#beatonstearooms: The Secret of Slow

Every now and again we refresh this hugely popular post which was first published in March 2016 - as it seems to touch people where they are in a restorative way... 

Part of our ethos is to create an atmosphere where you feel relaxed, cosy and have time to 'stop and stare'. We want to encourage you to slow down and really take time to pause, reflect and restore from the moment you put your foot in the door. This post explains why we love 'The Secret of Slow'!

On the Beatons' side of the counter, we notice these benefits: it makes us more attentive, and - especially when we're busy - it avoids mistakes. In fact we've sometimes have to remind ourselves to go even slower when we're 'crazy busy' so we maintain the atmosphere of calm which we know you particularly value. 

However, especially walking in from the 'hustle and bustle of the High Street', we also know it takes a minute or two to 'readjust' to 'slow time'!  Here are our three suggestions to make it easier:
  1. Engage all your senses breathe in a big sigh of relief and let your shoulders drop as you walk in the door as we greet you. Consider switching your mobile phone OFF (!) engaging all your senses while you wait for us to bring you the menu... 

  2. Pick a slow-me-down, pick-me-up stress-relieving tea as you carefully peruse the list of teas on our table spinners. Our green loose-leaf teas or a calming rooibos would be perfect choices. Or surprise yourself and order something different?

  3. Discover the joy of waiting and Thrive! American novelist Nicholson Baker says, ' What was the very best moment of your day? … Often, it’s a moment when you’re waiting for someone...' We love this quote. We also love where it comes from, 'Thrive' which is the ultimate guide to relieving the pressures of this fast-moving, screen based world we seem to live in. We try and keep Thrive in stock at all time and you can find a review on our book blog here: It's Arianna Huffington's 'Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life' by Ebury Publishing

Take a breath now and enjoy a moment of slow on us!  Paradoxically, you'll find you get more done in less time. 

House Poet and 'Slow Pro'

#beatonstearooms: what's 'Breakfast, the Beatons Way'?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, that’s what we are all taught, good for the body and good for the mind! So why not start your day ‘right’ and make it a little extra fabulous by indulging in one of Beatons' mouth watering breakfasts?
Whether you're looking to start your day with a tasty Full English, some steaming porridge or a more continental warm, buttery croissant, we have something just for you…

Delicious breakfast rarebits
Or marmalade on toast
Boiled eggs and soldiers
All the above we boast  

Perhaps porridge is more suited
To your culinary needs
With syrup or fruit
Just a couple of our deeds
Scrambled or poached
On toast or with beans
We’ll do you perfect eggs
No exception, by any means  

Bagels with bacon
Salmon,cream cheese
Egg mayonnaise added
Our bagels will please  

Or a full Beatons Breakfast
To start off your day
Sausages, mushrooms
And more we’ll display! 

Dittea by Zoe Moxham. If you're an early bird and like to set yourself up for the day, pop in to your nearest Beatons for a real treat! Served until 10.30 or 11 am depending which Beatons you visit - give them a ring to check. We look forward to saying 'top of the morning' to you, with our customary heart and passion.

#beatonsbod: Laura - the literary owl of Blandford

Beatons Bod:  Laura Ellerton

What's your favourite edible or drinkable from our menu?
 A Double Espresso and Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies are my idea of a practically perfect start to any day...in fact, just writing this is making me feel hungry for one of them right now! 

What is your favourite book and why?
As a Child, The Magician's Nephew by CS Lewis, as a Teenager, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee, as a Twenty-something, What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn and currently, When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson.  As you can see, I've struggled to choose just one, but if this article persuades you to pick up and read any one of the Books mentioned above, you'll understand why I've recommended them. Each of Them are examples of Storytelling at its absolute best. 

Which of the ways we like to go about things at Beatons means most to you and why?
I'm extremely proud of working at Beatons and feel that we really know how to make each and every one of our Customers feel special. We take our time, treat everyone as an individual and create a little haven of calm and elegance in our Tea Rooms, which is very much needed during hectic and busy Christmas Shopping Weeks! 

If you were an animal, bird or creeping creature what would you be and why?
I'm going to say an Owl...  As one of the more 'mature' (Older!) Members of Staff here at Blandford, I hope my extra years of book-selling and catering experience can be useful to pass on to younger Beatons' Owlets!  Plus, I'm not sure it truly qualifies me as a 'Wise Owl', but I'm partial to a Crossword, episode of University Challenge and Pub Quiz or two. Competitive? Moi?! 

What - outside work - makes your skin tingle?
Spending Quality time with my Daughters, visiting Art Galleries, Live Music and Comedy Concerts, Literary Festivals, Scandinavian Crime Boxsets, Lazy Beach Days in the Summer (we're so lucky here in Dorset!) and every now and again, appreciating a quality bottle of Sauvignon Blanc... 

#beatonstearooms: P is for PEARL...

Christmas is the time when we probably should be giving you a feature full of present ideas but we thought we’d give you something different and feed your inner inspiration here.

Something we, at Beatons, believe is even more precious.

It’s a pearl.

When you’re being ‘PEARL’ Present Engaged And Really Listening – you give the person you’re with a rare and special gift: your attention.

This ‘PEARL’ has a soft lustre which attracts admirers without doing anything. Your companions see their own beauty reflected in your eyes, full of deep listening.  They feel heard in a different way.


It’s the non-judgemental nature of communicating when we’re being ‘PEARL’. We simply leave the moment with all its judgements and history behind us where it belongs, and the moment ahead of us for when it comes (granted it doesn’t always seem easy!)

But when we accept the moment is full enough and attend solely to it, to how we really feel, to the child pulling on our arms, the parcel to be wrapped, the creamy froth of a hot chocolate to be sipped – then the pearl is in the palm of our hand.

It would be easy to perpetuate the myth that the festive season is getting ever more stressful and demands on our time more acute. But is that true? We have supermarkets which deliver to our doorstep, cars which drive like a dream and – I think – there’s a greater appreciation for spending time in quiet contemplation, in making things together, singing together, giving together. We’d like each of our customers to receive the gift of us being ‘PEARL’ for them, especially over Christmas. Can we ask you to pass ‘the present’ on?

Wishing all our customers a peaceful and restorative Christmas and Happy New Year.

Liz, on behalf of Patrick and every member of the Beatons family

#tea: Smoke without the Dangers...

What is it?  Lapsang Souchong
For those who like a smoke without the dangers...
Lapsang Souchong is as pungent as the finest Cuban cigar which makes it a firm favourite with gentlemen who like port and a good book. It's also said that Lapsang helps strengthen your immunity, protecting you from viruses that lead to colds and the 'flu. 

A black fully fermented tea from China...

 'Lapsang stirs at four, he lights his smoky
cigarette that tastes of all things slow and smells
of damp dark woods where pandas go
he lets its earthy fragrance speak for him
he lets the taste of black that's lingering
snuff out the bright and crazy of the day
his brand of lazy speaks of time to play'

Why not try this beautifully smoky tea? It accompanies our tasty rarebits and spicy dishes beautifully. And it's not just for the gentlemen!

#Petersfield: Churchers Junior Save our Open House!

Beatons Petersfield's Open House Event for FitzRoy was a wonderful example of community spirit as Churcher's Junior came to the rescue. The tearooms found itself with a lovely song in praise of Petersfield's history, but no children to sing it!

With only a week to go, Hamish Newport - Head of Music - at Churcher's Junior took up the challenge and had to draw names out of a hat he had so many eager singers to sing Petersfield-related-lyrics to Percy Grainger's English Country Garden written specially for the event by Liz Darcy Jones.

Although you'll have to pop in to the tearooms (or any of our tearooms for that matter) to enjoy our signature carrot cake and Duchess Earl Grey Tea, you can enjoy the entire proceedings which we videoed.

Fifi Zahedfar with
FitzRoy Fundraiser Jim Apted
The Mayor of Petersfield, Councillor Jamie Matthews raised a toast to Petersfield and its community, and Jim Apted - FitzRoy's Community Fundraiser explained how FitzRoy helps over 200 local individuals who are 'differently-abled' to lead fulfilling lives.

It was a heart-warming occasion and the 'mini-choir' from Churcher's sang absolutely beautifully.

The competition to guess the number of teas on the tea menu raised £103 for FitzRoy and Nikki won Afternoon High Tea for two. Congratulations!

Beatons Petersfield Team Member Alic
running the fundraising competition

Mayor of Petersfield, Jamie Matthews, Mayoress and Alfie
with Beatons Petersfield Tearooms Owner, Fifi Zahedfar

#Petersfield: A Sparkling Launch Soirée

We're sorry we couldn't invite the entire Petersfield community - but we were cosy enough with eighty members of representing the arts, voluntary organisations and businesses! Beatons Petersfield Tearooms Owner, Fifi, welcomed guests, including Guest of Honour Chris Manby - highly acclaimed romantic comedy novelist. The room was filled with conviviality and enjoyment.

It was also great to see the team from Beatons Petersfield's Charity of the Year, FitzRoy including CEO, Anna Galliford, and two local authors: Jill Turner and Tiffany Francis.

The Toast to Beatons Petersfield is Raised!
What a fabulous evening!

Here are a few snapshots (we're hoping there'll be some more to see in Hampshire Life in December)...

If you'd like to have a taste of the 'Beatons Way' when it comes to gracious hospitality, come along to our free Open House Event on Monday 6th November when you can sample Carrot Cake and House Tea - 'The Duchess' all in aid of FitzRoy.

Sparkle, Blossom and the Sound of Jaunty Piano Music! 

#mybeatonsvisit: share your feedback

Yes! Our focus this week is all on you and engagement - something we place a very high priority on.  And we want to get it right and spend effort where you'll most appreciate it.

We're super curious about understanding what you most love about your visits to our tearooms, and also on which social media platforms you most like engaging with us.

This is a special week's initiative to find out!

If you'd like to e-mail us any feedback whatsoever, we'd be absolutely 'tealighted'!

Go on, e-mail us at: beatonstearooms@gmail.com !

Beatons Petersfield: An Elegant Intro

What a pleasure it was to open my Beatons - Beatons Petersfield in October 2017. To find us, head from the Market Square towards The Heath and we're at 30 High Street. Seven days a week you'll find me and my enthusiastic team bringing 'elegance to your table' in our stunning Sir Cecil Beaton inspired tearooms.

Our house blend of loose-leaf tea is the refreshing 'Duchess Earl Grey' (there are also over thirty others to choose from). Why not pop in and order a pot, along with a large slice of our signature Carrot Cake or award winning Banana and Coffee Cake if you're gluten free?

What will you find inside? An attentive and warm welcome, table service and a menu which changes throughout the day - from 'break-feast' to Afternoon Tea with everything in between. And for those with special dietary preferences just ask for our 'Elegant Options' menu which we've created specially for you. We even do a gluten-free Afternoon Tea. 

You'll also discover we have a small but an enticing selection of books to purchase to feed your mind, and possibly solve a present-buying dilemma.

Naturally, we have free wi-fi, an immaculate washroom and of course the morning paper. 

Please be curious, come in and introduce yourself to us - we can't wait to get to know our local community better. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Full contact and location details here.

Fifi, Beatons Petersfield

P.S. Of course, centre stage at every Beatons is our Afternoon Tea. We love setting out the linen tablecloths and giving you the perfect English tea experience. Your table awaits!
Best to book: 01730 858856

#Chester: Poems and Pastries start the day!

Chester poetry group was founded by Gill McEvoy and Annie Holland. They're both poets and authors. Annie now runs the group while Gill's moved across the Welsh border to continue her literary adventures.

We love having poetry groups at Beatons because we embrace poetry and verse as part of our brand.

The group started with only five members at first and has gradually grown over the last two years to a present total of 15-17 poets most sessions and still growing.

A subject is chosen by Annie in advance and each poet who attends reads out either their own creation or their favourite poem (written by someone else) on each month’s subject.
A social aspect to the group has now developed with poets staying and chatting with other group members long after the poetry has finished.

The group meet at 9.30am on the first Monday of each month and have a cup of tea or coffee on entry and then after the poetry they have another drink with Beatons freshly baked pastry all for only £6.50.

If you have a Poetry Group in Berkshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire please get in touch with your local Beatons - they'd love to host a regular meeting for you! 

Poetry restores parts other genres cannot reach...

#Petersfield: Reviewers Delight!

Laura Porter and Denise Lloyd sipping tea between bites!
The picture says it all - Afternoon High Tea mid-flow!

The two VIPs for our Reviewers Afternoon High Tea at Beatons Petersfield were Afternoon Tea 'Queen of  Bloggers' Laura Porter of @AboutLondon and Denise Lloyd, the visionary behind Hampshire's stunning bi-monthly, Beautiful South Magazine and The Directory Group.

Fifi - Tearooms Owner of Beatons Petersfield - was delighted to welcome them both before returning to running her tearooms as it served a constant flow of guests on its second Saturday of opening.

Between us we drank a white, green and black tea: White Peony, Jasmine Blossom (very fragrant) and Duchess Earl Grey (Beatons Petersfield's house tea). And we ordered The Ashcombe (named after Cecil Beaton's home) and the gluten-free 'Ascot' (a nod to Beaton's stage set for My Fair Lady). Link to the menu here.

The stars of the Afternoon Tea - the cakes and scones!
Both with ink rather than blood in their journalist fingers, Denise and Laura were keen to sample
everything, from a taste of my gluten-free scones to eyeing up possible books to buy from the shelves and displays.  

What their verdict was is something we'll have to wait for them to share. Hmm... not these days!  We saw them out with their phones and I see from Beautiful South's Instagram that Denise has already described it as 'truly delicious'! (Thanks). 

It confirms what I suspected from their faces, the almost empty three tiers of cakes, sandwiches and scones with clotted cream, not to mention the laughter... they thoroughly enjoyed it.

Why not book an Afternoon High Tea and share your verdict? Just call: 01730 858856

Posted by Liz
House Poet and lucky Host!

#Petersfield: Meet FitzRoy and 'The Duchess'

Come and support our Charity of the Year at our first community event!

It's free - although we'd like to raise a worthwhile sum for FitzRoy through a fun competition - and you'll also be able to meet Beatons Petersfield Owner, Fifi Zahedfar.  

Best of all there's a one-off performance of 'How many...' a specially written song in praise of Petersfield and its many historic features sung by a group of local children. And to celebrate our launch, Petersfield Town Mayor, Councillor Jamie Matthews will be raising a 'Toast of Tea' at 5pm.

We look forward to seeing you!

#Petersfield: FitzRoy – Our Charity for the Year

It’s lovely when we find a charity which has values which align closely with our own. The charity for Beatons Petersfield’s first year, chosen by franchisee Fifi Zahedfar, FitzRoy does just that. Its values:
‘We see the person. We are brave. We are creative.’ aligns well with two clauses of our own Constitution:

‘We focus on developing attributes and skills of franchisees and staff alike because we believe it’s the single most important factor in creating personal and business success for each person, and therefore the group as a whole.’

‘We value individuals whether customer, franchisee, supplier or any other stakeholder because unless people are heard and nourished they feel disconnected and alone’.

FitzRoy was founded by Elizabeth FitzRoy and John Williams who each had children with a learning disability. Fifty years ago, most young people and adults with learning disabilities lived their lives in institutions, isolated from their communities and were often ostracised. These two parents had a different vision – to create small homes which enabled people with learning disabilities to lead the lives that they wanted to. They saw the person, they were brave and they created something special.

One of the first FitzRoy registered care home opened in Liss, Hampshire and today FitzRoy has spread out from Hampshire and now supports over 700 people in their own homes and in the community. In Hampshire, specifically FitzRoy includes several registered care homes, supported living care, and two day and community centres in Petersfield and Waterlooville. In East Meon the Rural Skills Project teaches people with learning disabilities to grow fruit, vegetables and plants. Here they have the joy of working In a country setting whilst gaining horticultural qualifications and woodcraft skills - watch out for their plant stalls in Petersfield! The charity has its HQ and the 'On Track' day and community centre a couple of streets away from Beatons.

FitzRoy also has a wonderful Hampshire based project to encourage engagement – perhaps even leading to a real engagement in the future – called Love4Life which helps reduce loneliness, social isolation and exploitation of people with learning disabilities through social activities and relationship support.

I had the pleasure of delivering the good news that FitzRoy had been chosen as Beatons Petersfield's Charity of the Year to Jim Apted, FitzRoy's passionate Community and Fundraising Coordinator. He was thrilled, as was Chief Executive, Anna Galliford who said, 'It is so important for FitzRoy to get local support, enabling us to continue our work supporting the most vulnerable members of our community. We would like to thank Beatons Petersfield for their big hearted approach and look forward to working with them, helping us to transform the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism through the coming year'.

Each Beatons has their own Charity of the Year and will have events to support it, as well as 50p from every sale of The Alex (soda) and our Community Chai Latte also being donated. Our first Beatons Petersfield charity event will be our Open House on Monday 6th November from 4.30 to 6.00 pm when you’ll have a chance to meet members of FitzRoy, enjoy a free cup of our Beatons Petersfield’s House tea – ‘The Duchess’ – and sample some of our home-baked cakes and scones. More importantly, there’ll be a little entertainment and a great opportunity to start raising some funds for FitzRoy! [Make a note in your diary and watch this space!]

#Petersfield: A Peek at the Progress

Work is well underway in Petersfield Beatons Tearooms and here's a sneak peak at what's going on inside...

We're delighted to be in the middle of this new project which we 'guaran-tea' will please all tea fanatics and book lovers in the local area.

We look forward to building new relationships with the lovely local people in Petersfield and beyond. Our aspiration is always to deliver gracious hospitality, generous value and give you a restorative experience. 

This will be our fifth Beatons to open and we're confident that it will provide the same delightful haven for people to relax (enjoy delicious treats!) and be as popular as our Beatons in Tisbury, Blandford, Crowthorne and Chester.

A massive thank you for all the hard work from franchisee, Fifi and her team so far!

There's still a fair bit of painting to finish off and of course make sure that the kitchen is all fitted, up and running, and ready for service. There are shelves to stock with our fantastic range of over 30 teas, coffee machines to position and get hooked up, tables and chairs to assemble and the all important cake boards to fill!

Here at 'Beatons Central' (our HQ) we're eagerly anticipating the opening of what we believe will be the favourite Tearooms and Bookshop for the locals in Petersfield to relax and enjoy gracious hospitality.

When are you opening? is the question on everybody's lips. We want to ensure everything's 'just so' and this is never an exact science, but keep mid October in mind!

Beatons New Milton: Why New Milton?!


I’m Angela, the franchisee-in-waiting for New Milton in South Hampshire. I don’t live too far away so it’s a town I’ve been to many times. I’m absolutely thrilled ‘my Beatons’ will soon be gracing it, because New Milton has so much to offer (particularly if you live in the New Forest).

This is a long blog post – I’m told it’ll be the longest I’m likely to write so here goes... It’s more about what I like about New Milton than about Beatons. You’ll be able to enjoy ‘the Beatons experience’ in the New Year – we’ll keep you posted here and through the press. In the meantime, check out the other pages on the website for a visual feast!

First, I love the town because it’s so light, blossoming and airy! It has a happy feel to it and the amazing plantings by the Council look great.  Its wide pavements are perfect for those who are not-so-mobile – something I know all about as a former carer.

Of course, New Milton is incredibly central if you do happen to be a tourist (or even a commuter) boasting a mainline station, being a spit away from the beautiful Milford-on-Sea and the New Forest itself.

New Milton Water Tower
Although Beatons is a franchise, each one operates as an independent, so I’m really pleased New Milton is filled with independents like the 3rd generation butchers, T Bartlett and Sons (who are also part of a wonderful curing company called A Pinch of Salt Curing!) I’m tempted by the number of glittering jewellers, and some highly individual gift shops – I love crafts so Hand Made New Forest stands out,. And for 'Cecil-Beaton-worthy-elegance', Inspiration at the top of Station Road is a must.

Apart from the shops, I’m discovering New Milton has all kinds of societies and activities going on, which the average tourist is probably largely unaware of. And it's fortunate to still have a well-stocked local library, immaculately kept park and that unmistakable landmark – the Water Tower.

Oh yes! And although I’m not an avid motorcycle enthusiast, I understand it’s got one of the country’s foremost Motor Cycle collections – The Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum.

fNaturally, there’s also another big reason I’m so pleased to have settled on New Milton for my Beatons. I haven't found a bookshop there (or anywhere to enjoy the kind of ‘3-tiered afternoon tea experience’ with table service which all Beatons tearooms offer for that matter)!  Our book selection is ‘small but perfectly formed’ and may well save New Milton residents looking outside the town for their Christmas shopping.

Watch this space for news as to where and when we’ll be open and our charity launch activities.

Posted by Angela, Beatons New Milton

P.S. If you’d like to know when we start recruiting, please send me an e-mail – to angela@beatonstearooms.co.uk - and I’ll send you a link to the details when they’re posted.

#tea: Whispering 'Summer' whatever the season!

What is it? 

Kiwi & Strawberry

Some people aren't fans of fruit teas finding them a little insipid or too sweet. Not so this month's tea - Strawberry and Kiwi. It's got a lot more to it than just strawberry and kiwi pieces: add in apple, rosehips and Hibiscus petals to make it the perfect choice for those who are looking for a healthy tea to make their skin glow and a fruity kick!

Whether it's showing a little more flesh in a  party dress or a swimsuit what better tea than this which is packed full of vitamins C and A - great for skin. Hibiscus is also reputed to add to the skin's elasticity, and kiwi fruits have a rare fat free form of vitamin E in their make up...Makes life sound like a bowl of... strawberries, doesn't it?

Consider trying it as an iced tea either - this tea whispers 'summer' whatever the season!

#cake: Going 'Banana's' for Beatons Bakes!

Banana and Coffee Cake wins award!

Have you heard about the Great Taste Awards?

Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink. It has been described as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world and the ‘epicurean equivalent of the Booker prize’. Quite simply the Great Taste logo is the sign you can trust when buying food and drink in your local, quality retailer.

In 2017 over 500 judges, including specially trained food critics, came together at 62 judging days from March through to early July. The judges, from all corners of the food world, blind-taste in teams of 3 or 4 ensuring we get a balance of expertise, age and gender. The judges look for truly great taste. They take into account the texture, appearance and of course quality ingredients; and they like a good aroma. But everything comes back to the taste. Is it really, truly great?

We happen to think that our cakes are truly delicious and our customers agree with us too! After a lot of deliberation we decided to enter our Gluten Free Banana and Coffee Cake, after what seemed like an unbearably long wait we finally heard back...drum roll please! We are now the proud receivers of a Great taste award!

Have you tested this particular home-baked cake at Beatons? Well, it’s comes highly recommended!

#behindthescenes: M is for… Menus and Market Research

Menus and market research go hand in hand here at Beatons. Hopefully they create that ‘Mmm…’ which means delicious!  We thought we’d give you a bit of insight as to what and who’s behind our menus this month.

Did you know they change throughout the day?  Through breakfast, lunch and Afternoon Tea! And, of course, there are special menus if you’re indulging in one of our full Afternoon Teas or have special dietary preferences (our Elegant Options menu has been created just for you).

The brains (and sometimes the brawn when it comes to mixing quantities of scone dough or preparing meat) is Ben.
Ben – our highly trained chef who loves the challenge of producing hot and cold canapés for a hundred at our launch soirées – is at the heart of menu selection and creation. But he draws on ideas from outside and within the tearooms. Some of them from you!

You’re always welcome to add suggestions and comments at the bottom of our feedback cards (if you’re not given one you’ll find them at the counter). We read every one and suggestions get fed back to Ben ready for when he considers the next set of seasonal changes.

Our central team also contribute, as well as our growing number of Franchisees.
And, naturally, all the ‘Beatons Central’ team – Ben in particular - are on the look-out for new developments and inspiration externally. If Ben thinks he’s found something, he’ll then apply his creativity to give the dish a dash of Beatons’ originality.  After that? It’s trialling, recipe writing, and testing, testing, testing! 

Finally, the bit I occasionally get involved in. Word play! Often its Zoe who comes up with an elegant yet pertinent name, ready to add it to the menus.

Our tea choice, too, is updated on a regular basis. One of our newest additions, The Duchess *– an extremely refreshing twist (lemon) on Earl Grey – has just been chosen by one of our newest franchisees, Fifi, as her house tea.   We’ll be helping her launch Beatons Petersfield – our first Hampshire tearooms – in October.  
Why not enjoy a pot of ‘The Duchess’ (best without milk) as you take a more informed glance at our menu today?!
*’Dried lemon peels and orange pieces add a citrus twist to the traditional Earl Grey Tea making it a fantastic alternative to savour and enjoy. High quality tea is used providing a wonderful piquant flavour that when combined with a quality bergamot oil and citrus flavours has a full bodied finish. Beautifully refreshing and certainly one we think the Duchess would have approved of. ‘

#Petersfield: what Fifi loves about it


I’m Farnaz Zahedfar – a bit of a mouthful – so people call me Fifi.  I’m Beatons ‘franchisee-in-waiting’ for Petersfield. This is my first blog post charting the journey towards delivering Beatons’ brand of ‘gracious hospitality’ to East Hampshire.

Although I’m not yet local, me and my fiancé – like many in Petersfield’s history – are moving down from London. We can’t wait and have already done lots of exploring. Consequently, this blog is more about what we love about Petersfield rather than about Beatons [although you’ll find plenty to feast your eyes on elsewhere on this site]. And I hope it will encourage even more visitors… because Petersfield is charming.

Starting with the arts - since I’m a great fan - it’s great to find this thriving market town has its own ‘Festival Hall’ for entertainment. And the intriguingly named ‘Shady-Jane Youth Theatre' sounds interesting. It’s also got an orchestra, other performing arts groups and loads of societies.

But arts for Petersfield is especially about artists and writers - including Jane Austen and Gilbert White.  Talking of which, Beatons always includes a shelf of books for sale by local authors. Let me know if we should stock your book! There’s the flourishing Petersfield Arts and Crafts Society (PACS) about which a bit more in a future blog. And Petersfield was home to talented artist (and bookshop owner) Flora Twort. I haven’t got to the Flora Twort Gallery yet, but I will – and to The Petersfield Museum, Jane Austen’s House Museum and the stunning mansion of Uppark.

Petersfield's Physic Garden

A real hidden treasure!
There are famous poets connected to the town too. Although I’m not very well versed, Beatons includes poetry as part of its brand. Steep (a steep hill away) was home to War Poet, Edward Thomas, whose centenary year is being marked. A brilliant mix of art combining lines of his poetry has been on exhibition at Petersfield’s other amazing hidden treasure – The Physic Garden.

You can see from the photo, it’s beautiful. And it’s FREE! In its planting and emblem (a rare orchid), it celebrates botanist Charles Goodyear and was inspired by Chelsea Physic Garden in London. Goodyear had a Georgian house in the 17th century located in ‘The Spain’ a quiet architectural oasis behind St Peter’s Church. It was named after the Spanish wool merchants who used it as their ‘resort’ when they came over to trade!

The Heath - credit Chris O'Brien

As I’ve talked to a few people – including Zoe at Beatons who has family here – one place keeps being mentioned: The Heath. The Heath is a stunning area of countryside, with a famous ‘pond’ known as ‘the lake’ (you can boat on it!)  And most importantly are the early bronze age barrows which have been discovered. Petersfield certainly has a long history and The Heath is considered its crowning jewel.

Yes, there are also lots of independent cafes and restaurants – and we like that. Why? Because although Beatons is a group, each tearooms operates as an independent entity. And we believe competition is good, and that there’s plenty enough business in Petersfield for us all to flourish… No doubt we and the shop-fitters will be frequenting our nearest eateries before we open. [And possibly entertaining the curious ones once we do!] We hope to be based at the Dragon Street end of the High Street.

As for other activities and shops? There seems to be a huge cycling community, and a lovely project run by the Council called Walking for Health. That’s free too – you can walk from Winton House at 10 am on a Wednesday.  Fancy a swim? Petersfield has the only outdoor heated swimming pool in Hampshire!

And Petersfield boasts two famous schools. Churcher’s College – set up by Richard Churcher from the East India Company (I wonder if they drank tea?!)  and Bedales which has Lily Allen, Kirstie Allsop, Gyles Brandreth and Alan Jay Lerner as alumni.

Lavant Street, appears to house an incredible number of treasures – with Morgan-Owen & Coates Optometrists having a history going back to 1928, so I know where to go for my sight test and there’s almost every kind of therapist to ensure longevity and wellbeing!

The quaint Old Forge
As a woman who loves clothes, it’s good to see boutiques like Willow, Plumage and Your Little Secret Bridal Boutique. And maybe before all my time is taken up serving Petersfield residents afternoon tea, I’ll get a chance to visit beauty salon, Time to be Me or one of the award-winning hair stylists. Naturally, there are many, many more gift, antique and quirky shops tucked into courtyards and quaint side-streets too – all only a train-ride away from Waterloo! The best place to discover everything you need to know – these are my first impressions –  is www.visitpetersfield.com

My last mention must be the public library which is thriving despite cuts and houses a wonderful book, ‘A Celebration of Petersfield’ which pays homage not just to its history but to its commerce and industrious inhabitants.

I look forward to becoming one in the very near future!

Posted by Fifi, Beatons Petersfield

P.S. If you’d like to know when we start recruiting, please send me an e-mail – to fifi@beatonstearooms.co.uk - and I’ll send you a link to the details when they’re posted.

P.P.S. And here's a virtual taster for Petersfield chocolate lovers!

#Petersfield - Announcing a New Beatons Tearooms Location

We're delighted to release the first verse of 'The Petersfield Rubai' (a rubai is a Persian poetic form) by House Poet and best-selling author Liz Darcy Jones.

This honours the town and nods its head to the Persian inscription on the sundial in the Physic Garden, and the education our franchisee, Fifi, enjoyed in Tehran as child!

Beatons Petersfield Rubai

Yes, I remember Petersfield of old
Its buried treasure glowing bronze, not gold
A stopping place for merchants trading wool
To rest in Georgian houses, so I'm told

The rest of the poem will be released just prior to opening, although Liz can be persuaded to recite it on air if invited!

Our Press Release follows:

Poetic Praise for Petersfield as Beatons Tearooms and Bookshop is Confirmed

Despite initial concerns locally, approval has been given for the next Beatons Tearooms and Bookshop to make its home in the former jewellers and estate agents at 30, High Street, Petersfield.  Both Petersfield franchise owner Fifi Zahedfar and Beatons’ house poet, Liz Darcy Jones, have been enchanted by Petersfield’s literary and arts heritage and active community. The best-selling author has crafted some jaunty verse in honour of the town to reflect this, including referring to the ancient bronze burial barrows and Jane Austen. 

All Beatons Tearooms – their name and interiors are inspired by the elegance of royal photographer and costume designer Sir Cecil Beaton – deliver a stylish take on quintessential afternoon tea. Beatons Petersfield will provide full table service, offering over thirty loose leaf teas, regional coffee blends, home-made cakes and light food served in bespoke Villeroy and Boch china as well as a carefully curated selection of books for sale. The tearooms is set to launch in the late Autumn.

Distinguishing itself from others, Beatons incorporate poetry into their brand and host both local author book signings and poetry events, although it was the group’s ethos of integrity, community involvement and delivery of exceptional service which particularly appealed to Fifi. ‘Beatons is so much more than a combined tearooms and bookshop – it’s a place filled with warmth and passion, which cheers you up instantly.’

Fifi was originally from Tehran but has been living in London for the past twenty years. Having spent the last decade working in finance she has long dreamed of running her own business. Having always been a tea-lover - in Tehran tea is served in preference to coffee – becoming a Beatons franchisee was the perfect choice to be able to ‘create a tearooms with a real touch of style’. She can’t wait to move to Petersfield.

Founder and CEO of the group, Patrick Duffy, said ‘with a beautiful twin gabled location and Fifi’s determination to create an environment with gracious hospitality at its heart, I believe Beatons Petersfield will be an elegant addition to what is clearly a thriving town.’

‘Tea Poet’ and writer, Darcy Jones – who has fond memories of Petersfield from years commuting from Havant to the City – spent a day incognito in the town. She spoke to over twenty local passers-by and traders asking for three words which meant ‘Petersfield’ to them. The word ‘friendly’ came up eighteen times! She was also thrilled to discover Petersfield Physic Garden hosting ‘Inspired by the Word’, an exhibition by contemporary artists celebrating the literature of Hampshire writers, Jane Austen, Edward Thomas and Gilbert White.  

Further details of launch activities including a local charity Open House event will be announced in due course.

For further information on opening date and details visit www.beatonstearooms.co.uk

Notes to Editors
Interviews and features welcomed. Contact:
Patrick Duffy on 07787 419236                 or patrick@beatonstearooms.co.uk
Zoe Moxham on 01747 871819                or zoe@beatonstearooms.co.uk
Liz Darcy Jones on 07940 584752            or liz@lizdarcyjones.com