Box Office Coffee

The sign from the window of Box Office Coffee, Bridport.: the words "Box Office Coffee" in capitals, one word per line. The word "coffee" is in pink.Box Office Coffee, which opened in November 2014, is the second speciality coffee shop in Bridport, one of a number of Dorset towns which are making themselves destinations for coffee lovers. Box Office is the little sister of the famous Number 35 Coffee House & Kitchen, located in nearby Dorchester. Set inside the box office of The Lyric Theatre (have you worked out where the name comes from yet?), Box Office is considerably small than Number 35, but, in coffee at least, every bit its equal, offering the same jaw-dropping array of ever-rotating beans. Indeed, the only constant (other than excellent quality) is the decaf, which comes from London’s Workshop.

Just as at Number 35, there’s a choice of four beans, two on espresso and two on filter (although space limitations means that only the Aeropress is used for filter coffee). The beans are chalked up on boards behind the counter, along with notes giving origin, process, altitude and tasting notes (including with and without milk for the espressos). As at Number 35, the bean’s the king, with no mention of the roaster.

If coffee’s not your thing, there’s loose-leaf tea, hot chocolate and a choice of two different cakes.

April 2016: Extremely sad news. Box Office had to close in March due to circumstance beyond Number 35’s control. A great loss for Bridport, although fortunately Soulshine Cafe remains.

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Soulshine Café

The A-board outside Soulshine Cafe in Birdport promises coffee, juice, meals, snacks, lots of indoor seating and a lovely courtyard.Bridport is not necessarily where you would expect to find a great coffee shop. However, 15 miles west of Dorchester, Bridport boasts not one, but two excellent coffee shops: Box Office Coffee [now sadly closed] and the subject of today’s Coffee Spot, Soulshine Café, both of which opened in 2014.

Located on South Street (one of Bridport’s two main streets), at first there doesn’t seem much to Soulshine. The wide, bright shop front has three-person window-bars either side of the door and a handsome counter running in front of the back wall, but that’s about it.

If that’s all there was to it, Soulshine would still be a pretty good spot, but actually this is just a prelude of what’s to come. Head down a long, produce-lined corridor to the left of the counter and you’ll find yourself in Soulshine proper, a large, light-filled space that stretches out ahead of you. Even better, right at the back, the patio-doors look out onto a wonderful, secluded, sheltered courtyard.

Soulshine is built around three pillars of high-quality, locally-sourced organic food, juice and coffee. The latter comes from Bristol’s Extract (house-blend and decaf), with regularly-rotating guest roasters on the second espresso. There’s also an Aeropress option.

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