John as a small boy
A little bit later!
If you can’t actually be at Gilpin Hotel in the Lake District, then being transported there is the next best thing.
Instead of a dry, official history, owner John Cunliffe’s memoir charts how idyllic memories of holidaying at Gilpin with his grandmother just after the war turned into a slightly eccentric passion, and finally a thriving business.
Many visitors have been called back to this enchanting spot, but none so powerfully as that small boy, who, following a career in the hotel business spanning New York, Jamaica and the City of London, could eventually, with his wife Chris, buy back Gilpin and create something truly special.
Honest, funny and always clear-eyed about the sheer hard work that goes into this kind of obsession, and full of insights into the unique challenges of sustaining that rarest of spots – a great family-run hotel – Slightly Perfect does justice to Gilpin and a life in hospitality.
Literary Editor, British GQ