Soothing hot springs, farm-to-table flavours and real-life Sasquatch sightings: the Fraser Valley offers plenty of ways to relax, refuel, and renew your sense of wonder
By CHLOË LAI
Duft & Co Bakehouse (Photo courtesy Duft & Co Bakehouse)
Seeking a restorative side trip? You don’t have to go far. Just an hour’s drive from Vancouver, warm community vibes welcome world-weary visitors to Abbotsford, affectionately known as the “city in the country.” Bonus for foodies: many local eateries source their ingredients directly from Fraser Valley growers. Explore the historic downtown area’s charming shops, then settle in at Duft & Co Bakehouse to reconnect with your travel companions over homemade sandwiches, or pastries such as cinnamon buns and twice-baked almond croissants. Everything is made fresh daily, using recipes developed by husband-and-wife team Tyler Duft and Cassandra Crocco. Right around the corner, gluten-free cafe The Polly Fox beckons with cheesy pizza buns, I-can’t-believe-they’re-vegan apple fritters and (on Saturdays only) vegan waffles served sandwich-style or with tasty toppings. Even delicious sips such as cappuccino and hot chocolate can be made vegan thanks to tasty nut mylks provided by next-door-neighbour The Habit Project. (more…)
By Kat Tancock
About an hour’s drive southeast out of Vancouver in South Langley, BC, Vista D’oro Farms was an escape from corporate life for owners Lee and Patrick Murphy, who have built the 10-acre property just blocks from the U.S. border into a diversified farm and winery where everything is grown naturally, if not certified organic.
The Farmgate Market sells the farm’s wine, produce and fresh baked goods as well as other products from the region, but it’s the artisanal preserves that are the star of the show: “About 80% of what is grown on the farm ends up in a jar or bottle,” says Lee. They cook up about six varieties each season in small batches using traditional recipes and fruit from their farm and nearby farmers they trust.
Flavours such as orchard pear and cocoa nib, caramel apple with dark rum, and green tomato with garam masala are designed to be enjoyed in a variety of settings: with scones or toast, accompanying a cheese board, atop ice cream or as a glaze or sauce for meats. Jars ($8.95 each) can be purchased at the farm, ordered online or found at select retailers and restaurants in the Lower Mainland. Details:
Vista D’oro Farms
346 208th Street