This beautiful spot nestled in the Tarrant Valley area of Dorset is dedicated solely to aromatic and scented plants, with over 1500 varieties in a 50-acre estate that you can tour. It is in these gardens that the key ingredients of Parterre luxury perfumes are grown, harvested and distilled.
As well as the stunning Keyneston Mill formal gardens, this beautiful estate is also home to a Perfume Exhibition (with regular workshops and events), Bistro-Café and Gift Shop that are open year-round.
Keyneston Mill Botanic Gardens
The breathtaking colours and scents of the Keyneston Mill Botanic Gardens lie in the Tarrant Valley, bordered by the River Stour in the north of Dorset.
The Botanic Gardens is divided into several unique areas that each feature plants and flowers from a different perfume family. A guide for £5 can be purchased as you enter the estate, filled with information and essential oil samples that I highly recommend to truly make the most of your visit.
As you wander around the garden the scents and colour are gloriously beautiful. Areas include Floral, Fougere (Fern), Spice and Citrus. It’s from these areas that the wonderful produce is grown and distilled in small batches.
The produce that creates plentiful oils may then be planted in the surrounding Perfume Crop Fields which form a patchwork of colour in summer. These then become the vital botanical ingredients, that can be found in the Parterre Fragrances.
To find out more about scented plants and perfumery Keyneston Mill offer a variety of garden tours and perfume workshops. The latter, as well as their wellness day, is number one on my wishlist! Can you imagine anything more dreamy?! You can find out all about the events and workshops Keyneston Mill offer right here.
One of the most special aspects to Keyneston Mill is the Parterre Fragrances enterprise and history of fragrances which is a heavenly haven for perfume fans.
Parterre has reinvented perfumery by taking it back to its roots of perfume creation. The result is beautiful rare, limited edition fragrances with distinctive originality. Each unique scent originates from the unique, aromatic Keyneston Mill estate where the key ingredients are grown.
In the shop you’ll find the fragrances to sample and indulge and a plethora of wonderful books on the history of herbs, and perfumes.
I want nothing more now to try my hand at making my own perfume in one of their perfume workshops you can book at Keyneston Mill.
The Scented Botanist Bistro-Cafe
As soon as you enter Keyneston Mill you find The Scented Botanist, the on-site contemporary bistro-café. At The Scented Botanist, the aim is to bring adventurous, inspiring and wonderfully fragrant dishes that are adventurous, inspiring and wonderfully fragrant to match their enchanting surroundings!
Many of the ingredients that are integral to the dishes found at The Scented Botanist are produced on the estate or locally sourced, making the creations even more of a delight and spectacle.
The Scented Botanist is licensed and also serves a range of fine wines and beers as well as freshly brewed teas and coffees. Here’s what I devoured on my latest visit.
If you’re vegan or have a dairy-allergy like me you’ll find this menu simply heavenly. I decided on the classic avocado and tomato toast sprinkled with edible flower and a real showcase of late summer’s finest garden produce.
This classic toast combination was teamed with hearty sourdough bread and slathered with olive oil for the perfect finishing touch. Just so comforting and nourishing. Not to mention THE prettiest avocado on toast I have ever seen!
Have you ever seen a cake just so blooming beautiful?! This vegan floral cake of dreams had layers of incredibly fresh, moist, gorgeous cake tucked between the dreamiest, luscious, lemony vegan cream cheese frosting. This was true sweet decadence that tastes like food fit for the angels!
The Scented Botanist Bistro Cafe also offers an Afternoon Tea, and if it’s anything as divine as the above I have no doubt it will be the prettiest afternoon tea of all time! For more information about this, and the Scented Botanist, head right here.
Keyneston Mill, and the Scented Botanist, is a really special spot in the Dorset countryside that your whole senses needs to savour in every single way possible. I highly recommend you plan your trip accordingly so you make the most of everything it has to offer.
Not sure where to start when planning your day? Head to the what’s on page for details concerning their tours, workshops, film and dine evenings, indulgence days and so much more.
If you’re a Dorset local, or want to visit the area, be sure to check out my Dorset recommendations here. It features plant-based restaurants like Twelve to a plant-based lunch at Urban Reef. And as I write this in near August, I’ll be having a staycation here this month bringing you all my favourite spots so be on the lookout for more posts like this very soon!
How many Dorset locals do I have reading this? Have any of you been to Keyneston Mill? Please tell me what you think in the comments. I’d also love to know if you have any recommendations you think I should explore!
Address: Tarrant Keyneston, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 9HZ