At the time of Janet and George Snr's marriage in 1873, which took place at the British Consulate in Geneva, George Snr was manager of a hotel called 'Des Troes Couronnes' in Vevey, Switzerland - a hotel which opened in 1842 and still exists today, on the shores of Lake Geneva. To give an idea of the status of the hotel back then, in 1859 Tsar Nicholas I, Emperor of Russia, took all 60 rooms on all four floors for himself and his entourage to spend the entire winter there.
George Snr had also worked at the Langham Hotel in London shortly after its opening in 1865. At the time this was London's largest building and Europe's first 'Grand Hotel'. It also housed the world's first hydraulic lifts and was hailed at its opening by the Prince of Wales as "everything a man, woman or child could desire under one roof". Later in his career, George Snr would manage the Queen Anne Residential Mansions in London. Opened in 1873, these became the tallest building in Britain at fourteen stories (and infamously blocked Queen Victoria's view of the Houses of Parliament from Buckingham Palace). This "stupendous pile" housed many famous residents. Below are images of 'Des Troes Couronnes', the Langham and Queen Anne's Mansions.
George Nicolaus would specialise in the mining of precious metals and stones and would travel extensively all over the world. During the First World War he served as a Captain in the Royal Engineers. He had a second marriage to a Diana Frances Rogers. However, in spite of his cosmopolitan lifestyle, George never forgot his Scottish roots. He would visit his grandfather, Andrew Thomson, at the Bonnybay House Baker's Shop at the foot of Durham Wynd in Lower Largo (see photo) and later (after James Bruce had taken over the bakery business) at his home on Emsdorf Street Lundin Links. When the time came for George Nicolaus Jnr to retire, he might have chosen anywhere in the world. But he chose to settle in Lundin Links in the early years of the Second World War, at Norvil. More about that last stage of George Nicolaus's life in the next post.