Brookside Inn’s been open just under a year now, but Chris and Sandi Buis have already made it a successful, welcoming home away from home just an hour away from downtown Vancouver.
Over the New Year weekend, my husband and I spent a night here, enjoying views of Fraser Valley, Mt. Baker and nearby Pepin Brook Vineyard Estates. The property’s a short jaunt from both Abbotsford’s International Airport and the US border.
Each suite (four in total) is richly decorated in the theme of a movie (ours was Under the Tuscan Sun). Four-poster queen bed, fireplace, fridge, living room, wifi, soaker tub and sun deck were all welcome as we settled in for the night.
After dinner and a relaxing bath in the jumbo soaker tub, we popped in a DVD of Under the Tuscan Sun, to rediscover the lovely romance featuring Diane Lane, later noting the touches our suite was given in honour of the 2003 movie based on Frances Mayes’s book of the same name.
There’s also a cinema room on the top floor in case you’re keen on catching a film on a larger screen (the DVD library’s in the hallway). Otherwise, get cozy on the couch with a throw and watch a movie in your living room.
On this momentous (and lucky!) occasion, the rarely-seen Lesser Goldfinch has been visiting one of the inn’s many bird feeders. This has created a renewed excitement with birders and nature photographers alike, some of whom had driven hours to get a chance to see it!
We arrived prepared with binoculars and long-range zoom lens; within minutes of our arrival, the yellow feathered superstar made her entry. This bird has been recorded less than 20 times in Canada, and was included in the 116th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count on January 2. If you’re a bird lover, you should know that over 110 species have been recorded on the property to date.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
A yummy, light gourmet breakfast greeted us in the morning at the sunny lounge, aptly named Breakfast at Tiffany’s Lounge. The dining room seats about eight guests and offers a good view of Mt. Baker (and some of the bird feeders!). Our breakfast featured a homemade berry scone and poached egg atop grilled tomato, spinach and toast.
Ingredients are fresh and locally sourced for the ultimate start to the day. Whether you’re interested in a city break or simply a stopover en route to other parts of the province, Brookside Inn makes for a charming, friendly stay.
Brookside Inn is located at 2379 Chardonnay Lane in Abbotsford. Note the inn’s no pets and children ages 12 and over only guest policy.
While you’re in the area, consider a tasty supper at Brodeur’s Bistro, about a 10-minute drive away at 3550 Mt. Lehman Road.
On our Saturday evening visit, the place was packed, serving up in-house smoked Montreal meat, St. Louis ribs, salads, sandwiches and 20 sides in a New Orleans-inspired interior.
Desserts are well-priced and large enough to share after a filling meal. We were both in the mood for apple crumble served with vanilla bean gelato and it didn’t disappoint. As busy as the restaurant was, service was fast and friendly.
While in the Area
If you’ve never explored Abbotsford, you’ll be surprised to find several wineries, golf courses, farms and a craft brewery within minutes of the Tudor style inn.
Recently opened Old Abbey Ales is just down the road on Old Fraser Highway. Pop in to sample what’s currently on offer or to fill up a couple of growlers with a rich Belgian Tripel, Yippie-ip-eh, Brett Flemish Brown and others from a selection of 24 taps.
The tasting room is open daily from 11 am to 8 pm.
Old Abbey’s Hop Salad IPA quickly sold out over the holidays. Being an IPA fan, I’m hoping to return to try it, or better yet, see it available one day in one of Vancouver’s numerous brew pubs.