Dessert (Gluten-Free) at The Ocean House, Watch Hill, Westerly RI

Dessert (Gluten-Free) at The Ocean House, Watch Hill, Westerly RI

A few weeks ago I treated my mom to an early autumn afternoon drive with a promised detour for coffee and dessert. We drove to Westerly, Rhode Island to visit the seaside village of Watch Hill, a popular tourist destination in the summer months, where people flock to dine, wine and shop along the main street. Kids love to ride on the restored historic carousel, as I did when I was a child visiting the area. Watch Hill is worthy of a visit anytime of the year, but mid-September, without the parading tourists and traffic was, for mom and me, a perfect time to visit.

The Ocean House, veranda on the right

We headed over to the Ocean House for dessert. The original Ocean House, a Victorian-style structure built in 1868, was sadly demolished (basically beyond repair), and we hadn’t yet visited the reconstructed hotel, a replica of the original. Now touted as an award-winning New England premiere seaside resort (made Forbes Top 10 list of beach resorts Around the World), the Ocean House is stunning as it sits perched on a hill overlooking the Atlantic. The resort offers deluxe accommodations (with prices to match!), 6 dining venues, a 12,000 s.f. spa, function rooms, art gallery, numerous outdoor activities as well as year round events.


Pumpkin Pannacotta

We opted to dine on the outdoor verandah where we could feel the warmth of the late afternoon sun and take in the gorgeous views of the Atlantic, Block Island in the distance as well as the summer home of singer/songwriter Taylor Swift.

Taylor’s house in the distance …

There were 5 or so options on the dessert menu that day, but the chef recommended only one as being the safest gluten-free option. When the dish arrived to the table I marveled at the creativity of it, before plunging my fork in! Each ingredient of the Pumpkin Pannacotta (made gluten-free by removing the streusel and gingerbread ice-cream) was beyond delicious. (Ingredients: Panna Cotta, Macaroon, Caramel, Pecan Nougatine and vanilla ice-cream – $12)

I asked the hostess about gluten-free options for lunch and dinner and was told that many of the items from their various menus could be modified to be gluten-free. She said they often get requests for gluten-free dishes, and the chef and kitchen staff can accomodate.

After we enjoyed every morsel of our desserts we walked down the stairs to the lawn, enjoying the gardens, and then followed a wooden path leading to Dune Cottage and the hotel’s private beach. The Ocean House grounds are expansive, and can be enjoyed even if not dining at the resort.

The Ocean House is located at 1 Bluff Avenue, and hosts events throughout the year.  If you would like to visit, check out their upcoming event schedule.


Getting to the Ocean House – view Here 
Address:  1 Bluff Avenue | Watch Hill, RI 02891
Telephone:  General (401) 584-7000 | Reservations (888) 552-2588

Tips if you plan to visit:

–        Drive your car up to the front of the hotel as valet parking is available

–        Speaking of “tips”, the hotel has a no-tipping valet policy

–        Have your lunch, dinner or dessert and then take a walk around the grounds/gardens,

Watch Hill Lighthouse (photo from

down to the beach … then head back to Bluff street and meander

Another view of Taylor’s home

(perhaps over to see Taylor’s house which is 4 houses down from the Ocean House (at the bend, look for the security guards!). There is a ‘public’ path just before the main driveway, where you can walk down to the beach and take a nice stroll towards the Watch Hill lighthouse (look up on right to see her house). You can’t access the lighthouse here, so if you want to do this walk back to the street, take a left, and then head down Lighthouse Road (only open to walkers/bikers) … which winds past charming seaside homes. Or, walk into town for some shopping (unsure of retail hours during Fall, Winter months).

Mom & Me!

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On October 17th, 2013, posted in: CeliacCorner Blogs by

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