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Restaurant Beatons T

Jenny Crombie gives in to the literary and gastronomic delights ofbeatons Tearooms &bookshop in Tisbury… a stylish lunch venue in a charming village

here’s nothing quite like the sight of bookshelves heaving with eclectic volumes to fill me with delight. Couple this with

bucketloads of tea and a slice or two of homemade cake, and i’m in heaven. And so it is as i walk through the door of beatons Tearooms & bookshop in Tisbury. not only does this chic little venue offer

up enough varieties of tea to make your head spin and a range of homemade cakes that will wipe the word ‘diet’ right out of your vocabulary, it also devotes one charming corner to a tremendously appealing array of books, all of them available to buy, or delightful simply to browse ( just watch those foodie fingers – i decided it best to rigorously de-cake mine before having a good thumb through). you’ll find a fine mixture of volumes here, from hefty coffee table tomes to beautiful children’s books, innovative gifts and enticing novels… a mine of literary gold, and many of the titles i had never come across before, even with the benefit of those zealous recommendations lists that Amazon endlessly offers me. And so to the food. i tear myself from

the shelves for long enough to make a selection from the lunch menu – it’s not easy, though, with a thoughtful array of hot and cold dishes to choose from, ranging from perennial favourites like baked

desserts were duly ordered. The cakes are all homemade and the line-up changes regularly, including a daily gluten-free cake. our Victoria sponge and chocolate cake were both delicious, and would be well worth returning for, as a perfect complement to one of the many loose leaf teas on offer – a very english treat for elevenses or afternoon tea, all served up in local branksome China. our cakes are soon but a crumby memory

“The selection of cakes displayed within arm’s reach of our table proved too tantalising to resist”

potatoes and sandwiches, to an impressive range of rarebits and a few daily specials – soup, stew and quiche. i plump for today’s stew (chicken and bacon, £7.50), while my dining companion goes for the traditional

44 Salisbury Life

rarebit (£5.25), albeit with some trepidation after a couple of soggy encounters with the dish elsewhere. Thankfully, any concern proved entirely unfounded: my companion’s unlucky rarebit run had come well and truly to an end with this beautiful specimen, which looked so good i had to stick my fork in too. The topping was perfectly balanced in flavour, boasting the requisite cheese tang and mustard kick, while the bread bravely withstood its topping – not a soggy crust in stew was equally well received, with generous portions of plump chicken leg and flavoursome bacon,

coupled with a comforting, creamy mash. both dishes were about right for a filling

lunchtime portion, but the selection of cakes displayed within arm’s reach of our table proved too tantalising to resist and

and we take a moment to digest, loosen our belts and enjoy the backdrop of classical music, which adds a peaceful touch to the dining (or drinking) experience at beatons, perfectly in-keeping with the elegant décor and bookshop vibe. There is much to recommend this place, from tasty food to those enticing books that line the walls, and beatons proves a haven of tranquility that i am reluctant to leave. but i am sure i’ll be back – it won’t be long before i’ll feel the need to stock up on good books, fine tea and another generous helping of hospitality and relaxation, Tisbury-style. SL

Visiting details

Opening hours 8.30am-5pm Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm Sundays, plus special supper evenings 6pm-9pm, alternate Fridays (book in advance) Prices Hot drinks from £2.25, lunch from £4 (wide range of breakfast options, other snacks and home-made cakes available too) Dietary options Various vegetarian choices available, plus at least one gluten-free cake in each day’s selection Disabled access Good Wine list Beatons currently operates on a BYO basis (corkage fee £2.50 per bottle) Service/atmosphere Efficient, friendly service and a relaxed, elegant vibe, helped along by the accompaniment of good books and classical soundtrack

Beatons Tearooms & Bookshop, The Square, Tisbury SP3 6JP

01747 871819

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