Monday, 27 October 2014

Beatons Annual Poetry Competition 2014 - Blandford Inspired!

Hot Press! Deadline extended to 9 pm Friday 28th November

Winners will have their prizes awarded by
Internationally Acclaimed Paul Hyland
(former judge of The Bridport Prize and National Poetry Competition)

Beatons Tearooms Poetry Competitions aim to encourage those who may not have considered writing poetry before (as well as established poets) to spend more time writing with a cup or mug of tea at their side. In the process, they may discover the shared attributes that tea and poetry have to inspire, touch and sustain.  The winner will receive a Beatons Voucher worth £50 and have their poem framed and displayed at Beatons Blandford (opening December). The runner up will receive a £25 Beatons Voucher and a copy of Stephen Fry's 'The Ode Less Travelled'.

New! This year a special award will be made to a 'Young Aspiring Wordsmith'. This is open to those aged between 13 and 17 to encourage creative writing for pleasure. The winner will receive a £25 Beatons voucher and their poem will be framed and displayed at Beatons Blandford and the runner up will receive a £10 Beatons voucher. Entry in 2014 is free.

All prize winners will be invited to the invitation only launch event (date to be confirmed) at which they will be presented with their prizes and certificates. They will also be invited to recite their poems publicly at Beatons Blandford 'Open House' on Saturday, 13th December at 10 am.

The Theme for 2014 is 'Restoration' (inspired by the thrice fire-ravaged town of Blandford Forum and its ability to rebuild itself and its community on at least three occasions). The theme may be interpreted as loosely as the entrant wishes.

A full copy of the Rules appears below. You can also request an e-mail copy of them by e-mailing Please note: The 'competitions' e-mail is for enquiries only!

E-mail entries should be sent - with information as set out in the rules below - to: with 'Poetry Competition' in the subject line.

Postal entries should be marked 'Poetry Competition' and sent or hand delivered to arrive no later than Thursday 27th November at:  Beatons Tearooms and Bookshop, The Square, Tisbury, Wilts. , SP3 6JP

Beatons Annual Poetry Competition - 2014 Rules

1.      The competition is open to anyone in the United Kingdom aged 13 (on 1st November 2014) or over. If you wish to be considered for the 'Young Aspiring Wordsmith' award please mark your entry with the month and year of your birth - if you are over 17 years of age on 1st November 2014 you are deemed to be an adult and are not eligible for this award.

2.      Poems must be original, unpublished, not currently submitted elsewhere, and must not have won any other prize.

3.    Poems should be typed and must not exceed 40 lines. Poems must be in English and restricted to the 2014 theme which is: 'Restoration'.

4.       Only one poem per person is permitted.

5.    No entry form is required, but all e-mail and paper entries must include (in BLOCK LETTERS if handwritten) your name, address, email address (if you have one) and both day and evening telephone number, along with the title of the poem submitted.

6.      Receipt of your entry to the competition will not be acknowledged.

7.      The winners will be announced on Friday 5th December at Beatons Tearooms and Bookshop Blandford Forum. The winning poem and names of the winners up will be published on Beatons Blog at on Saturday 6th December.

8.      Do not send your only copy of your work, as we cannot return poems after the competition, nor can be held responsible for the loss of your poems. No amendments can be made to poems once submitted.

9.      For 2014 there is no entry fee.

10.   The closing date is midnight Thursday 27th November and no entries will be accepted after this date.

11.    The winners and runners up will be notified by telephone and e-mail on Tuesday 2nd December. Winners will be publicly announced on 5th December. Winners and runners up will be invited to the private launch party at which their prizes and certificates will be presented (date to be announced). They will also be invited to recite their poems at Beatons Blandford Open House on Saturday 13th December at 10 am. If winners or runners up are unable to attend or prefer not to read at either event they may nominate a friend or Beatons' House Poet to read their poem in their absence or stead.

12.   Copyright remains with the authors, but Beatons Tearoom and Bookshop reserves the right to publish the winning poems (both in print form and online).

13.   Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these conditions of entry on submission of their poems.

14.  The decision of the judges shall be final and binding upon the participants entering this competition.

Note: The adjudicators of the competition will be: House Poet Elizabeth Darcy Jones; Jon Amos, a Tisbury Poet and former Postmaster with a love of rhyme and language (Young Aspiring Wordsmith Award); and Nick Kelly, Head of English at Bryanston (Adult entries). Elizabeth is a best-selling author known for her 'Tea Poetry' and is passionate about serving 'small sips' of verse outside of usual literary circles. She particularly appreciates work which is accessible and demonstrates an ear for rhythm.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Beatons Bod: Booklover Janette at Tisbury

Adding some Canadian Cheer to Beatons' Tisbury
Janette is a part-time professional front of house member of the team who has recently joined Tisbury… and we’re delighted she’s a real bookworm too!

1. What led Janette to Beatons and what does she like most about her job?
I was attracted by Beatons’ surroundings and the welcoming invitation as soon as you enter the shop. Its service, and all done with a smile, plus a good hot strong cup of coffee. What I like best about my job, are all the different people I get to meet.

2. What's your favourite edible or drinkable from our menu?
Favourite eats and drinks? A hot and strong latte, with a slice of one of the lovely cakes offered.

3. Over the next year what's the most exciting project in your life - at work or personally?
My project at the moment is helping out my family as my sister and husband are building a new home in Hindon, with an annex for my Mum. We are all bunking in together with three dogs right now while my sister’s husband builds the home, all by himself! I am new to Tisbury just arriving from Vancouver Canada, to help with family and start a new life for myself. My job with Beatons is part of my new journey. I used to work in the health industry, but have retired from that industry. I am enjoying something different, with a new challenge.

4. Favourite book from our shelves?
"Call The Vet" by Anna Birch [Janette is not alone, this ‘novel’ by a vet charts her local adventures  - Anna has been described as a modern day ‘Herriot’ and the book is fast turning into a best seller. Ed.]

5. Can you share a practical tip for our online audience? It can be about anything i.e. cooking, sewing, cleaning or motorbike maintenance...
My tip would be to always keep learning and never sit still for too long!
6. Lastly, what are you most looking forward to in terms of Beatons' events or future plans?
I have to say it is pretty exciting to see one opening up in Blandford, and that it is franchising. I like to see freshness and forward momentum.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Integri-tea: what gives us ours...

Patrick Duffy ~ Beatons' Founder & MD
It's the start of new term! Since you may well find a branch or franchise in a town near you soon, Liz Darcy Jones - our House Poet who usually looks after our blog posts - has persuaded me to share the platform on which we founded the business... 

What is it that makes Beatons tick?

In one word: integrity. But there's a bit more to it than that!

We don't believe in 'PR' in the usual sense. We believe that whatever activity we're engaged in - even in the media and online - it should embody or reflect our beliefs and values. It's why we don't do 'BOGOFS' - even the word sounds inelegant! We've mentioned the three core qualities we aspire to deliver, and the way in which we try to do so in a post already (and in our tweets) but we've not shared the platform or roots from which they emerged yet.

Well, here they are!

If they get your vote, feel free to quote them, tweet them, adopt them as your own or share with us how they align with your own enterprise or organization's 'platform'...

Beatons' Founding Platform

·         That giving people personal attention/service which is restorative and is generous in value enriches British society with something precious to the economy

·         That valuing the individual - whether supplier, franchisee, customer or any other stakeholder - is necessary for people to feel heard and nourished - it gives Beatons its integrity

·         That to convey what you are you don't need other brands cluttering up your space - Beatons carries no other branding and likes it like that

·         That life is usually better live and offline with as many senses as possible involved - so Beatons involves itself with local community life

·         That books and tea go together like scones and jam - and are best when they refresh, stimulate and are enjoyed in an elegant environment

·         That developing the attributes and skills Beatons demands of franchisees and staff alike is the single most important factor in creating personal and business success for each person, and therefore the group as a whole

·         That discipline, process and clarity are key to delivering with confidence, calm and ease.

Looking forward to serving you soon.

Patrick Duffy, M.D.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Literature: Celebrating National Poetry Day 2014

Last Year's Annual Poetry Competition Awards at Tisbury
Our 2014 Competition will be launching soon... 
Here at 'Beatons Central' we believe poetry belongs everywhere, including the business environment.

Every new franchisee 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 raise a cup of our finest loose leaf tea to all UK poets celebrating National Poetry Day.

That includes Wiltshire poet and local solicitor Nigel Brodrick-Barker. Investigating Tisbury High Street on a long overdue expedition all of a few yards from Beatons' front door last week, I discovered a brief poem 'Gone to Pot' about not confusing pottery with poetry framed in Kate Good's beautiful studio and shop.

And here it is:

'I heard the word Pottery muddled with Poetry,
Potter and poet will each have to learn,The pottier the poem – and -Poetic as pots may be,Not ev’ry piece is an ‘Ode on an Urn’.
Sending a link to my first shot at this post has produced a new example of an 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! Thanks Nigel - you for ensuring Tisbury plays its part in National Poetry Day in a highly original way...

'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 

On a personal note, I'm saying goodbye to three years as 'Britain's Tea Poet' at the end of this week with a final tea poet performance in Bromyard. But of course life without tea and poetry is unthinkable. And my role as Beatons House Poet is growing by the day as more franchises come on board - for each one a poem is commissioned: Blandford Forum is 'in the bag', Chester soon to come and another one as we head into the New Year.

But today is about poetry and encouraging anyone who hasn't heard poetry live to do so. I'd recommend booking for one of the last dates (that I know of) to hear  and watch Richard Marsh in Wingman on 20th October at the Nuffield Theatre Southampton. I've just seen him at The Pegasus in Oxford with partner Chris (pictured above) and we came out inspired, moved and wanting to tell all our friends about the show. This is where contemporary poetry is going... into the theatre and other venues (like tea rooms!) where it becomes part of our experience of life because it is accessible...

And of course, if you are in London on a Tuesday evening there's no better place to hear what's happening in the poetry scene than to go to 'Poetry Unplugged' at the Poetry Cafe. It's where I first met Richard and where we both started our poetry careers.. you can catch me there on Tuesday 14th October.

But best of all, why don't you pop in to us, 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.