The inspiration for The Long Weekend came when my husband and I sneaked away for some downtime to our favourite hotel, the Old Quay House in Fowey, Cornwall. I was sitting on the terrace overlooking the harbour, sipping a glass of white wine, and I began to wonder about all the other guests and what they were doing there. There is something so romantic and intense about a long weekend away: who knows what might happen in a stolen forty-eight hours?
I also began to wonder what it was really like to own and run a boutique hotel – it’s a common enough fantasy, if all the reality television shows are to be believed.
In The Long Weekend, Claire and Luca seem to be the perfect team when they take on the idyllic Townhouse by the Sea in Pennfleet. She is an organized perfectionist; he is a talented but temperamental chef. But is the reality a dream come true or a total nightmare?
I then complicated their lives by wondering what would happen if the love of Claire’s life checked into the hotel for his stag weekend – the One That Got Away all those years ago. Will she let Nick go second time around, or will she stay with Luca?
Then in my imagination all the other guests starting checking in, all with their own emotional baggage, all with their own secrets and agendas. A man with a guilty conscience, a girl in search of her identity, a couple with a tragedy to get over: they all have their reasons for wanting to escape.
By the time the weekend is over, they all have choices to make and none of their lives will be the same.
I think my favourite character of all is Angelica, the chambermaid-cum-receptionist. She has a tough background, but by working at the hotel and coming into contact with its guests, she realizes that there is more to life than drudgery and changing sheets. She wants a taste of five star luxury for herself – but first she has to deal with the crush she has on Luca … a crush he is only too happy to exploit.
Reading The Long Weekend will be just like having your own mini-break. The bedrooms are luxurious, the food is divine and there will always be a cocktail to hand. And the people-watching will be irresistible!
I’ve reserved a room for you, right at the top of the house, with a sea view. What are you waiting for? The Long Weekend starts here …
The Long Weekend by Veronica Henry will be available in store from Tesco from the 5th of July!