Friday, 1 March 2019

Book of The Month: Eric Lanlard's Afternoon Tea

'Afternoon Tea'
by Eric Lanlard

A gorgeous book by master pâtissier and baker Eric Lanlard. Filled with 90 recipes for sweet and savoury treats, this book contains all the cakes, pastries, tarts and biscuits you could wish for.  From Gruyère Eclairs to Pistachio and Rosewater Scones, Eric provides both traditional and out of the ordinary recipes, perfect for when you’d like to make a little treat for yourself or create some show stopping cakes for your friends.

Stunning food styling and photography, it's a wonderful book to just sit and loose yourself in for a while. Whether you're throwing a lavish tea party or simply looking for that perfect Coffee Cake recipe, this is the must-have afternoon tea cookbook.

Meet Your Local Authors

As you may have noticed at Beatons we enjoy books and something that is very important to us is engaging with and supporting the many wonderful local authors we have around our tearooms. Each month we’re going to introduce you to some of the authors that may be a lot closer to home than you’d think and who’s books we’re proud to stock!

Graham Jones - Hampshire
Graham should be in the Guinness World Records for visiting more record shops than any other person. Following hundreds of record shop closures, he toured the UK to interview the owners and staff of 50 record shops and document their tales for his book Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened to Record Shops?  For the last five years he has been writing The Vinyl Revival and the Shops That Made it Happen, a guide to independent record shops in the UK that sell new vinyl. We’re delighted he’s a ‘Book of the Month’ Author (October 2018) and to have been part of his launch activities with a highly successful evening Book Event at Beatons Petersfield.

Marion Molteno -  Wiltshire

Marion Molteno is a prize-winning novelist whose writing draws inspiration from a life lived across cultures. She grew up in South Africa at a time of political conflict, has worked in multi-ethnic communities in Britain, and for Save the Children internationally.  

All her novels have won or been short-listed for awards. The latest, Uncertain Light, shortlisted for two international prizes, was described by The Bookseller as ‘A terrifically absorbing, topical and quietly affecting novel.’ Her novel ‘If you can walk, you can dance’ which won a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize is earmarked to be our Book of the Month for January 2019.

Marion has a home near Tisbury and has spoken at literary festivals and in libraries across the country. She is a patron of the National Women’s Register and blogs at

Friday, 1 February 2019

Book of The Month: The Book of Tea

'The Book of Tea'
by Kakuzi Okakura

A keepsake enjoyed by tea lovers for over a hundred years, The Book of Tea will enhance your enjoyment and understanding of the seemingly simple act of making and drinking tea. In 1906 in turn-of-the century Boston, a small, esoteric book about tea was written with the intention of being read aloud in the famous salon of Isabella Gardner, Boston's most famous socialite. Authored by Kakuzo Okakura , a Japanese philosopher, art expert and curator. Little known at the time, Kakuzo would emerge as one of the great thinkers of the early 20th century, a genius who was insightful, witty and greatly responsible for bridging Western and Eastern cultures. 

Taught at a young age to speak English, he was more than capable of expressing to Westerners the nuances of tea and the Japanese Tea Ceremony. In The Book of Tea he discusses such topics as Zen and Taoism, but also the secular aspects of tea and Japanese life. The book emphasizes how Teaism taught the Japanese many things; most importantly, simplicity. Kakuzo argues that tea-induced simplicity affected the culture, art and architecture of Japan. Nearly a century later, Kakuzo's The Book of Tea is still beloved the world over, making it an essential part of any tea enthusiast's collection. 

This is a most delightful book for anybody who is interested in Japanese esthetics, inherent in their traditional art of living. The text sheds light on many different aspects of Japanese creation, sensitivity towards nature and the culminating sense of the sublime which human beings can achieve. The principles seem to have travelled through centuries of war and catastrophes and remain intact. 

 A gentle yet powerful breath of air, full of awareness for human nature. The essence of the philosophies is still valid in today's Japan and are soothing in the present state of the globe. Interwoven with a rich history of Japanese tea and its place in Japanese society is poignant commentary on Asian culture and our ongoing fascination with it, as well as illuminating essays on art, spirituality, poetry, and more. The Book of Tea is a delightful cup of enlightenment from a man far ahead of his time.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Book of the Month: If You Can Walk You Can Dance (and a Tisbury baby)

'If You Can Walk You Can Dance' 

by Marion Molteno

If you like biography you will probably warm to this novel because its characters feel so absolutely ‘real’. It weaves a complex multi-layered melody over the course of three ‘books’ within one. Set initially in in Africa it moves across frontiers with key protagonist, Jennie as she’s uprooted from her home and family caught in the midst of political turmoil. She eventually lands in London and finds herself in a women’s commune.

This is the story of a naive and sensitive young woman who learns much about herself, relationships and music during her many adventures. Far less about dance than it is about music, Molteno is clearly a master of her subjects: Africa, politics, musical semantics and most of all the fickle and fathomless arena of human emotions. All our senses are engaged, ears most of all since this is a dialogue rich story in which we hear what lies beneath the words with painful clarity. I have been introduced to a plethora of new musical instruments and forms: the shehnai, tabla and mbira (I even looked up and listened to some African Mbira music while I was reading – definitely added the right tone!)

The writing is lyrical and poetic and often sentences are left open-ended as if the stave has produced a rest which we must all take. I liked this for the most part, although lovers of a ‘racy story’ may find its meandering rhythms and movements a bit slow. I decided to follow its lead and took it gently. And it grew on me until I realised I had no choice but to be drawn to its conclusion which wasn’t exactly where I wanted to go, but which probably makes it a much more true reflection on ‘real life’.

Marion Molteno is one of our newly discovered Tisbury authors, although she’s been writing for many years and all her novels have either won or been short-listed for awards. ‘If You Can Walk You Can Dance’ won a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and her publishers have reissued it, which alone says something for its quality.

Best bit? There’s a paragraph about love and what true lovers see in each other (clue: Book 2, Chapter 4) which is one of the most beautiful pieces of prose about love I have ever read. So, for those thinking ahead to February this might make an extremely good Valentine’s gift. And for any music-lover, I echo the words of a review on the back cover ‘Anyone interested in a new way of thinking about music should read this novel.’

Liz Darcy Jones
Book Ambassador

P.S. Congratulations to another new Tisbury author and aromatherapy expert, Michaela Boldy, on the ‘birth’ of her new book, ‘Essential Oils for Childbirth’. This sounds like the perfect gift for any mother or grandmother wanting to ease their granddaughter’s or daughter’s birthing process! Beatons Tisbury has copies or order through your tearooms. 

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Christmas Book Selection 2018

'Six Books to Make Christmas Giving Easier' 

 titles to amuse, intrigue and captivate!

It’s the run up to Christmas! Looking for the perfect present for a bookworm? Or something a little bit different for the man, woman, aunt or uncle who seem to have everything?  We’ve got some really unusual, classy and yet affordable titles on our bookshelves which may well be exactly what you’re looking for, whichever member of your family you have in mind (not forgetting your cat or dog!)

Here are my top six to which please visit our shelves reserved for ‘Little Bookworms’ where you’ll find some absolutely enchanting children’s story-books to delight both boys, girls and toddlers.

Although ‘Unladylike’ doesn’t sound very ‘Beatons’ this really speaks to our values of treating everyone as an equal and honoured individual. What’s more, it’s got an infectious shot of sparkle too – perfect for young and/or global-conscious women. It’s described on the website of the same name as ‘the guide for women and girls everywhere who are trying to find their way in the world.’ Authors Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin combine the history of feminism and make it zing with relevance, advice – and as an added bonus it’s packed full of infographics and witty illustrations by Tyler Feder.

For the gentleman? Petersfield best-selling author Mike Klidjian has just brought out another naval thriller of a novel – ‘Blue Streak’. I gave this to my father who admitted it kept sleeping as he kept on saying to himself, ‘just one more page’. His verdict: ‘Gripping. Plunges you straight in from the start.’

For all you budding (or aspiring) entrepreneurs? We spotted the extraordinary perspicacious Seth Godin has just published a new book: ‘This is Marketing’. Pulling the best of his advice from his blog, fresh gems when it comes to looking at how to get your products and services to the right audience, this is one we think will appeal to a broad audience (I’ve already devoured my copy and am already thinking of ways to apply his thinking to my out-of-hours Biodanza enterprise!)

Talking of consumption, we’ve picked ‘Tarts’ as our ‘Eat, Drink, Cook Book’ choice, because it’s a true classic at a very affordable price. The author, Frédéric Anton is holder of three Michelin stars and his innovative takes on classic dishes are inspiring, and the layout clear, precise and beautifully illustrated.

For something really fascinating for home, garden, nature AND ‘culture-vultures’ we’d recommend a fabulous book published by Unbound titled ‘Ladders to Heaven’. It’s about the fig tree and is utterly mind-blowing. A beautifully bound book which may hold secrets to saving the world underneath its fig leaves!

Finally, we have two stocking fillers for all our animal-loving customers. Local Beatons Tisbury author Gail Garbutt has a perfect present for all dog lovers: ‘Spot on – Dogs Names’. It’s is a real bit of fun about that peculiarly difficult task of naming a dog.

And for the purrfect (sorry Ed!) present for all cat lovers, we couldn’t resist stocking ‘Cats Paws’, an oddly smile-inducing little book of portraits of… cats’ paws! 

May your Christmas include time in front of the fire snuggled up with one of our very good reads.

  Liz Darcy Jones
Book Ambassador

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Book of the Month: Lost Children

'Lost Children' 

by Christopher Hart

Our ‘nest of novels’ category at Beatons is deliberately small, its titles sparkling jewels within their genre. This new addition – by our most recent Beatons Tisbury author Christopher Hart – was described in a recent review in The Sunday Times as ‘edgy and totally gripping… feels appallingly authentic.’ It’s like a black pearl, dark with an irresistible lustre and a cracker of a story!

To tell anything of the story-line would deprive you of its gritty blood – as red as the soil of the village which indelibly stains the heart of Dr Nicholas, one of the novel’s two protagonists. Yet with immense delicacy Chris Hart drips moments of innocence and even tenderness as we follow its other heroine - a child - through a poisoned paradise somewhere unspecified in Central America.

I have never made a prediction about a book. Here’s my first…

This will one day be a blockbuster film. If it hasn’t been snapped up yet and you have the contacts, send them to ‘Lost Children’.  In the meantime, for our readers, here’s the deal. You'll need a strong stomach and heart, and to be ready for a visceral ride into an unknown land of nightmares, its skies peppered by stars of humanity (most of them children) and earth by indifference and tyranny.
Parents, give this to every teenager contemplating a gap year travelling. It will tell you something of their mettle if they still pack up and go. Don’t blame them if they stay at home or change their itinerary!  I’m not going to pretend this book didn’t make me squirm in places, but its finely drawn characters and plot had me read it in two sittings. Would make a great Christmas present for any frequent or retired travel-lovers who want transporting out of their comfy chairs into a totally believable landscape ravaged by greed and corruption.

  Liz Darcy Jones
Book Ambassador

Monday, 1 October 2018

Book of the Month: The Vinyl Revival and the Shops that Made it Happen

'The Vinyl Revival and The Shops That Made It Happen' 

by Graham Jones

I’m not going to pretend I’ve read ‘The Vinyl Revival and the Shops that Made it Happen’ from cover to cover. For a start it would take me 6 months and it’s not that kind of book. It's a dip in and out of book and a DELIGHT. Meet Graham at Beatons Petersfield on Monday 24th Sept, details here

I’m not an obvious fan – hailing from the CD era, having a music collection which (until a year ago) topping 12 hrs listening time max and having been into less than half a dozen record shops in my lifetime! But I love people, and so does Graham Jones. And I love good writing too. This is the perfect book for a Guest Room or the resting place of the best collections of books – the Loo. Its even made me want to visit some of these glorious independents, each with their own quirky owners!

I suspect it’ll have you exploring new place to meet the characters you’ll encounter through its incredible 345 pages.

Sadly, we won’t be able to meet Margaret Finch who the premises of the ‘Book and Record Bar’ in West Norwood was originally named after in its first incarnation as a pub, The Gypsy Queen. Ms Finch ‘could usually be found sitting on the ground, chin resting on her knees, smoking a pipe, with her faithful dog by her side… Her body became so contorted that when she died in 1740, she had to be crammed into a specially-constructed square coffin.’ [Reputed age 108!] Curious. And for the music-lover you’ll be enchanted by anecdote after anecdote about the musicians who populate your record collections.

There’s humour in buckets, too. Especially from the customer comments and conversations Graham Jones has carefully preserved. No doubt many of the shops he features will be bemused by their colleagues’ visitors. Questions such as, ‘Where is the plug on a wind-up gramophone?’, ‘Are the records for sale?’ and ‘How do I skip to the next track on vinyl?’ are bound to raise a smile. I’m still leafing through to discover the shop where John Lennon was reduced to tears…

This is a practical guide, grouped into counties with addresses, contact details and stock listed, along with a plethora of tips. Unusually for a large paperback it boasts some stunning colour photographs. You will be guided by a remarkable man on a mission, Graham Jones has visited more record shops than any other human!

What’s more, Graham’s is a born raconteur who isn’t afraid to sell himself or his titles. He invited himself to do an evening gig at Beatons Petersfield which Tearooms Owner Fifi has been delighted to organise for her customers! Read more here.

I gave this tome to my dad to peruse and I confess he found the print on the small size, although to have increased the font would have probably made it too heavy for taking with you on your travels.  Small matter, a magnifier will redress.

Graham’s a Petersfield local so grab yourself a signed copy there – and of course our Book of the Month is stocked in all our units, although you'll have to wait until October 1st unless you're in Petersfield! 

Liz Darcy Jones
Book Ambassador