Abbotsford Is Not Just Blueberries And Corn Anymore


There are more than Blueberries in Abbotsford.

My first day in Abbotsford with Cassandra Anderton was a blast and if day 2 is anything like the breakfast we enjoyed at the Clayburn Village Bed & Breakfast then we are in for a real treat. To be honest I’m still a little in shock that the first day was as fun as it was. Gourmet foods, artisan crafts and a relaxing B&B are not the first things that spring to mind when I think of Abbotsford, I guess the times are changing.

After a truly luxurious sleep we head down to the common room for our breakfast and what a sight. The table was set fit for a visiting dignitary. Home made scones, fresh coffee (nice and strong), and a beautiful fruit plate were a feast for my eyes.

the table is set at Clayburn Village B&B

Fruite platter

HOme made scones

Before heading to bed the night before we selected our breakfast time and menu choices but I really didn’t expect what we were treated to. The main course was an omelette made with fresh eggs from their very own chickens, bacon, roasted potatoes and  freshly toasted marble Rye bread. Fit for a Queen!

Bacon , omelette and toast

After breakfast we bid our hosts adieu, packed our bags and headed off to the first stop of our day the Taves Family Farms, otherwise known as the Apple Barn. It’s quite the operation they have going, on one side of the street is a 17,000 square metre greenhouse facility where they grow Peppers, Eggplants and Heirloom Tomatoes under the Windset Farms label.

Pepper Trees in the greenhouse

Peppers ripening on the vine

eggplant blossom

Marc and an Eggplant

Heirloom tomatoes

Something I didn’t know about greenhouses is that they bring in Bees to pollenate the plants. If I was a Bee then this would be the life, all the pollenating you want under one roof. On the other side of the road is the more popular attraction The Apple Barn Country Store. Just gearing up for the public season which begins on August 16th and runs until Dec 22nd, Cassandra and I got a sneak peak of what’s in store.

The Apple Barn Country Store

pressed on site Apple Barn Cider

Of course there is the actual store where you can buy anything and everything that is grown by the Taves. Apples, pumpkins, apple chips, Ice cream, fudge you name it they sell it. Of course you can also buy their famous Cider and if you look down when you are in the store you can even see the cider being pressed fresh from their orchard apples.

Inside the Apple Barn Market

A cider press

There is a lot more at the Apple Barn than a store though, they have a petting zoo with Sheep, Goats, Rabbits and Turkeys. I’m not sure if you really want to pet a Turkey but you can certainly see them if you want to.

Hello sheep

This is a friendly goat

bunny rabbits!

outside at the petting zoo

Turkeys, gobble gobble

If a petting zoo isn’t for you want about the largest bouncing pillow ever made? lol I’m actually not sure if it is the largest but man is it fun. It brings out the child in all of us. Even Cassandra gave it a try! I think my form was very good, all the judges gave me a perfect 10!

The Jumping Pillow

look at my form

Cassabdra on the jumping pillow

There is more to see…. actually to pick. The orchard is on the property so in the fall you can come and pick your own apples, a great lesson for kids and adults so that we remember food isn’t grown on a grocery store shelf Smile They also have a corn maze and something that all the boys will love, a pumpkin and corn cannon. You heard me right, load it up and shoot the pumpkin. If you hit the target you win a prize.

Jonagold U Pick at Apple Barn Market

almost ready to be picked Jonagold apple

Corn Maze

Corn Cannon

The Taves family have really created a fun place for kids of every age to enjoy. I might need to back up some friends for a fun filled evening this fall.

Believe it or not after the hearty breakfast we had earlier I’m starting to get hungry which means it is time for our next stop, Tanglebank Gardens and Brambles Bistro. One half nursery and one have bistro cafe Tanglebank is a place to shop, explore and dine, a triple threat.

Tanglebank Gardens

under the roof of Tanglebank

The property is set up to be self guided so Cassandra and I went for a wander. Nature is the most talented artist I know and man there are some spectacular pieces in the gardens.

I'm not sure what this is but it's huge


wandering through the garens at Tanglebank

Cassandra explores the forest garden

There is plenty to see on the stroll through the garden and we definitely worked up an appetite, back to the Bistro.

Brambles Bistro

inside the Bistro

We sat on the patio and enjoyed a lovely lunch that started with their in house made Blackberry Lemon Spritzers followed by a Cobb Salad and a Fraser Valley Duck Clubhouse. YUMMY!

Blackberry & Lemon Spritxzers

Cobb Salad

Fraser Valley Duck Clubhouse

Are you hungry? I really didn’t expect such great food at a nursery but wow it was delicious.

With lunch over sadly it is time to return to the reality that is our lives in Vancouver. I think I can speak for both Cassandra and I that the 36 hours we spent in Abbotsford was a real treat and just what we needed to charge up our engines for the coming weekend activities.

When you think of Abbotsford now what comes to mind? Are you up for a road trip one day? Maybe an adventure getting lost in the corn maze or just for an afternoon lunch at Brambles? If you’re up for it call me because I’d love to go back again.

My next staycation get a way is also a one day friendly and it’s just over some water, I’m going to Victoria.

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About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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