Tag Archives: christmas

Where to buy the best of Shaftesbury and North Dorset online

Pic: Coconut and Cotton

THE disruptive impact of the coronavirus is considerable, and will continue to be so for months to come. The independent shops in Shaftesbury are a strong feature of the town, and will need a lot of support to stay afloat.

Many food outlets have adapted, providing takeaway or delivery services. Some, including Coconut and Cotton, will deliver locally. Shaftesbury Wines will also deliver locally. But most shops will remain closed to visitors until it is deemed safe to re-open – an updated list of retailer status is available at This is Alfred website.

In the meantime, many retailers have an online shop where you can browse magnificent North Dorset gifts and produce, perfect for North Dorset ‘expats,’ and for those living here who’d like to send a gift to friends and family further afield.

So do take a look at their sites. Many will still be able to dispatch products immediately, some may take a while longer, some have closed operations for the duration. But all will need huge support in 2020 to ensure long-term health, and keep Shaftesbury thriving as a must-visit destination.

WHERE TO BUY NORTH DORSET ONLINE:
FOOD AND DRINK

Green + Grainy

This gluten-free and vegan plant-based food company in East Orchard, Shaftesbury, was created in 2018 by Jasmin Giles, who is passionate about promoting healthy eating, and the positive affects this can have on our bodies, the environment and our general well being.  The range of ‘no-bake’ bars and ‘bliss balls’ are made using nuts, seeds, dried fruits and nutrient dense ingredients. It’s health-conscious eating, and G&G works with a yoga retreat and nutritionist locally. Jasmin also runs a catering business as well as selling her treats online.

The four bars (Raw Snickers, Orange & Almond, Berry Bounty and Salted Maca Millionaire)  can be bought online (eight bars for £16.50).

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Shaftesbury in December: Christmas shopping and stargazing

REASON NUMBER ONE
IT’S CHRISTMAS!

The second-highest market town in England, has the biggest Christmas Street Fair in Dorset (on December 16) and is the epicentre of so many seasonal events. And sister town Gillingham – just down the hill and on the mainline train line between London and Exeter – is also laying on seasonal treats.

Base yourself in Shaftesbury for a night or three, soak in the atmosphere and sing your heart out at a carol service, followed by a mince pie and mulled wine, naturally. As a bonus, there is free car parking in Shaftesbury on Saturdays in December!

NOV 30: Gillingham Christmas Parade and Lights Switch-on, 5pm. A Christmas Market will be held, with gift and food/drink stalls, rides and music before the procession starts from the Town Hall to Town Meadow at 6pm. The Mayor will switch on the lights and there will be carols with the Gillingham Community Choir and Gillingham Imperial Silver Band at the tree.

DEC 1: Shaftesbury Farmers’ Market, Town Hall, 9am-1pm
3: Shaftesbury Christmas Spectacular and the turning on of the Christmas Lights. The evening starts at 6pm: there will be carol singing with Shaftesbury Town Band and a countdown to the lights. Father Christmas will be in the grotto in the Town Hall with free presents for every child street. An added attraction this year is a pantomime twist – a giant beanstalk on the Town Hall made up of leaves designed by schoolchildren. There will also be late night shopping until 8.30pm.
7: The Shaftesbury Christmas Art Fair, Town Hall 10am-4pm. At the monthly fair in November, some 345 visitors popped in. Come buy an original piece of art as a brilliant Christmas present.
7: Bell Street Christmas Special, Shaftesbury Arts Centre. Following last year’s success, the Bell Street Christmas Special is back for another year of yuletide fun! Come along for a night of songs, dances and comedy with a side of delicious nibbles. £8, 7.30pm
8-9: Craft Fair, The Mitre Inn. Inaugural small stall event on the pub decking – jewellery, Christmas prints, cards, tea cosies, glass painting, baubles, cushions, felt art, sweets cart, lamps. Plus Sants on Saturday at 2pm, hog roast, mulled wine and cider, 11am-5pm.
9: Christmas Craft Fair, Rivers Meet, Gillingham, with a German bar and food + Oompah band
16: Shaftesbury Christmas Street Fair, 100 craft and food/drink stalls – the biggest Christmas street market in Dorset. 10am-4pm. The Churches Together group will be performing their annual nativity play at 1pm.

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