Before I went gluten-free we always stayed in B&B’s when traveling, if there was one where we were headed. The difference between staying at a B&B and a staying in a hotel is like night and day but it’s not for everyone. You are likely to have to sit with strangers for breakfast. We love that aspect of it but some people are quite put off by it.
We had favorite B&B’s in many places dotting the Southeast. Many of them we stayed at time and again, assuming the first visit went well. In many years of staying in B&B’s, I think we only found one place not to be worth returning to. What a shock it was to think that if I could not eat gluten, we probably could not stay at B&B’s anymore. When I say we loved B&B’s, I mean we’d stay out of the way to do so if necessary.
The big draw of B&B’s in the South at least, is that they serve huge gourmet breakfasts. Most of them do anyway – some places aren’t so great and serve fruit and a croissant but we tended to avoid such places. The places we preferred, feed you so well at breakfast you were not in need of much for lunch. From quiche to stuffed French toast to homemade buttermilk biscuits – we enjoyed it all. Or at least we did until I could not eat gluten anymore.
Back in 2007, I was determined to stay in a B&B in New Orleans no matter how much work it took on my part. As it turned out, I didn’t have that much to do to make my dream a reality. I found a highly rated B&B in NoLa – Southern Comfort B&B – and called the owner to discuss my dietary needs. She had never heard of gluten but was eager to learn. We ended up staying five nights at her place and ate some of the best food we’d had at any B&B ever. On the day that we were the only guests, the owner made us French toast with bread I’d taken for the trip.
On the day souffles were served, mine was made without flour and baked in a different colored dish so it would not be confused with a gluten souffle. The owner fully understand cross contamination issues since I’d explained them in detail to her in an e-mail and we discussed them again upon our arrival. In the end, the thoughtful B&B owner did a phenomenal job feeding me safely and deliciously!
Last year we were lucky enough to stay at Chicken Paradise in San Antonio, Texas. In case you have not heard of it yet, it seems to be the only 100% gluten-free B&B in the entire country. About half the guests can’t eat gluten and the others just rave about how great the food is. You can read my rave review of the place here. We kind of wanted to move into the Paradise Suite, in fact. To this day, Chicken Paradiseis the only place I’ve had non frozen gluten-free waffles. It is a remarkable place, owned and run by Anne and Joe Barfield – two remarkable people!
This is in no way a complete list, but here are several gluten-free friendly B&B’s that we’ve been able to verify understand safe gluten-free service (click name to link to websites) –
- Chicken Paradise
- Southern Comfort B&B
- Harmony House B&B
- Old Towne Bed & Breakfast
- Treetops Suite
- Raven Haven B&B
- R.R. Thompson House
The best way I know to find a gluten-free friendly B&B is to do a Google search with the terms “gluten-free bed and breakfast” and the “city/town” you’re going to. This should bring up reviews and websites of the place you’re headed, if they exist.
Let us know if you have a gluten-free friendly B&B, or know of one we should add to our list!