In 1986 Tony Porter and his wife Beatrice gave up their successful careers as fashion consultants in London’s West End to buy Burgh Island off the South Devon coast with its near derelict art deco hotel.
Up to their necks in debt and with a massive program of repairs ahead of them, they gradually laboured to restore it to its former glory. Like Saint Michaels Mount, Burgh Island was originally the site of a mediaeval monastery cut off from the mainland at high tide. It has also been a notorious Smugglers Paradise.
Since the hotels inception in 1929, the rich and famous have been holidaying there. Not only did Agatha Christie arrive (And Then There Were None' and 'Evil Under the Sun' were both based on the island) but so did Edward, Prince of Wales with Wallace Simpson, Mountbatten, Noel Coward and many others...
Written with warmth and wit, the Great White Palace is an inspirational adventure set in a unique place. It is also an entertaining reminder of the giddy delights of a bygone era.