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Owner of Augill Castle wins Cumbria book award

16 July 2014 by
Owner of Augill Castle wins Cumbria book award

The owner of Augill Castle in Cumbria has won a regional award for his first book, which tells the story of raising his family in the country castle hotel.

Simon Temple-Bennett, former London journalist and now hotel-owner, has been announced as the winner of Lakeland Book of the Year, for his debut work, Undressed for Dinner, for which the prize was £1,000.

The now-15-bedroom hotel today aims to offer luxury-standard yet relaxed accommodation, and welcomes guests looking for good-quality food, a secluded location, and "a bit of English eccentricity". There is also a small art-deco-style cinema, an honesty bar, a children's cookery school, a library, tennis court, treehouse, and a collection of family antiques.

Undressed for Dinner â€' the story of an ordinary family in an extraordinary place charts the couple's efforts to restore a crumbling building (including 137 burst pipes and hundreds of metres of new wiring and plumbing), run a successful business, and bring up a family at the same time.

It's not the first time this year that the couple has hit the news: in February it was announced that they had launched the Fair Booking Movement campaign and the Best Rooms Direct website, to encourage guests to book direct and bypass online travel agents (OTAs).

Founded by author and journalist Hunter Davies, the Lakeland Book competition is now in its 30th year, and pits Cumbrian authors against each other across five categories, with the winner announced at a charity awards lunch at the Inn on the Lake, Ullswater.

Alongside Davies, this year's judging panel also included BBC newsreader Fiona Armstrong and BBC Gardeners' Question Time chairman Eric Robson.

Hospitality battles on after flooding in Cumbria >>

Augill Castle launches Fair Booking Movement in response to global threat of OTAs >>

TagsAwards and Hotels
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