The Scented Botanist sits at the heart of Keyneston Mill Botanic Gardens, nestled in the Tarrant Valley and bordered by the River Stour – the creative and experimental home of Parterre Fragrances.
Uniquely, we grow, harvest and distil the key ingredients for our luxury perfumes on this 50-acre estate, dedicated solely to aromatic and scented plants, with over 1500 varieties currently in cultivation.
At The Scented Botanist, our contemporary bistro-café, we strive not only to serve our customers great quality food in a beautiful, relaxed environment, but also to reflect the philosophy of Parterre and Keyneston Mill by creating menus which are adventurous, inspiring and wonderfully fragrant!
Our chefs take their inspiration from the gardens – many of the ingredients integral to our dishes are produced on the estate – from fruit, flowers, leaves and herbs to honey and cordials. And beyond that we’re dedicated to finding the finest quality fresh ingredients that we can source from local suppliers, because we believe our customers will taste the difference.
We aim to offer something for everyone on our menu – many dishes are suitable, or can be adapted for; vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets, amongst others. Try our vegetarian Baked Dorset Blue Vinny Cheesecake, served with Keyneston Mill honey-baked fig, caramelised walnuts, aged balsamic and lavender roasted baby beets. Or try our delicious vegan Mushroom and Lentil Vegan ‘Sausage’ Roll served with dressed leaves and flowers from the garden.
For a meatier feast, we have a Guinea Fowl, Chorizo and Butterbean Cassoulet, with Guinea Fowl ballotine, paprika spiced bean casserole and chive oil. Our menus change seasonally, of course, so visit the website to see a full sample menu or call for details.
We also offer a Patisserie menu pre-lunch, as a delicious accompaniment to coffee or herbal tea, including Madeleines soaked in Keyneston Mill honey, from our own bee-hives in the Lost Orchard. The Madeleine will forever be associated with the great French author Marcel Proust who, in his famous work ‘In Search of Lost Time’ involuntarily recalls a happy memory from his childhood after tasting a Madeleine dipped in tea. The phrase ‘Proust’s Madeleine’ is now used to refer to a sensory experience that triggers a memory!
The Scented Botanist is fully licensed and serves a distinguished range of fine wines, alongside local beers and ciders, and longer drinks in the summer, when our visitors can relax in the cafe garden and enjoy views across the gardens to a soundtrack of gentle bird song!
The Scented Botanist is available to hire for private or corporate events, and is a wonderful, relaxed and memorable venue for celebrations and special occasions. We can cater for everything from drinks and canapé receptions, to a full dining experience, with menus tailored to your requirements.
We also have our own events programme, including DinéCiné – our popular cinema evenings where you can enjoy a feast of cinematic and culinary treats with our eclectically curated programme of films, each with a themed pre-film supper. Tickets (pre-booked only) include a 2-course themed-menu supper in The Scented Botanist followed by the feature film shown on a customised sail in the café gardens – weather permitting! - or alternatively in the cosy AromaDome, situated in the gardens at Keyneston Mill. A pay-bar is available and hot and cold drinks are available to purchase. Details of the film programme can be found on the website.
We always recommend making a reservation for lunch, and groups of 6 or over must pre-book.
Call us on 01258 456831 to make a reservation or discuss your requirements.
The Scented Botanist is located just outside of Blandford Forum. There is ample parking on site, and the Bistro-Café, Shop and Café Garden are all wheelchair accessible.