Hotel Designed by Thomas Hardy Hosts Literary Event

  • Date: Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa, deep in Thomas Hardy's Wessex in the English Countryside, will host its second complimentary literary event for guests and locals on Saturday October 16th, 2010. Inspired by its remarkable literary connections, four writers, each working in different styles including travel writing, non-fiction, investigative journalism and advertising copywriting, will gather together for a full day and evening of literary discussion in this historic country house hotel which Thomas Hardy, in his profession as architect, helped design the plans for the hotel’s extension and redesign of the Drawing Room.

The four writers are:

  • Roger Collis is an actor, broadcaster, writer and bon viveur who has earned world-wide recognition as a business travel guru through his weekly column, 'The Frequent Traveler’, in the International Herald Tribune
  • Marcelle Bernstein is a much acclaimed novelist, non-fiction writer and journalist. Several of her novels, such as “Body & Soul” and “Sacred & Profane”, have become best-sellers as well as being turned into successful feature films and television dramas.
  • Eric Clark is a respected investigative journalist who has delved into the seedier aspects of crime and drugs. His gripping thrillers “Black Gambit” and “Chinese Burn” have both proved particularly popular.
  • Jim O’Connor is an advertising copywriter who has promoted everything from boutique hotels to fork lift trucks, Clover low fat spread to Palmolive soap, Cornish pasties to Australian rum.

This exciting event, available between 10.30am and 5.30pm on Saturday 16th October 2010 is complimentary to all in-house guests and non-residents who dine for lunch or stay for the “join the writers” evening dinner. The writers during their one hour sessions will talk in-depth about their specialist style providing aspiring writers or enthusiasts some insight, tips and tricks of the trade.

In the evening, guests can get to know the writers better and enjoy a very special three-course dinner prepared by Executive Chef Steve Titman in The Dining Room, the hotel’s award winning restaurant, recently named as one of the top three hotels in the UK for food in the Condé Nast Traveller's Gold List 2010. They can also sample the delights of the legendary cellar created by Sommelier Eric Zwiebel, rated amongst the best four in the world.

“The original idea was inspired by the hotel’s close associations with Thomas Hardy,” says General Manager, Charles Lotter. “He lived nearby and the hotel is at the very heart of the Wessex landscape he immortalised. The village pub, the Acorn Inn, features in his novel 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles' as 'The Sow & Acorn'. What’s more, in his capacity as an architect, Hardy was asked to design the upper floor and the drawing room of Summer Lodge by the 6th Earl of Ilchester in 1893. So you could say the house is haunted by him, although I’ve never had the pleasure to make his acquaintance.”

The reality is far more good natured, with four very different writers swapping stories and explaining how they go about earning a living from words. “All of them are great company and terrific raconteurs,” continues Charles. “Everyone who attended the earlier event this Spring thoroughly enjoyed themselves, so we decided to run it again.”

The five-star Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa, set in four acres of perfectly maintained gardens, is the epitome of the English country house in the picturesque Dorset village of Evershot, immortalised by Thomas Hardy in his Wessex novels. This luxurious 24-bedroom hotel has swiftly earned a reputation as one of England's finest country house hotels. With a world class spa - including indoor heated pool and rejuvenating body and beauty treatments - and award-winning restaurant and world class wine list created by one of the world's best sommeliers, this hotel is the perfect short break getaway. Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa is a member of Relais & Châteaux.

Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa