Bell Tower Beaton

I think people often forget how beautiful and amazing our island is.  That goes for the British public as well.  All we ever hear about in the news is bad stuff.  National and international news focuses on loss and devastation, even local news most of the time. When Sarah and I lived in Guernsey we laughed when the local news reported that Geoffrey the cat, (names have been changed to protect the innocent), has been found and reunited with it’s owner.  Now, I and I suspect most people, long for those halcyon days.

We decided to spend a weekend in Chester and then on to my sister-in-laws for the evening. Chester is beautiful and we walked the full 2-miles of City wall, the most complete in the UK, that has been there since the Roman Occupation.  There were some ups and downs, literally, and some reinforced sections boast the back of shops and various buildings but none-the-less, most of the views are wonderful.

You get to see the Roodee, which is the oldest “still in use” racecourse in the country but as we got to the end of our walk, just past the 1000-year-old cathedral, the urge hit me!!!  I know my aim is to find individual coffee houses, not chains, but Beatons, in Bell Tower House, on bell tower walk (chester@beatonstearooms), just impressed me.  I look for great coffee but also great service and atmosphere and this had it all.


This was the sign that greeted us, followed by the owner who has had the franchise for 3 years and sticks to the company’s ethos that customers are their “raison de vivre”.

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Their menu was very nice, particularly the coffee section and the cake, I think that had pumpkin, or courgettes or something but it was very nice, moist and more importantly, gone in about 1 minute.

I spoke with the owner and she was just very nice.  All in all, part of a very pleasant visit and just one of the cafés we visited.

The 700-year-old Rows are literally rows and rows of shops on a few levels and this was where we stopped for lunch.  I would just like to point out that there was other stuff going on in-between but the account has been edited for rapid consumption.  Should you wish the full story, please send me a cheque for £19.95 and the entire 632 pages are yours!!!

The Rows Café was on the 1st floor and really quite, as the Americans would say, quaint.  We had the obligatory Coffee and Sarah had a Diet coke.  The cheese and onion toasties were very welcomed but the coffee was not quite up to the standard of a McDonalds Cappuccino.  Another down side was no toilet.

The great find though was Bollands next door.  Look at that collection of coffees, including the expensive Kopi Luwak that is, as states, sweet, smooth and with a hint of chocolate.  For those who are not in the know, this is coffee straight out of a cats a@~e!!!!

If you don’t understand what I am referring to, Kopi Luwak or civet coffee is the world’s most expensive and low-production variety of coffee.

It is made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet and other related civets, then passed through its digestive tract. A civet eats the berries for their fleshy pulp. In the digestive tract, the civets’ proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through a civet’s intestines the beans are then defecated, keeping their shape. After gathering, thorough washing, sun drying, light roasting and brewing, these beans yield an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness. (

I did think about buying a 100grams and then thought……yeah right but I did buy 100 grams of a nice little Old Brown Java and a Sumatran Decaff.

All in all, a great weekend and I highly recommend Chester.

So, for Beatons, cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3and for The Rows cup-of-coffee3

For toilets just Beatons I’m afraid.

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Author: the1stcoffeehouse

I am a self confessed coffeeholic, walker and lover of life. I have a wonderful wife, (you'll hear more about her), and three amazing children. I live in a great town, although widely thought of as not a great town, surrounded by gorgeous countryside. I also earn money through working as a Manual Handling Consultant, ( in order to fund my coffee addiction.

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