Bites: Literary Associations

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Café 152, 152 High Street, Aldeburgh (01728 454152). Daily 10am-11pm until June 25, then closed Tue. Aldeburgh's other place - the Lighthouse is also well-known - is open every day while the festival lasts. Though that's mainly musical and visual, the café's connections are equally literary, attracting the writers who live hereabouts all year round. Lobsters and Dover sole come straight from the beach for an appetisingly modern British menu starting with tomato and lemongrass soup, then risotto nero with grilled squid or roast rump of lamb, and finally panna cotta or chocolate fondant with pistachio custard. Main courses are £6.75-£11, puddings £3.75, dinner adds up to £20-£25.

Café 152, 152 High Street, Aldeburgh (01728 454152). Daily 10am-11pm until June 25, then closed Tue. Aldeburgh's other place - the Lighthouse is also well-known - is open every day while the festival lasts. Though that's mainly musical and visual, the café's connections are equally literary, attracting the writers who live hereabouts all year round. Lobsters and Dover sole come straight from the beach for an appetisingly modern British menu starting with tomato and lemongrass soup, then risotto nero with grilled squid or roast rump of lamb, and finally panna cotta or chocolate fondant with pistachio custard. Main courses are £6.75-£11, puddings £3.75, dinner adds up to £20-£25.

Leith's at Dartmouth House, 37 Charles Street, London W1 (020-7493 3328). Mon-Fri lunch. As well as arranging functions, the caterer Leith's serves lunch to the public in a small restaurant and delightful outside courtyard at the English Speaking Union, an educational charity at whose Mayfair base literary lunches and evening debates take place. The restaurant gives a taste of grand dining under Venetian glass chandeliers but on an intimate scale, with a zesty menu of, say, pea risotto or tuna nicoise, roast cod or honey and ginger pork, and strawberry and passion fruit pavlova, for £18 (two courses £15).

Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2 (020-7420 9888). Mon-Sat 11am-11pm. Poets know it, but you don't have to belong to the Poetry Society, whose members meet downstairs for rhyming and reasoning. The café serves all-vegetarian food all day, from soup (asparagus and sun-dried tomato, £2.75), salads like tomato, olive and feta (£3.50) and a hot dish such as yellow pepper and dill risotto for £4.30. Quiche, of course, but of the more inventive variety, cheeses from Neal's Yard, and fine puddings.

Red Room, Waterstones, Piccadilly, London W1 (020- 7851 2400). Mon-Sat noon-8.30pm. The banquettes are red, the customers well-read, at this basement restaurant with five floors of bookstore above it. The shop's open until 11pm and diners can stay until then, as long as they order food before 8.30pm. The set menu at £15.50 for two courses and £18.50 for three is available for lunch and dinner, with, say, mozzarella and basil-stuffed pepper; rump of lamb with mint couscous and summer fruit fool. Or choose cheaper, simpler dishes like risotto, pasta, wild boar sausages, fishcakes or burger for less than £10. Also hot food all afternoon for flagging bibliophiles who may also be revived by sighting authors refreshing themselves after signing sessions.

Thackeray's House Restaurant, 85 London Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent (01892 511921). Tue-Fri lunch and dinner, Sat dinner, Sun lunch. William Makepeace Thackeray lived in this charming double-fronted house overlooking Tunbridge Wells Common. Chef/patron Bruce Wass runs a charming, domestically furnished, carpeted restaurant with serious food: from fresh pea soup to foie gras with roast apples, or cod, tomato, bean and artichoke stew to beef with red wine sauce, food is classically based and in tune with the seasons. £30 for dinner without drinks puts it beyond struggling authors' reach; more for the squirearchy of Kent.

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