Today my friend took me for birthday treat to Kingston Lacy but lovely though the place is I will think twice before visiting again. After an extensive walk of the grounds we eagerly anticipated a coffee and cake refreshment and I was delighted to see the sign that 'if you have special dietary requirements to talk to staff'. However, not only did I find the staff completely unhelpful (in fact quite rude)but the gluten free options are actually prepared and baked in exactly the same place as all the gluten containing products! Therefore there is no understanding whatsoever of the seriousness of contamination for Coeliac sufferers. I would like to point out to the ignorant staff that this is NOT a lifestyle choice but a very debilitating disease which at best can result in lethargy, muscle pain, sickness, dizzy spells, visual disturbance, stomach cramps, headaches etc or at worst can result in stomach cancer if an extremely strict avoidance of gluten contamination is not observed. It is inconsiderate to offer gluten free options only to tell customers that they may not be gluten free after all. Lucky I asked eh! Incidentally, we both ordered coffees which were revoltingly bitter and my friend bought a slice of the chocolate brownie (GF but she is not coeliac) which had lots of fibrous strands in it and was inedible. She got her money back but the way she was spoken to about it was very poor indeed. She was made to feel it was her fault and an inconvenience to sort out. Very, very disappointing and we will return.
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