You'd like to run a restaurant? Check this out first...
Between 1984 and 2002, my husband and I imagined, built, ran and finally sold a restaurant beside the canal in Northamptonshire.
First, we spent two years converting a derelict carpenter’s workshop, wrongly assuming that this would be the hard part. We then employed a chef and a restaurant manager but, realising that we were in danger of going under, dispensed with both and did all the work ourselves, helped by a willing crew of young people and one or two equally untrained adults. By the time we finally sold, we had a loyal clientele and a reasonably successful business, but it was always incredibly hard work.
The story begins at the beginning, as we obtained and converted the building and began to discover how much we didn’t know. It then moves on to cover different topics including my disastrous attempts as a chef, my husband’s rapid transformation from can’t-boil-an-egg to cooking for 40, the coffee and shortbread approach to dealing with officialdom and much else. The end deals with our attempts to sell while coping with my husband’s terminal illness and an obstructive landlord, and finally the handover to the only people dumb enough to buy.