About Us

The San Tonino Story

Distinctive Italianate Style

Several years ago a group of experienced Italian foodies based in the West Country set out to find a great place to establish an authentic Italian restaurant in Dorset. Our explorations led us to Shaftesbury and the lovely old former Congregational chapel in Mustons Lane, built in 1858 of Bath stone in a distinctive Italianate style, complete with Corinthian columns.

The atmospheric old chapel had already been functioning as an Italian restaurant, but was in dire need of an interior make-over and a menu refresh to realise its full potential.

Re-christened the San Tonino and given a new lease of life our trattoria has proved extremely popular with locals in and around Shaftesbury, and every day it is discovered by grateful visitors drawn to the area by our many local tourist attractions.

Wholesome Fare & Warm Hospitality

If you haven’t visited Shaftesbury before we are easy to find on the A30, west of Salisbury, near the Wiltshire/Dorset border. The town dates from medieval times having grown up on the site of an Abbey founded in 888 by King Alfred.

Shaftesbury is most famous for its steep, cobbled Gold Hill – often used as a setting for film and television productions including the famous 1973 Hovis commercial. The panoramic view from the top is breathtaking.

Being in the centre of the town San Tonino is on hand to feed many hungry tourists who’ve walked the acclaimed hill. We enjoy welcoming people from all over the country – indeed the world – who enjoy wholesome Italian fare and warm hospitality, as well as the local “regulars”, many of whom have become friends.

Shaftesbury Function Venue

We realised early on in the renovation process that the spacious old chapel building lends itself perfectly to hosting functions of all sorts. The San Tonino is therefore now firmly established as a local venue in Shaftesbury for weddings, anniversaries, sports clubs, business banquets and more.

Our customers are usually full of praise for the large dining space with its elegant Italian décor, including ornate central fountain, branched chandelier and Roman centurions eyeing the proceedings from wall niches.

The cherry on top is a small cocktail bar, which adds pizzazz to the drinks menu to complement the fine food.

In true Italian style we’re all about offering you a taste of genuine la dolce vita (the sweet life) right here in delightful Dorset.

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