Five years ago, James and Emily Delport-King were on a road trip around the English countryside.

During their visit to Shaftesbury, they sat in a café, admiring the building and local surroundings while dreaming of opening their own coffee shop.

“We have always wanted to open our own café. James has always worked in hospitality, for Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in London. Moving to the countryside and opening a café was our dream, but we thought it was something we wouldn’t be able to do until retirement,” explained Emily.

Unaware of the COVID situation about to unfold. Emily left her job. Later, due to the pandemic, James was made redundant, and so the pair made use of the opportunity and started to look in Dorset for somewhere to open their café.

“When we came to view this space, we thought ‘I am sure we have been in this café before and said this spot would be the dream’. It turns out it was the same café!

“After two months of looking, we signed the lease and moved here from London. Because of lockdown we couldn’t say goodbye to any of our family and friends, so we just had to send them a card saying ‘we have moved to the countryside, we hope to see you soon!” said Emily.

Due to open the day before the second lockdown, James and Emily have had more time to decorate their shop, turning it into a bright space filled with plants, books, and local products from the Dorset Spice Shed, The Seasonist and Love from Dorset.

“James is always playing around with ingredients and creating new dishes. We wanted to be in Dorset because the area is so rich for local produce. Our menu will change with the seasons around four times a year and our specials will be made from whatever is local and fresh.”

Emily and James stressed that everyone is welcome at Seasons Of Shaftesbury.

“We have something for veggies, vegans, meat lovers, gluten-free, and we also welcome dogs! We are all accommodating and with lots of variety.”

James and Emily have loved the reaction to their new café. “Everyone has been so welcoming: people were knocking on the window to wish us luck, it’s been amazing.”

Looking to 2021, James and Emily hope for some sense of normality.

“While we were happy to have the chance for a steady start we are looking forward to getting to know more of the community, exploring the area, and building relationships with local producers in 2021. Here’s to a thriving, happy, and healthy new year!”

01747 228 448, 58a High St, Shaftesbury SP7 8AA