Gluten Free Dorset: Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens

Maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of the TV programme Coast but I’ve wanted to come to Chesil Beach for what seems like forever. Located at the centre of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, this impressive 18 mile stretch of shingle beach is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Chesil Beach

After sitting on the blustery beach, thinking how much I miss living right by the sea, rolling the super soft pebbles through my hands while watching mini D1 learn how to skim stones (or rather just lob stones) into the sea, we were all ready to have lunch.

Chesil Beach Stones

Just up the lane from the beach car park (there are surprisingly few access points onto Chesil Beach) is the Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens. This turned out to be a double surprise. Not only were the gardens beautiful – subtropical gardens are not usually my kind of thing – but the Colonial Restaurant had a fantastic selection of gluten free items on the menu. Just look how many items here are noted as gluten free or dairy free!


I wavered slightly between ordering a peri peri chicken or a jacket potato (I needed to warm up after sitting on a windy beach) but instead went for something which was adjusted to be gluten free to see how that was; grilled steak and onion baguette.

Gluten Free Steak Baguette

The steak was tender and I loved having the onions with it. I’m not sure who makes these gluten free rolls but they didn’t crumble. Perfect lunch.

I was too full to try one of the gluten free cakes on offer (there were several choices) but there’s always room for a fantastic locally produced ice cream!


A few shots of the Subtropical Gardens.

I have never seen so many bluebells as I did during our trip to Dorset. Beautiful carpets of them everywhere, not just in these gardens.


Loved this walkway – I could almost believe I was on the Italian Riviera.


Reminding us of our recent trip to Japan:

Japanese garden

Website: Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens

Cost: Under £30 -for a meal for 2 adults and 2 children with drinks

Would I come back: Absolutely. I love being on a beach at any time of the year and visiting the gardens anf the Colonial Restaurant would be a bonus.

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Gluten Free Dorset

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