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3, Old Kings Head Court, 11 High Street, Dorking RH4 1AR

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What is / was the opening date for the business:

October 2020

Tell us about the business (short summary):

Capers is a family owned and run business. Serving fresh homemade food, with our popular toasties and homemade soup made daily in the colder months, salads in the warmer months and a variety of daily & weekly specials.

What products do you stock?

We try to stock local suppliers where possible from locally-roasted speciality coffee, premium organic loose-leaf tea, artisan gelato, homemade cakes & sweet treats. We are licensed now too, so those that wish can enjoy a glass or two with lunch.

What was your motivation to open the business?

Amanda grew up in Dorking and always wanted to open a tearooms or coffee shop. She loves the courtyard and when the lease came up, she jumped at the opportunity.

What can a customer expect from a visit?

Service with a smile, a warm welcoming atmosphere and good food & drink. We get a lot of lovely feedback from customers which we are always delighted to receive.

Is there anything that a customer should know before visiting?

We have seating inside, some people don’t realise and think we only have seating in the beautiful courtyard. If it’s a little chilly, we have cushions and blankets for our customers to use outside.

Why did you choose Dorking as a place to open the business?

It’s our home town and we love it.

What do you consider to be special / unique about the town?

Dorking is quirky and kind, with soul. There are lots of independent businesses. We are surrounded by beautiful countryside with great walks and cycle routes. There always seems to be something new to discover too – we often get locals coming in to Capers for the first time who didn’t know we were there!

What has been the reception from the Dorking community?

Very supportive, from both customers and fellow independent business owners. It’s a fabulous community to be part of.

What is your hope for the future of the business?

We hope to be able to expand our opening hours and food & drink offerings, including catering for private events on-site. Old Kings Head Court is beautiful, especially on a summer’s evening and the perfect space for a gathering.

Any other information that you would like to share:

Do try our delicious Hot Chocolate!




Dorking Town Partnership and Mole Valley District Council are once more extending their Dorking free parking initiative, this time until 22 April 2022.

The Park for Free after Three scheme, funded by Dorking Town Partnership, allows drivers to park for free every Friday from 3pm in St Martin's Walk, Wathen Road, Southside and West Street car parks. Tickets are not needed during the free parking periods.  

The popular parking initiative was relaunched in May 2021 to encourage those residents who do not walk or cycle into Dorking - but instead choose to drive - to come and park for free and support the town’s businesses by shopping locally or having a drink or a bite to eat. The free parking scheme has now been extended a number of times and the decision has been taken to do so again.

Dorking Town Partnership has published statistics detailing a comparison between percentages of Friday footfall in 2019/20 and 2020/21. The figures show that, year-on-year, the free parking initiative has inspired an increase in the town’s footfall.  

Charlotte Whitaker, Business Improvement District Manager for the Dorking Town Partnership, said: “We are pleased to be able to extend our Free After Three parking on Friday in St Martin’s Walk, Wathen Road, Southside and West Street car parks in partnership with Mole Valley District Council (MVDC). Footfall has now been up year-on-year for 8 of the 9 months since the free parking policy was adopted, and we hope to see this continue into 2022.”

Councillor Clayton Wellman, MVDC’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Economy and Security, said: “We are delighted to be able to extend this scheme once again, working closely with Dorking Town Partnership, to offer a free parking incentive to anyone who comes to Dorking by car. Encouraging more people into Dorking, along with visitors who walk, cycle or travel via public transport, can only benefit the town’s businesses after a very challenging two years.

“Parking also remains free throughout the day on Sundays and on bank holidays in all our car parks, as well as every evening from six o’clock.”

There are posters advertising Park for Free after Three on MVDC’s parking machines. If money is accidentally inserted during the free periods, it will be divided between the Chairman’s charities.”

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Launched at the start of autumn 2021 by Dorking Camera Club and sponsored by Dorking Town Partnership, the ‘Changing Seasons’ Photography Competition aimed to encourage aspiring local photographers to capture what the start of autumn in Dorking and the surrounding Surrey Hills meant to them.

Open to all those with talent in using a camera, with categories for both adults and children alike, entrants could submit up to two photographs, taken on a mobile phone or with a camera, on the HelloDorking website to enter.

The Under 18s category was judged by popular voting online, with the winner scooping the top prize of a Kodak Printomatic Digital Instant Print Camera, a half day workshop with one of the Camera Club’s most experienced landscape photographers, as well as a framed print of their winning photo.

The Over 18s competition was judged by Dorking Camera Club members, with the top prize being a one year’s membership to Dorking Camera Club, a half day workshop and a framed print of their winning photo.

A runner-up was picked too in each category, also being awarded a framed print of their photo.

The Changing Seasons Photography Competition 2021 winners and runners-up were chosen as follows:

Over 18s Winner: ‘Dorking Dawn’ by Daniel Langer

Over 18s Runner-Up: ‘Denbies in October’ by Mark Lebbell

Under 18s Winner: ‘Autumn mushrooms’ by Jacob Humphrey

Under 18s Runner-Up: ‘As the leaves turn’ by Hannah Jones

Presented with their certificates by David Balaam of Dorking Camera Club, the successful entrants’ photographs went on to form part of the Annual Photography Exhibition by Dorking Camera Club, held in The Gallery at Denbies Wine Estate at the start of December.

David Balaam & Mark Lebbell
Hannah Jones & David Balaam

Dorking Camera Club was established in 1955 as a way of sharing guidance, education and enjoyment of photography within the town. The Camera Club is a group of likeminded individuals, friendly and welcoming to anyone with an interest in photography – regardless of skill, equipment or experience – ideal for anyone looking to get more from their hobby. Their annual programme includes presentations by well-known photographers, tutorials, meetings and events.

Reacting to the news of the ‘Changing Seasons’ competition winners, Charlotte Whitaker, Dorking Town Partnership Manager, said:

It was truly inspiring to see the numbers of people of all ages getting involved in the photography competition, using their individual creativity to explore the local area in and around our beautiful market town. A huge well done to all the winners and a big thank you to everyone that entered.

To learn more about Dorking Camera Club, visit:

Taking its name from its location at 224 High Street, STUDIO 224 has been providing an exclusive fitness offering at the heart of Dorking since its doors opened in October 2020.

STUDIO 224 is a luxury fitness studio that offers a wide array of different, fun-filled classes including all the aerial arts like hoop, pole and silks, alongside boxing, yoga sculpt, traditional yoga, cabaret dance, bootcamp classes, Fitball and kids’ circus lessons – there really is something for everyone!

To discover more about what makes Studio 224 special, we spoke to Co-Owner, Sarah Brown, who shared more about the business and their love of Dorking.

The standard of the studio, from the build and fittings to the equipment really sets us apart. When we took on the building, we totally ripped it out, starting from scratch with the build and buying only the best of the best to kit it out – from the aerial equipment to the weights. We even have rose gold hand sanitisers!

The general feel; the studio is light, airy, bright and welcoming. But the main thing is the classes that we offer. We have traditional classes, like boxing, but the yoga sculpt and aerial silks classes that we provide offer something completely new to the area. It’s something we’re really proud of.

As a business, we were situated just outside of Dorking for over 10 years so we wanted to move further in and be able to offer central Dorking something totally new. In light of the pandemic, it was really important to us to offer a space for all types of fitness that was clean, airy and brand new so people felt safe.

It depends which class you take but we can guarantee you an excellent and fun workout!

Anyone and everyone. Our youngest client is 6 and our oldest is over 70.

I have lived near Dorking all my life and it was always my dream to open a studio on the High Street! Plus the town was lacking a studio like this so we could see a real opportunity to offer the friendly residents something different.

It’s such a traditional town yet, at the same time, is such a melting pot of diversity. The shops, businesses and community are so supportive of each other. It has a really friendly feel and you always bump into someone you know.

Very welcoming!

For it to become a household name in the town and for people to associate it with a safe, friendly and amazing place to work out.

STUDIO 224 can be found at 224 High Street, Dorking. The studio is open from 9am-10pm Monday to Thursday, 6.30am-10pm on Friday and 10am-8pm on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, visit or follow them on Facebook at or on Instagram at

Dorking Choral Society with The New London Chamber Orchestra perform Movements from A Sea Symphony by RV Williams and other works.

Saturday 20th November, 7.30pm at St Paul’s Church, Dorking

It is 400 years since Pilgrim Father, William Mullins, set sail on the Mayflower for the perilous sea crossing to America. To celebrate this, Dorking Choral Society is performing an exciting mixed genre concert: Songs of the Sea.

Conductor Olivia Shotton

with The Bridge Sinfonia

Baritone Jack Lee Mezzo-soprano Milette Gillow


Ralph Vaughan Williams – A Sea Symphony (movements 2 & 3)

Charles Villiers Stanford – Songs of the Fleet

Ian Assersohn – A Drop o’ Nelson’s Blood – Songs of the Sea

Edward Elgar – Sea Pictures (orchestra only)

Tickets £18.00; Under 16s £5.00

From or contact Ron Billard on 07847 477 052

The Gallery, Denbies Wine Estate, London Road Dorking RH5 6AA

Monday 6th December to Sunday 12th December 2021

The Dorking Camera Club exhibition returns to Denbies Wine Estate. This free exhibition brings together over 70 stunning photographs from Dorking Camera Club members, showcasing some of the most beautiful scenery from the local area as well as photography from locations further afield, captured by club members.

Visitors have the opportunity to buy exhibits and are also encouraged to vote for their favourite image in the exhibition. The photographer with the winning exhibit will be awarded the Walker Cup.

The Exhibition is open Monday 6th December 1.00pm to 5.00pm, Tuesday to Saturday

9.00am to 5.00pm, Sunday 12th December 9.00am to 3.00pm.

The subjects on display are varied, highlights in this year’s show include the Club’s competition winners such as, Dancing Irises by Andi Hargreaves, Deepdene Blossom by David Balaam and Winter at West Wittering by Andrew Webster.

The exhibition is also available to view online on Dorking Camera Club’s exhibition website from 5th December.

Dorking Camera Club is a friendly group of photography enthusiasts meeting every Monday evening in Dorking. The club is open to beginners and experienced photographers and runs a mixture of talks, practical workshops and competitions. To find out more about the club or to join us visit: New members are always welcome.

Your countdown to Christmas starts here…

For one very special day Dorking is transforming into a magical winter wonderland!

Christmas Festival Poster 2021

Join us to kick-start Christmas in style – you’ll browse market stalls from fabulous independent local retailers, be entertained by talented musicians, choir groups, and dancers, and sample some of the very best local produce around. There’ll be lots for all the family; roaming acts including Father Christmas, fabulous music, and the Fun Fair at St Martins Walk.

Come along, enjoy the festive atmosphere and support your local businesses, independent retailers, boutiques and traders. Keep your festive spending close to home as you tick items off your Christmas list. Not only will this support make a huge difference to local retailers, but there are also ecological benefits. Fewer out-of-town shopping trips and reducing packaging and transport by cutting down on online purchases will be a much-needed gift to the planet.

Before the countdown to Christmas gets fully underway, don’t forget to download Dorking’s LoyalFree app for shopping trails and keep up-to-date with special offers and what is open and when. A Dorking Directory filled with great gift inspiration, highlighting the vast array of shops and boutiques located throughout the town, will also help shoppers enjoy a stress-free run up to the big day.

Don’t miss out, be part of something special and join us for the Dorking Christmas Festival.


Bullimores Chartered Accountants have launched an exciting new competition to find a local artist to create a wall mural for 83/85 South Street.

Artists are being asked to create an eye-catching design that will feature the themes of Surrey Hills, Happiness, and ‘Love Where You Live’, as well as Bullimores’ famous bull logo, for the chance to have their design featured on the outside wall of the building.

Bullimores Chartered Accountants was founded in 1928 in the City of London and has operated from Dorking since 1975, priding themselves on being a medium sized accountancy practice with the personal touch of a smaller firm. With experience in financial management and tax planning, they strategically enable their clients – be it entrepreneurs, private individual investors, or business owners – to grow in a stable way with innovative and ethical solutions.

Bullimores has a strong community spirit, supporting school leavers, graduates, and mature students via their successful training opportunities, offering a limited number of places each year to help support local candidates wishing to build a career in accountancy.

The company is looking to brighten up this corner of South Street with the winning design for the wall mural competition and, in turn, encourage budding artists to put their inspiration to work as part of this exciting new community art project. The winner will have their design reproduced on the wall as well as receive a cash prize of £150. A second prize winner will receive £100, with a third prize winner receiving £50.

Applicants of all ages are being encouraged to submit their entries by the closing date of Tuesday 30th November 2021.  The winner will be chosen by Bullimores Chartered Accountants and notified on Monday 20th December. Entries should be emailed to or sent by post to the office address before the closing date.

For more information, visit:

Celebrating the very best local bands and acts from within Dorking and the surrounding area, Westival is a free three-day music festival, taking place across the three West Street venues of The Kings ArmsThe Star and The Old House on Friday 29th, Saturday 30th, and Sunday 31st October.

We spoke to Westival’s Organiser of Bands and Charity, Jon Snow, about the event, what people can expect and more about the story behind this popular annual Dorking music festival.

How did the event come about?

We wanted to raise money for local charities, give local non-professional bands a forum to perform to friends and family in great venues and to bring more joy to West Street.

How long has Westival been running?

Five years now. Sadly last year’s event, in April, had to be cancelled at short notice due to the pandemic and lockdown, which we were very sad about, but it means that we are even more excited to return bigger and better for 2021.

What kind of music will be played?

There are over 50 bands and acts and they cover most genres, from pop cover bands, Blues, Rock, indie, country, originals bands and some just kind of weird but fun! We even have a Pub Choir workshop where you can learn the various harmonies of a song and perform it at the end. Box Hill Bedlam Morris Dancers and Bloco Do Sul salsa band drummers will also be performing.

Are there any stand-out acts?

Every performer is donating their talent for free and for charity and so every single one stands out, whether they usually perform in their front room or gig regularly on the music circuit, they are all total stars and wonderful human beings.

Do you need to purchase a ticket to come?

The festival is not ticketed and it is a free event. We have collection buckets for our nominated charity, Dorking Minds, and the people that attend are encouraged to make a donation as well as drink and eat plenty at the venues to support the local businesses that are hosting – safely and in moderation of course.

This year, Westival is raising money for local charity Dorking Minds, can you tell us more about that?

Dorking Minds is a community group providing information and resources to help local residents improve their mental health. They also offer subsidised Mental Health First Aid training, a monthly mental health talk on the fourth Monday of the month and an annual event – MINDFEST. They believe that no one with mental health issues should feel isolated or alone. They want to help people in the Dorking area to take control of their mental health and also provide up-to-date information about local services that can support those with mental health issues. We are very proud to be supporting this invaluable Dorking charitable organisation through this year’s Westival.

What would you say makes the event special?

Dorking, the venues and the brilliant performers. The event has a lovely fun and informal atmosphere.

Is there anything that someone should know before attending?

There are age restrictions of over 21s in the venues after 9pm but, other than that, just that they are guaranteed a fabulous time!

What COVID measures do you have in place?

The venues will have hand sanitiser aplenty, the track and trace system will be in place and, of course, masks are optional for those that wish to wear them. As the venues are relatively small, there are no restrictions on numbers in line with current government guidelines for pubs.

What has been the reception from the Dorking community for Westival?

Based on the success and attendance of the last Westival, the reception this time has been phenomenal and there is a lot of excitement already building about the return of Westival. The event filled up with acts very quickly and there is a waiting list of acts desperate to play should any bands have to cancel.

What is your hope for the future of the event?

For the comradery of the performers, audiences and venues to grow and thrive again through future Westivals, following the difficult year and a half we have had. Right now though for 2021, this one will be one hell of a Dorking party!

Can you tell me more about the music and arts scene in Dorking?

A large part of Westival’s success is due to the thriving music and arts scene in Dorking and the people of the Arty, Muso community that live here. We give priority to Dorking-based bands and arts groups to perform and there are very many of them. At least half of the 50 plus acts are from Dorking and the surrounding villages. All three of the venues in West Street involved in Westival have regular live bands and DJs and it has been wonderful to see this thriving again more and more each week following the restrictions from the pandemic lifting.

Westival will take place on Friday 29th, Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st October 2021 at The Kings ArmsThe Star and The Old House. To find out more about the event, keep an eye on their social media by visiting their Dorking Westival event on Facebook.

If you are interested in finding out more about local charitable organisation Dorking Minds, visit: They are holding their next Mental Health First Aid training course, focussed on skills for supporting young people in particular, across two Saturdays: November 13th and December 4th from 10am-4.30pm. 

Surrey Football Association has backed an NSPCC awareness raising campaign advising parents where to turn to if they have any worries in relation to their child’s sport.

An online survey, conducted on behalf of the NSPCC by YouGov, has found that over 20% of parents who had children in sports and leisure clubs, wouldn’t know who to speak to if they had any worries about a child’s welfare at their club.

A similar survey conducted in 2019 found that 31 per cent of parents from across the UK with children active in an out-of-school sport activity, said they did not know who to contact if they had any safeguarding or child protection concerns about their child’s club or association – a higher percentage when compared to this year’s figures which shows crucial safeguarding messages are being spread.

This is why Surrey FA are backing Parents in Sport Week (4-10 October 2021) – an annual campaign run by the NSPCCs Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU), aiming to equip EVERY parent with the safeguarding knowledge they need, and highlight the important role parents play in youth sport.

Phil Rendell, Designated Safeguarding Officer at Surrey FA said: “This is a great initiative which Surrey FA always looks to support.

“We strongly believe that positive encouragement and involvement from parents not only helps children with their performance on the field but builds strong and lasting relationships between parents and their children.

“I’d encourage all parents and carers to take an active interest in their children’s sport and would recommend the FA’s page dedicated to parents for further information.”

This year, the CPSU have launched several resources aimed at parents, to help them understand their role in keeping children safe and who they can turn to for help if they have any worries about their child’s sport.

Resources include a free e-learning course for parents on keeping their child safe; a new animation which helps parents identify when something might be wrong in their child’s sport; and the new NSPCC CPSU Parents Hub – an online destination packed full of safeguarding information for parents.

This Parents in Sport Week, the CPSU has also issued three key safeguarding tips for parents in relation to children’s sport:

The CPSU was founded in 2001 in response to a series of high-profile cases of abuse of young athletes. Since then, the unit has worked closely with hundreds of governing bodies of sports and local partnerships to provide safeguarding guidance and embed safeguarding best practice in sport.

The NSPCC have responded to allegations of childhood abuse and poor practice in several sports. In response to the volume of issues raised within football and gymnastics, the NSPCC established specialised helplines for athlete’s or their parents. Despite these helplines being set up specifically in response to high-profile allegations of abuse in these sports, the NSPCC want to encourage parents with a child in any sport to seek advice from the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 if they have any worries about their child’s experience in sport or physical activity.

Paul Stephenson, Senior Consultant at the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit, said:

“We’re proud to be running our annual Parents in Sport Week in its sixth year to help more parents be a significant part of their children’s sporting lives and to help ensure their experience is safe and fun. Every year since the campaign’s conception countless sports bodies, clubs and coaches have supported our aims and worked hard to develop better relationships with parents and carers.

“This year, the NSPCC wants to provide the tools needed to help parents and carers access important information to keep their children safe in sport, to spot poor practice and to empower them to speak out. We’re also continuing to support the tireless work sports clubs put into involving parents in their safeguarding process.

“We’ve come a long way in the past five years and there’s a clear impact on parents when it comes to their knowledge of safeguarding in sport. But we can’t stop here, every parent should feel confident about ensuring their child is safe and having fun and that’s why we’re pleased to launch our free, short, interactive course for parents.”

Dorking Town Partnership
156 South Street
Dorking, RH4 2HF

T: 07377 0966892


© 2021 Dorking Town Partnership
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