Living Pretty, Curry Rivel

Attractive restaurant with light decoration, with a seating area of nooks and crannies and wood burners. Good food and friendly staff.

Cecio: pleasant trattoria in Rome with simple well-cooked food

In a quiet street near the Termini, Rome’s main railway station, Trattoria Cecio is worth seeking out. It is run by three tall black-bearded brothers who at first sight look alarmingly like members of an extremist group. Don’t worry, they are not. They are instead devoted to serving good food in a simple but pleasant trattoria that attracts Italians as well as tourists – always an encouraging sign. Try their antipasto della casa for a huge amount of smoked meats, and also the grilled prawns. The house wine, which they bottle themselves, is particularly good. Best to book. Tel 06 4464991.

Attractive restaurant at a famous museum

The Penlee House Museum Restaurant is an attractive venue for coffee or lunch, clean, good food and friendly staff and right inside the famous Penlee Museum. There are also tables outside with views of the garden. Also on site is a well-stocked gift shop.

The Victoria Pub, Beeston

The Victoria Pub, 85 Dovecote Lane, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1JG
I don’t normally do pubs, for a great many sensory reasons, and a couple of moral ones, but this has been a regular haunt of my wife and me for many years. They do experiment with music, both piped and live, so you might want to ring before going, but it has been muzak free many more times than not.
The starters and mains are all cooked on the premises: one sees the chef in local shops / supermarkets stocking up. The afters, however, do appear a bit ‘plastic’ and are less impressive. The menu changes every day, there’s a selection of boards on hooks over the fireplace which get swapped around. This is ‘slow’-ish food, so take good company or reading material. It’s also very popular, so get in quickly once the food bit opens. Parking is a nightmare, so you might have to hunt for a space, and yes, it is right down the end of the road: when you think “How much further ?”, then you will find it.
My wife and I walk 30 minutes there and back to justify large helpings ! For those into alcohol, there appears to be a continual supply of different real ales.
Heartily recommended. Biggest noise issues: other people’s voices, and in the summer – trains ! The main line to London runs right past the pub, so if an HST at 90mph or 2,000 tons (yes, really) of coal train isn’t your thing, don’t go outside in the summer.

The Vintage / 1940’s Tea Room, Nottingham

The Vintage Tea Room / The 1940’s Tea Room, Wollaton Rd, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 2NR
This *does* have music, but a) it is appropriate to the era, b) it is quiet, c) let’s face it one probably has to really hate music to not like Glen Miller and Vera Lynn. You can still hear your companions while eating. This is an ‘immersive’ experience: when my wife and I went, the staff were all dressed appropriately. The food is good, old-fashioned English ‘stodge’ and is *very* filling. I can not remember if there was a vegetarian option. Best have a long walk before and after ! A short walk away down a side road is a vintage clothes shop run by the same people, but we have not been in to that bit.
Park in Sainbury’s (usual disclaimer) and walk as it’s on a major road, double yellow lines everywhere.
Definitely different and well worth supporting.
I’ve had to put “muzac free in some areas” when it isn’t, it’s muzac everywhere, but as I said, it’s era-appropriate and easy on the ear. This highly-sensitive, muzac-hating Autistic coped for over an hour.

Odin’s Table, Nottingham, Scandinavian !!

Odin’s Table, 97b High Road, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 2LH
So, so much better than Ikea’s in-house food ! Yes, Scandinavian meatballs really can be that tasty and filling. I don’t know if ‘veggieballs’ is a word, but there were vegetarian options when my wife and I visited. It is small, completely free of music, but being small and having hard surfaces those with hearing disabilities might find the sounds of others a little harsh. As well as mains, afters and drinks, there was also a small slection of foods to buy, eg muesli, plus books (in Scandinavian languages) and a board game.
Even though it is on the High Street, visitors to Beeston need to know this is in the pedestrianised bit, so park in Sainsbury’s (usual disclaimer) and walk.
Highly recommended for the sheer novelty, as well as the lack of music !


Situated in a quiet rural location, expect basic fare beautifully prepared and cooked.
The service is excellent.
Management say there is never any music except at Christmas and special party occasions.

Wetherspoons – Cross Keys Hotel, Peebles

Seventeenth century coaching inn now run by Wetherspoons. Fitted out to standard Wetherspoons design and with their standard menus and coffee.

Giggling Squid

A delightful surprise in Salisbury

I was delighted yesterday to find the Giggling Squid, in Salisbury – which not only had a particularly delicious & varied tapas menu (yes – Thai tapas, a marvelous innovation) – but an equally delicious atmosphere of quiet & civility, though there may have been some occasional very low, soft music. Tapas sets of 4 dishes are £9.99, though we couldn’t resist making our own selection, which was slightly more dear.
When I checked the website for details, I found that a previous customer had complained that the restaurant was loud. I was so concerned that I telephoned to check and the pleasant young woman I spoke to assured me that any too-loud music would be lowered on request. The service was so gracious that I believe her. The Giggling Squid is at 32 Market Place, DSP1 1TL, just off market square, Tel: 01722 341871.

Andrew Edmunds

Andrew Edmunds has been called ‘a last bastion of old Soho’ with good reason. Set in a small 18th-century town house, it has been attracting loyal customers who have kept returning for nearly 30 years to its generally French food. Romantic candle-lit atmosphere, seasonal menu and remarkable wine list ensure its continuing popularity, despite – or because of – its utter lack of trendiness. Not cheap but worth it for the food, wine, service and ambience.
Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Booking is advisable tel 020 7437 5708