Friday, 5 February 2016

Heartwarming Cream Tea in Aid of Julia's House this Valentine's Day

A heartwarming and generous way to celebrate Valentine's Day at Beatons Blandford Forum... With live music, romantic Cream Tea and a glass of sparkle each too! All in aid of our 'communitea cause' Julia's House who provide Dorset with its only hospice and hospice services to families' homes for children with life limiting conditions. Book now, limited places...

Only £18 per couple of which a large slice - £12 - goes to Julia's House! 

Music: Romantic live accordion and ukulele playing from Blandford Forum's Sam Ryall - but not at the same time he tells me! (And a few heart-warming stories about the work of Julia's House)

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Twitter: small, sweet sips with 'local' on our lips

Online is best served up
live, with tea and at Beatons!
Why is it we engage more on twitter than facebook where we restrict ourselves to 'fan pages'?  

We're always being asked about this! The answer is to do with our ethos and the fact that the literary, loose leaf tea lovers and local business communities seem to prefer to hang out on twitter. We also like the fact our tearooms can interact live through its local twitter hours.

Our day-to-day twitter engagement is now primarily from @beatonstearooms - ensuring our franchisees and tearoom managers are utterly focused on serving you! Here at 'Beatons Central' we use specially curated lists to help us engage with the literary, local business and national franchise communities. 

Both our twitter and facebook content point you here, to our website and blog posts, packed full of restorative and sparkling content. It's also where you can check out when and how you can come and engage with us in person at our tearooms! 
Our local tearooms twitter streams are gradually becoming clean and simple channels for pointing you to quality content, and details of interesting events and promotions. We believe we are with a few other 'early adopters' of the 'less is more' approach - we're uninterested in the number of followers we have, and much more interested in using twitter and facebook to discover what you like, new local authors and local events we can support. We believe the 'you follow me and I'll follow you days' are on their way out.

We're specific in the way we engage online because we are passionate about reflecting our values in whatever we do. You can read our in-depth article here. Social media could take up all our time (and a lot of our budget) when we'd rather be serving up gracious hospitality or organising events in our respective communities!

We like to use twitter like this:

favouring quality over quantity following those whose values are aligned to our own or who contribute in a positive way to our local communities
- embracing Gary Vee's 'thank you economy' and thanking those who support us through engagement, re-tweets and our #tweepofthemonth initiative.
- providing a window for potential franchisees and other stakeholders to take a peek and see how Beatons' operates as a franchise business
interacting and supporting our followers in a way that is gracious and intuitive, and sometimes even poetic. Rhyming tweets generate more re-tweets as you can discover here - because they're fun, and we use poetry as a unique part of our brand!
discouraging #FollowFridays and encouraging something better by selecting and honouring a #tweepofthemonth whose engagement we admire. They'll feel our gracious hospitality in ways we don't need to shout about, but that we hope will delight them...

We hope this gives curious tweeps and facebookers a window into why we choose to engage the way we do. We'd love to hear any feedback you may have - either by e-mail or when you next visit us.

Liz Darcy Jones

Monday, 1 February 2016

Welcoming Marks and Spencer to Blandford

Generous Value at Beatons Tearooms Blandford.

To welcome Marks and Spencer to Blandford, we've have come up with a special offer!

Just show us your M&S ‘Sparks’ Loyalty Card when we come to your table and take your order, and with any drink purchased we'll give you a free homemade scone, with clotted cream and jam. Please note this offer runs for one month only.

We look forward to seeing you and giving you a taste of our table service in our warm and spacious tearooms.

Note! Offer applies from 1st February 2016 to 1st March 2016. 

Hanging Crows and Singing A Song of Crowthorne for Alexander Devine

Beaty Beaky
our crow!
More often than not, pictures and sound speak more clearly than words. That was definitely the case at our musical Open House Event here at Beatons Crowthorne...

Although we don't want to crow about it, we do think the Dani Harmer Academy of Performing Arts should crow about their fantastic performance of 'Sing A Song of Crowthorne' which you can listen to below!

Thank you SO much Jill and Dani Harmer, and especially Singing Teacher Jade Nunn, not to mention all the young performers and their parents who came and supported them, us and the charity.

After The Mayor of the Borough of Bracknell Forest, Councillor Mrs Dee Hamilton had opened the event and toasted the new Beatons Crowthorne with tea (!), Liz did the first public reading of our Crowthorne poem, click here to listen to her on You Tube.

Me and the Mayor  ~ look who gets the china cup!

Then it was the song... and well past noon people kept coming in to give to Alexander Devine Hospice Service by donating and hanging a crow on our 'crow thorn' tree. We're keeping it in the tearooms at least until Friday 5th Feb, so it's not too late to make your contribution...

Thank You to
Gracious Volunteer

Here's a link to the full account of what happened with the formal pictures which we might - if we're lucky - even see covered in some of the local papers.

We'll announce how much we've raised for Alexander Devine next Monday: let's make it a huge sum!  And of course if you order Community Chai Latte or Charlton Soda from our menu we collect 50p a time for Alexander Devine too...

Thanks to everyone who donated, helped, served, sang, and hung crows!

Paul Mitchell
Franchisee, Beatons Crowthorne

Tea Of The Month: A Tea to get your Teeth Into!

Nonsuch Tea Estate Coonoor I Wikipedia
Our Tea of the Month for February - Nonsuch BOP - is also the house blend for our newly opened Beatons Crowthorne. It's a tea for those who love breakfast and want to care for their teeth.

Nonsuch BOP is a robust black tea from Nilgiris in Southern India.  The 'BOP' at the end has nothing to do with music or hitting someone over the head but stands for 'Broken Orange Pekoe'! As the name suggests, it has a very slightly orange tang which makes it a brilliant breakfast tea, perfect with muffins and croissants from our breakfast menu. 

As for the health benefits of black tea?

We're often reminded that black tea is good for your heart - three or more daily cups of tea can reduce the risk of a stroke (link to research here). We're sometimes told that the polyphenols in black tea are also antioxidants and differ from those found in fruits and vegetables, they're better at blocking DNA damage from toxic substances such as tobacco and chemicals...

... but we're seldom told how black tea can help reduce plaque formation and bacteria growth which promotes cavities and tooth decay! Read more in this article.

It turns out black tea is good for your teeth.

Add to that the calming and de-stressing effects of the amino acid L-theanine in black tea and we think a cup of our Nonsuch BOP first thing will set you off to a very good start. 

What's more, our tea of the month always costs a little bit less too - another thing to put a smile on your face. 

Make a diary note and schedule in a weekly Nonsuch BOP Breakfast at Beatons this February!

Liz Darcy Jones