The only times I’ve ever ventured into Langley were for youth hockey tournaments and my third-cousin’s wedding. Despite only being an hour drive away from downtown Vancouver, Langley was never a city that I thought about spending any time in.
But over the past decade, the Township of Langley, particularly Fort Langley, has grained a cult following. I liken it to an acclaimed, under the radar band that has a niche, passionate fan base and is on the brink of going mainstream.
This November I decided to give the town I once neglected a chance. And after spending a day in Fort Langley, I can now confidently report that my previous perceptions of the city were widely inaccurate. Instead of being bland and boring, Fort Langley was trendy and charming. Its inviting small town vibe made me feel like I was on set of Gilmore Girls or a Hallmark movie.
Here’s a guide on how to spend the perfect day in and around Fort Langley.
Breakfast at Sabà
Sabà Café and Bistro is a homey Fort Langley brunch and dinner spot that left me delighted and stuffed. Right as you enter the café you are greeted with the fresh smells of baked goods and pastries. Sabà gives off a charming European vibe with its intimate ambiance and cozy outdoor patio.
From their braised short rib hash to eggs benedict, Sabà’s brunch menu has it all. For breakfast I recommend trying Saba’s filling Shakshuka. This dish is served in a (extremely hot) skillet and features fire charred peppers, Moroccan spices, and two eggs.
The Fort Langley National Historic Site is situated next to the Fraser River and is without a doubt Fort Langley’s most popular attraction. This picturesque site has been around for over 150 years and was the Hudson’s Bay Companies old trading post. Guests can watch blacksmithing and barrel-making demonstrations, or take an audio tour of the fur trade buildings and learn how goods were exported from Fort Langley in the 1800s. If you’re your craving a snack, try lelem' at the Fort Café’s blueberry lemon and white chocolate cranberry scones.
Shop till you drop
The Village of Fort Langley is home to a diverse selection of boutiques and shops. If you’re looking for seasonal scarfs, women’s knitted jumpers, or life style products, Bella & Wren is the place for you. Nearby, flower studio, Floralista, sells an abundance of different cactuses and specialty flowers, as well as wedding and graduation floral arrangements.
Meanwhile, acclaimed dining establishment and retail store, Little White House & Co., delivered on all fronts. This one-of-a-kind store is located inside an intimate, white, heritage home that gives off strong Alice in Wonderland vibes. The first few rooms are covered head to toe in women’s clothing apparel and lifestyle products. In the back patio you will find the stunning Salon café, which offers afternoon tea, sweets and brunch.
The Bacchus Bistro is located in South Langley, and overlooks the stunning 55-acre vineyard of Chaberton Estate Winery. Executive Chef Ashley's expansive, locally produced lunch menu features lighter dishes like their Stuffed Crepes and Roasted Chicken and Bacon Panini, as well as heavier entrees like the Pan-Roasted BC Ling Cod, and Lamb Shank Aux Épices.
Langley’s craft beer and distillery scene is underrated and on the rise. Five Roads Brewing joined Langley’s crowded brewery scene earlier in 2019. Five Roads has a 10-hectolitre brewing system with 14 fermenters, as well as a well-sized, 50-seat tasting room. Five roads beer lineup includes a Belgian style Wit beer (Whiplash Wit), Kolsch style lagered ale (Langley Gold), and a Fraser Valley House Cider.
If craft beer isn’t your drink of choice, Langley’s first craft distillery, Roots and Wings, might be the place for you. Roots and Wings is a family owned micro distillery that produces craft cocktails and artisan spirits like their potato-corn gin (Jackknife Gin), unaged corn whiskey (Rebel) and coffee infused vodka (Double Vice).