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  • Craig Melvin
In editorial development
Publication date: TBC
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The story of two Michelin star-crossed lovers set at a Brighton hotel run by three generations of one family.

The Belle Hotel is the story of one hollandaise and two Michelin star-crossed lovers. It is set over three generations of one family at a Brighton hotel that's the seaside hangout for actors, artists, rockstars, politicians and dirty weekenders.

The book opens on the worst day of chef Charlie Sheridan's life, the day he's about to lose the two loves of his life: the Brighton hotel his grandfather started in 1973 and his long-suffering girlfriend, Lulu. It then takes us through the next four decades, from the training of a young chef in the seventies and eighties, through the hedonistic nineties when Charlie wins and then loses his Michelin Star, to the credit crunch and the worst day of Charlie's life. We also follow the career and love life of his childhood sweetheart, Lulu, as she makes her way in the great restaurants of London; Quaglinos, The Savoy Grill and The Wolseley before being drawn back to Belle Hotel, Charlie and the catastrophic effect of family secrets.

The book contains over thirty original recipes and receipts from Belle Hotel's four decades. Think of it as three books for the price of one: a novel, a cookbook and a how-to (and how-not-to) guide to opening a hotel and restaurant.

If you've ever wanted to know what it's really like shooting for a Michelin star and you love an off-beat, bittersweet and salty love story, then this is the book for you.

"A great read" Matt Haig

"Charm, elegance and wit... a foodie One Day." The Big Book Group

Craig was conceived in the linen cupboard of the Grand Hotel, mentored by Albert Roux at catering college and has worked in the restaurant and hotel business ever since. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from Sussex University and is a restaurant consultant in London and Brighton. Craig has worked with many Michelin star chefs over the years, coached Gregg Wallace and placed MasterChef winners into restaurants. He runs with his wife, Mel.


Credit Crunch

Legal Notice of Repossession

13th October 2008

Dear Charlie,

Unless you pay £10,000 by noon today, Belle Hotel will be repossessed.

This is your final warning, Charlie.


Paul Peters,


9am - 13th October - 2008


Tick-tock, tock-tick, crunch.

13th October. One day that would not be going down in Charlie Sheridan's grandfather’s book as a good one. Charlie had three hours to save the two loves of his life. Paul Peters, his exasperated banker, waited with the bailiffs to change Belle Hotel’s locks on the stroke of noon. Charlie had already blown it with his other love, his long-suffering girlfriend, Lulu. Lulu had chucked Charlie by text after her new suitor Graeme showed her the latest tabloid scandal involving 'My Night with Belle Hotel Celebrity Chef'.

Sweating into his chef’s whites, Charlie thumbed a last ditch attempt from the kitchen of Belle Hotel.

Give me another chance, Lu, I’ll make it up 2

The phone company cut Charlie off on U. He slung the knackered Nokia into the sink, where it plunged through a sea of crushed Stella cans, and swung out of the kitchen door and into the alley leading to Ship Street. Charlie left a salty trail of disaster in his wake. Uncollected bins, disconnected water, gas and electric. Fridges bare, broken hearts and plates.


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