#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!