
Fiona Duncan, Sunday Telegraph Hotel Critic, 2013
“I love this book. Augill Castle is my favourite weekend retreat in the UK. This book makes fascinating reading about the backdrop to this magical haven in the Cumbrian countryside, and next time I visit I’ll feel even richer for sharing their story.”
Janey Lee Grace, BBC Radio 2 presenter and author of Look Great Naturally, 2013
“In 1997 Simon and Wendy left London to make something of derelict Augill Castle. Sixteen years on, they’re running a world-renowned hotel. This is how they did it.”
Cumberland News Book of the Year, December 2013
“A fascinating read, with many ups and downs. Simon writes in a fluent and easy style which is a pleasure to read. I had difficulty putting his book down! He weaves his tale with a great deal of literary competence. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this often amusing, sometimes poignant but always interesting and chatty book.”
Keswick Reminder, December 2013.
Now, Simon has brought the story up to date with a sequel, Stop For Breakfast, due for publication in Summer 2016. A new edition of Undressed For Dinner will be released at the same time.
“Great fun, as always, and open-hearted too. A friend once gave me advice on bringing up children: make memories for them. Wise words, and I’d give the same advice to a hotel owner. Augill Castle needs none of this wisdom; it seems to function with those words engraved into the hearts of the family who live there and all their helpers. Simon will keep you entertained and amused, while you ache with sympathy for Wendy and her annual ‘melt-downs’. We need more Augills, more Bennetts; and they need more of us to dive in at their deep end and share the fun. The rewards are ineffable.”
Alastair Sawday, Founder of Sawdays Special Places to Stay, March 2016
“Written with stylish verve – the joys and the miseries of a hotelier’s life.”
Adam Raphael, Editor & Publisher, The Good Hotel Guide, April 2016