Troubador The Reluctant Hotelkeeper

Released: 28/02/2019

ISBN: 9781789017571

Format: Paperback

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The Reluctant Hotelkeeper

A Memoir

by

John Searancke came to the role of hotelkeeper almost accidentally, and most definitely with much reluctance. After his parents’ marriage fell apart, he was dragooned in, at the age of 22, to pick up the pieces of their new venture, a barely-trading country house hotel that had, frankly, seen better days. Not only was it posting an annual loss, but the fabric of the building was crumbling and there was no money left to make improvements.

There were to be battles royal with neighbours not wanting their status quo to be altered, and with the local fire authority who sought to impose draconian new safety measures.

Over the years, and with the steepest of learning curves, the grand old building was renovated and transformed to meet the requirements of the modern discerning traveller. Accolades for the hotel and its restaurant were won; together they became a well-regarded destination for a number of celebrities – and those that deemed themselves to be celebrities but were not. Stories abound featuring idiosyncratic guests, overbearing public bodies, fractured family life and animals of all shapes and sizes. The local fire station next door was demolished one foggy night, people were frightened by flying dogs and snakes in the long grass, and there were, as befits a country house, strange goings on in the night. Many were the guests who checked in who really should not have been seen together.

A rescue mission originally thought of as lasting for a year or two turned into a 35 year lifetime love affair with a beautiful old building. This is a tribute to all the people behind the scenes who helped to make the hard-won transformation into a great success.

“Reading John Searancke's superlative debut, Dog Days in The Fortunate Islands, about relocating to northern Tenerife brought back memories of my own emigration to neighbouring Gran Canaria. The only worry for John is that he risks endangering his unspoilt patch of Tenerife by being so effusive in his praise. Readers won't be able to help but follow his lead." Matthew Hirtes, author, Going Local in Gran Canaria: How to Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home

“A wry tale of discovery in retirement, plus a whole bunch of Spain and Tenerife travel capers thrown in to boot!!” Joe Cawley, author of Kindle bestseller, More Ketchup than Salsa: Confessions of a Tenerife Barman.

“I've read countless examples of 'let's move to a sunnier climate' memoirs, and it's a very variable genre. But John Searancke can write - he's a restaurant reviewer - so this one is a cut above.

And his move from England was carefully-planned, not a mid-winter whim. He's a colourful character, and knows how to tell a good tale. A lively read if you'd like to know more about Tenerife, or if you enjoy non-fiction that spans history, culture, and a realistic look at the ups and downs of a later-life move to the Canaries - the 'Fortunate Islands' of the title.”
- Elaine Scanlan, travel writer.


www.johnsearancke.com

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John Searancke

John Searancke is restaurant reviewer for the Tenerife newspaper Island Connections. Born in 1943 at Derby Royal Infirmary, a war baby, he lived his early life in Ashby-de la-Zouch and was sent away to be educated at Kings Mead Preparatory School, Seaford and afterwards at Rugby School. Later commissioned into the Territorial Army, he has been variously an hotel and restaurant owner, director and chairman of a marketing consortium, and latterly a partner with his wife in a commercial legal services company. He has enjoyed working in England and Switzerland, and spends time between visiting family in England, and northern Tenerife where he now lives with his wife, Sally, and their beloved dog, Freddie.

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