#beatonstearooms: What's Inside a Beatons?

Curious? All these you will find...
High Tea, scones and gorgeous cake,
Bowls of soup or stew
Fine coffee, lots of loose-leaf teas
Our house blend - Beatons Brew
Come in for breakfast, lunch or tea
And lovely things on toast
Which of our daily specials
All home-made will you like most?
Fresh restorative food and drink
And books to feed the mind
With titles chosen to delight
All these you will find...
                                                                        ... inside Beatons Blandford  

#Blandford: Beatons Blandford Launch!

MD Patrick welcomes & thanks everyone
The Dress Code said 'a touch of sparkle' and Blandford could have started a fourth great fire with the glints of diamonds and bling on Friday night!

We'll be creating some day-time sparkle on Saturday 13th December from 10 to 10.30 am and the chance to sample some of our signature Carrot Cake as well as hear the two winning poems from our 2nd Annual Poetry Competition... oh and a warning about what happens if you eat too much cake, Dorset's most famous vet signing copies of her book and a few tips about loose leaf tea!

In the meantime, here are a few pics from our Launch Soirée and Awards Ceremony. Thanks from Patrick and all the team here, to the guests who came and indulged, and gave us such a lovely welcome and to everyone who has been involved in the project. Especially the TNT man who delivered our new oven (with only hours before fresh miniature scones and hot canapés were due to be served!)...

Sparkling crowd at Beatons Blandford Launch Party

There's so much to tell, but you know, sometimes it's best to keep your own memories and just allow the pictures to convey what they will of the atmosphere.

We have stacks of photos of smiling faces holding glasses of sparkle, looking elegant and relaxed. Many of them have gone off to the local press and who knows, some may even grace the 'Society' pages of some of our local glossies...

The music from Sorrentino was beautiful and we managed to quieten the clinking of glasses and social chatter to nothing so we could all enjoy a medley of pieces from 'My Fair Lady' (Cecil Beaton designed the costumes for the 1964 film).

Regrets? Only that I didn't book a professional photographer to take better pictures (lesson for next ime)... And that I didn't take one of Beatons Blandford Manager Ben and his kitchen staff's amazing food - the talk of twitter - or our newly trained Front of House team navigating through the crowds with them! But here's a weary but proud Ben and our youngest investor in Beatons Blandford - Tisbury cook Harry Mcgookin - basking in the success of the evening as it drew to a close.

Winning Poems from Our 2014 Poetry Competition

David Bamber reads his winning poem
So here they are! The three winning entries on the theme of 'Restoration' - which we encouraged poets to interpret loosely (and they did!)  Sadly, we only had half the entries we did last year (limiting entries to the UK and running the competition later in the year may have been a contributory factor).

At a splendid Launch Soirée and Awards Ceremony on Friday 5th December at Beatons Blandford David Bamber had the thrill of receiving his award from internationally acclaimed poet, travel writer and Blandford Forum resident Paul Hyland.

Hear the poem on Saturday 13th Dec from 10 to 10.30 am
at Beatons Blandford  2 Market Place

David Bamber's winning entry (adults) tells the Blandford based story of its Great Fire - throbbing with rhythm and rhyme.

David spent many hours researching and crafting his entry.

Judges said, 'This is a great description of Blandford's fire. Relevant, well written with a natural flow. Good metre.' 'A strong narrative and a well handled 'arc', I like the personification of the fire and the water and felt the conflict very effective'.

The runner up in the competition was Russ Berry of Coventry for his poem 'To the Blackthorn' (scroll to end to read) and we added an extra 'Highly Commended' prize and certificate to London's Charles Evans whose poem 'Restoration' vividly described a 'restorative experience' at bath time... slightly too adult for our website unfortunately!

Anna Wilson is the seventeen year old who entered our 'Young Aspiring Wordsmiths Category'. We're not going to hide the fact that she was the only one who entered. That alone makes her a winner in our eyes, although our judges looked critically at her entry before deciding to award her the prize.

Anna's entry 'The Returned Timepiece' is clearly influenced by the focus on the war in this Centenary period of WW1 and has a rich sense of nostalgia about it.

You can hear Anna's poem being read at our Free Open House on Saturday morning, 13th December 10 - 10.30

Judges said, 'Very relevant in this year... very emotive and well thought out.' 'A promising reflective poem.'

Runner up, Russ Berry wrote 'To the Blackthorn', reminding us of the nature poetry of John Clare and shifts the sense of Restoration to the seasons. Russ couldn't get down from Coventry to the launch but can't wait to get down to Beatons to use up his voucher!

Paul Hyland read the poem on Russ's behalf.

Beatons Blandford: A Restorative Experience for a Restoration Town!

I'm Ben, and as Manager of Beatons Tearoom and Bookshop Blandford Forum I'm delighted to welcome you to our online 'home'. We're open seven days a week at Greyhound House in the heart of the Market Place. In keeping with this restoration town, we most enjoy providing a 'restorative experience' to the local Dorset community.

Full contact and location details here.

Our house blend of loose-leaf tea is the reviving 'Beatons Brew'. Why not pop in and have a pot, with a large slice of our signature carrot cake?

Yes, we also have free wi-fi and the morning paper, along with 'browsing books' to dip into. We're very proud to have become part of the 'busy Blandford' community and are incredibly grateful to the support of local businesses, the fantastic local press and our body of regular customers (they know who they are!)

Grand Monsieur - for those who serve
Blandford Forum has some real treasures up its sleeves.  Of particular interest is Blandford Fashion Museum - a tardis-like building packed full of costumes and designer clothes and accessories. There's a thriving Public Library which hosts three writing groups and two 'Chatterbox' groups - all of which use poetry. We've also delighted to welcome our new neighbours 4ever Vintage next door.

Dorset is a very literary county too, as you'll see from our Dorset Authors page. And of course, Blandford has very strong links with the army - it's home to The Signals Regiment. We extend a special welcome to the residents - permanent and temporary - of Blandford Camp and even created our hearty Grand Monsieur in their honour!

Why not make your trip to Blandford extra special and book or come in for one of our amazingly restorative Afternoon High Teas?

Ben Moxham
Tearooms Manager

#Blandford: Restoration but not yet elegance!

Entries are trickling in to our 'restoration' themed poetry competition. And down in Blandford builders, carpenters and painters are full throttle in their restoration project, racing towards Beatons Blandford opening one day next week.

Not quite ready for china cups, just lots of Beatons Brew!
As you can see from some of our behind the scenes shots, there's still a wee way to go!

At this point I'm going to invoke and change a saying, 'The devil's in the detail.'  

The devil is not in the detail, 'The Deity's in the detail'! Surely? 

Let's change it for the better and hand the detail over to a benevolent being... 'word are pockets of power'.

And talking of detail, we hope you'll enjoy admiring the beautiful old safe barred door when you come in. We're learning more and more about the history of the building (thank you Nicci Brown of Forum Focus and the Civic Society). Did you know that a 'puller of teeth' shared the building with the National Provincial Bank at one point? Fortunately we haven't unearthed any old teeth!

Another lovely story is that the Greyhound has some literary roots. Edward Gibbon (historian of the
There will be light! Painting has started...
Roman Empire), visited it and sat reading Greek and Latin classics (our reading is slightly more light and sparkling!) and Irish playwright John O'Keefe spent a night there with his three children. 

I think there's some food for poets scratching their heads for restoration inspiration here, and we look forward to welcoming you to our Open House on Saturday 13th December at 10 am when you'll be able to hear the winning poems.

In the meantime, remember, 'The Deity's in the detail!' 

Could be useful in the run up to Christmas...

#Blandford: Open House Event

The date:  Saturday 13th December

The time:  10 am for about half an hour

Where:      Our new not-yet-opened Beatons at No 2 The Market Place, Blandford Forum 

And the event?  The first public recital of the winning poems from our 2nd National Poetry Competition AND Dorset author Anna Birch will be signing copies of her hugely popular book 'Call the Vet' in case you're thinking what a good Christmas present it might make...

Cost? Free - first come, first seated. Hosted by House Poet, Liz Darcy Jones, in her last event as 'Britain's Tea Poet' (so tea-lovers might pick up a few tea tips too).

Diarise a short 'restorative experience' into your Christmas Shopping Saturday and come and join us!


#beatonstearooms: celebrating the poetic form - alphabetagram!

Poetry Competition Awards at Tisbury
in 2014
Here at 'Beatons Central' we believe poetry belongs everywhere, including the business environment.

Every new Beatons Franchise Business Owner is presented with a copy of  'Distinguished Leaves: Poems for tea-lovers' so they can get to know their teas and (possibly for some) discover poetry can actually be fun and inspiring!

They'll also find out first hand how well it goes with tea and cake.

We're always looking out for local poets. One we've unearthed is Wiltshire poet and local solicitor Nigel Brodrick-Barker who is master of the alphabetagram. Nigel created this form and it strikes me as a wonderfully poetic way to encourage children to become word-smiths. My inner alphabet is itching to have a go at one...

And here, having its debut outing, is Nigel's latest offering inspired by Beatons! 
'Appetising Beatons’ cakes delicately evoke favoured good housekeeping. ‘IF’ junior Kiplings languish midst nervous odeon poets quizzically relishing Siam tea, until vespers whisper xenoglossial yarns zanily.'
          © Nigel Brodrick-Barker, used with permission 

Why don't you pop in to your nearest Beatons or a local independent bookshop near you and buy a volume of poetry that catches your eye and simply 'dip in'... 

Remember, poetry is always best in slow small sips.

#beatonsbod: Alex the soda inventor from Tisbury!

Alex Cockrean is a returning  Tisbury 'Beatons Bod' - appearing in his University breaks and adding his own brand of wit to the team (see his responses below!)  Alex is studying Chemistry at Oxford and his sister Daisy - who has also just won a place at Oxford - is another part-time 'beatonsbod' too! Perhaps it's Alex's interest in chemistry that has enabled him to create an original popular soda on our menu?

1.  Who are you and what do you like best about your job?

I'm a waiter at Beatons, the best part of my job has to be the customers. With a lot of regular customers it's quite nice to build up a bit of chat.

2.  What's your favourite edible or drinkable from our menu?

I'm going to have to go for the Beatons' special soda. It's the perfect beverage to refresh you on a warm summer afternoon. Whoever came up with it deserves a pat on the back, possibly even a raise? [Hmm... well you've certainly got the pat on the back! Ed.]

3. And how about your favourite book from our shelves?

The book I most recently bought from Beatons' shelves was 'How to make your cat an internet celebrity: A guide to financial freedom' by Patricia Carlin and Dustin Fenstermacher published by Quirk Books.. It made the perfect gift.

Alex in action!
4. Which of the ways we like to go about things at Beatons means most to you and why? (For readers unfamiliar with them, they are; providing generous value, a restorative experience and personal attention with  'sparkle', 'elegance' and 'gracious hospitality').

 As a waiter I enjoy the way Beatons approaches hospitality, as it gives me the opportunity to actually get to know the customers as an integral part of my job.

5. Over the next year what's the most exciting project in your life - at work or personally?

My biggest project (whilst definitely not my most exciting) in the coming year will be preparing for, and hopefully passing, my final year exams at university.

6. Can you share a  practical tip for our online audience?  It can be about anything i.e. cooking, sewing, cleaning or motorbike maintenance!

Bacon pancakes (see picture). Seriously! [Although we don't see them going on the menu, nor are we sure this is the kind of practical tip we had in mind (!) we do think they'd be a great way of students fuelling themselves with a protein breakfast before exams. And I'm going to try give them a go. Ed.]

Beatons Tisbury: Our Elegant Flagship Tearooms in Wiltshire

Manager of Beatons Tisbury
Harry McGookin Welcomes You
I'm Harry, proud Manager of Beatons Tearooms and Bookshop Tisbury. It's an honour to look after our first Beatons and flagship tearooms in the village of Tisbury, Wiltshire.

'Elegance' is the quality we most like when it comes to Beatons' underlying qualities - unsurprising given that society fashion photographer Cecil Beaton inspired our name and interior styling. Elegance was critical to the mix when our founder Patrick Duffy first opened in 2011 and remains so as we expand nationally.

Come in and enjoy our house blend 'Cherry Sencha' - a beautifully fragrant loose leaf tea. We're open 7 days a week, 364 days of the year!

Tim from 'Beatons Central
manning our Breakfast Stand
at Tisbury Station
We are also the only Beatons so far to boast a Beatons Breakfast Stand Up Service from Tisbury Station where you can enjoy all our fine quality Italian coffees and a bacon roll to take with you on your commute to London!

This really is 'Cecil Beaton country' - he had two homes in the area. And Tisbury is also home to 'Beatons Central' - our main office HQ - and quite a few famous writers too [link to our Wiltshire Authors Page].

Beatons, with its pretty Terrace, nestling in the Market Square has become the hub of the village. It's the perfect starting place for lunch, tea or a slice of homemade cake (or all three!) - and one of the first places you'll encounter if you travel to Tisbury by train.

Press play, close your eyes and enjoy a virtual cup of tea while we conjure up a picture of Tisbury Beatons for you ...

Around the Square are a cluster of independent shops with a focus on the arts and home that would make Cecil Beaton smile.

Countryside and Culture?  Of course, the Nadder Valley boasts some of the county's most varied and richly diverse country, and Wiltshire is still home to a veritable army of writers, journalists, artists and historians. Tisbury sits within Cranborne Chase AONB.

And if you'd like to read some reviews, you can check out our many fine reviews on Trip Advisor

Why not treat a friend to a full quintessentially English Afternoon High Tea - best to book to ensure we have the table reserve and laid up for you. Just telephone 017447 871819! 

Full contact and location details here.

Harry McGookin
Tearooms Manager

Offer: Rainy Day Tisbury

It's our way of adding a touch of weather-sensitive 'gracious hospitality' to Tisbury.

When our team declares 'Rainy Day Tisbury' (#rainydaytis on twitter) the Beatons Flag is raised by a volunteer who braves the showers to hoist it! We also tweet our announcement.

What does that mean to you? There's a FREE teacake waiting for you when you order your cup of tea or coffee.

We hope it brings a bit of sparkle to rain-filled days.

#Tisbury: Seen us on Twitter? Meet our House Poet

Friday 21st February  from 3.30 pm ... A ‘House Poet’ special invitation to meet local twitter friends to enjoy some live interaction in the shape of tea and talk at my third ‘home’ down in the charming village of Tisbury. Entertainment free, tea and cake down to you.