Bites: More eateries with literary links

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Breezy Southwold, as seen recently in Iris, exerted a pull over the author of The Sea, The Sea. The literature festival in November keeps up the bookish pulling power, when it's best to arrive early to eat in the bar at The Crown, the more popular of Adnams' two pub restaurants in the town. Venison sausages and tempura of cod sustain the bar flies. There's also a restaurant in the handsome coaching inn, where a three-course dinner is £27. Food's not as strong a suit as the wine list. For a dish with literary associations you'll have to go the Crown & Castle in nearby Orford where they serve omelette Molière.

The Crown

Breezy Southwold, as seen recently in Iris, exerted a pull over the author of The Sea, The Sea. The literature festival in November keeps up the bookish pulling power, when it's best to arrive early to eat in the bar at The Crown, the more popular of Adnams' two pub restaurants in the town. Venison sausages and tempura of cod sustain the bar flies. There's also a restaurant in the handsome coaching inn, where a three-course dinner is £27. Food's not as strong a suit as the wine list. For a dish with literary associations you'll have to go the Crown & Castle in nearby Orford where they serve omelette Molière.

High Street, Southwold, Suffolk (01502 722275).

Felin Fach Griffin

Clean lines, big fires, bare floors, large white plates, terracotta walls, fine local ales and zesty cooking using sensational local ingredients. The style's familiar from plenty of metropolitan gastropubs, but this red-painted pub and restaurant with rooms is a bold and refreshing arrival only 15 minutes from Hay on Wye. Coming up for its second Hay Festival, it's already established as a top billet for literary hacks -- the big name authors are put up at Llangoed Hall. Two courses are £17.50, three are £22 for dinner; lunch is lighter on the wallet and equally highly recommended. So are the beautiful crisply made beds.

Felin Fach, near Brecon, Powys (01874 620111).

Mayflower

Did you really expect authors and their acolytes to pile into the Michelin-starred Champignon Sauvage and put their hands in their pockets after a reading at the Cheltenham Festival of Literature? Only if someone else is paying. Even this more modestly-priced, cheerful and popular Chinese restaurant in the town notes they're not quick to pick up the tab, though it won't be much more than £20 each. Round tables are designed for lively discussion during the October festival.

32-34 Clarence Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (01242 522426).

Rules

By dint of longevity (it's more than 200 years old) Rules has literary and theatrical associations. There are rooms named after Dickens, Betjeman and Graham Greene; HG Wells and Thackeray were other regulars. Not just a tourist trap, it has retained its vigour with a menu that brings contemporary flair to classic game and fish dishes, though stilton and celeriac soup with truffles, potted shrimps, steak and kidney pudding with oysters, or more adventurous fillet of wild Highland red deer in green Chartreuse sauce are not what modern authors are used to. A pre- and post-theatre deal of two courses for £19.95 would suit a garret-type budget better.

35 Maiden Lane, London WC2 (020-7836 5314).

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