Author’s Cromer signing session for book revealing highs and lows of running a north Norfolk guest house
PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 November 2011
The highs and lows of running a north Norfolk guest house are candidly revealed in a new book.
A rollercoaster of emotions from winning top awards to enduring guests from hell is charted by Robert Greenfield in Samphire Coast.
It tells the story of Robert and partner Michael uprooting from their London lives as a fashion designer and hairdresser to take on the challenge of putting their stamp on a two star B&B Holly Lodge at Thursford Green.
The warts and all story includes the trials and tribulations of buying and converting the property.
Setbacks including a powercut during a hotel inspector visit, which tested their initiative.
Triumphs were a string of awards culminating in winning a national B&B “Oscar” in 2004 after rocketing from two stars to five.
Anecdotes about guests recall helping a tearful trans-sexual escape the clutches of a TV documentary crew, and a wedding party of “hooligans” who caused untold devastation to a series of rooms, paying a cheque for damages without apology before leaving.
A tipsy and demanding woman was the first to go into the blacklist book, and a far from judicious judge was the first to be thrown out.
The debut book by Mr Greenfield, laced with insight and humour, ends with the couple selling up when they were at the pinnacle of their fame.
He said: “Winning the awards was the icing on a cake having set out on a new career in Norfolk, which was a big risk and a complete adventure.
“Most of the guests were fine - brilliant people from all walks of life. The bad ones were part of a rogues gallery, who were not fun at the time, but in hindsight you can smile,” said Mr Greenfield, from Stiffkey, who now runs an interior design business and holiday cottages at Stiffkey and Salthouse.
● Robert Greenfield is signing copies of Samphire Coast (Vanguard Press £9.99) at Jarrold’s store in Cromer this Saturday December 3 from 11am to 1pm.