Biking, Healthy Lifestyle, Restless Retiree, Retirement lifestyle

London Heritage Farm and Tearoom: A Delightful Surprise on a Sunny Summer Day!

I was sitting on the patio of the Diplomat Bakery at the end of my bike ride from Steveston Village when I noticed a steady stream of bikes, motorcycles and convertibles rounding the bend in the road coming from the other direction. My husband remembered a stinky waste processing plant from years ago but we concluded that maybe things had changed, so we decided to get back on our bikes and continue our ride. Indeed it was a pleasant ride along the Fraser River and we appreciated the clean air as we passed the new, modernized treatment plant.

As we biked along, I spotted a sign for a heritage farm and tea room so I kept that in mind to visit on our way back after we’d explored the length of the road.

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London Farm Family Family Home

The museum, circa 1880’s – 1920’s has 6 display rooms, a tea room and a gift shop. The Tea Room is open on Saturday & Sunday from noon to 5 pm (last seating is 4 pm) with extended days during the summer. Check their website to plan your trip. The entrance to the farmhouse is by donation and the grounds are open to the public every day all year round from dawn to dusk and entrance is free.

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Blackberries Ready for Canning

The gift shop has a wide selection of jams but I only bought one jar of strawberry rhubarb and I ended up giving it away.  I’ll plan another visit soon so I can buy some of the blackberry jam they were preparing the day I visited!

The tea room looked inviting but we arrived too late for the last sitting.  The server looked so pretty in her starched, white apron!

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In the hallway around the corner from the tearoom, I admired a display of dainty underpinnings and aprons. What a lot of work on Blue Monday for women before washing machines were widely available! It’s interesting to look in the bedrooms upstairs to see artifacts like curling irons and sewing kits that the three London girls and their servants would have used for grooming and mending chores.

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To end our visit we headed outside to roam around the grounds. The gardens are a welcome oasis in the summer heat, the thermostat showed over 40 degrees Celsius!

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Apple trees bursting with late summer fruit, yum!

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Rows of Fruits and Vegetables Waiting for the Harvest…

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Now that I know about the London Heritage Farm I’ll plan to visit for high tea soon with some friends. What about you, do you have a favourite hidden secret tea room to share?

 

 

 

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Biking, Restless Retiree, Retirement lifestyle

Biking the Arbutus Greenway

We planned to do the Grouse Grind but it doesn’t open until 1pm on weekdays so we opted to bike the Arbutus Greenway to Fraser River Park. It’s an easy ride at just over 20km round trip from the start at the 6th and Fir Park. The pathway is fully described on the Let’s go Biking website.

Once we climbed past King Edward we stopped for a photo, the views are spectacular. This one’s looking out to the North Shore Mountains over the rooftops of Point Grey.

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All of the intersections are finished on the pathway so it’s easy to cross the major roads like Broadway, King Edward and 41st but you have to watch out for other cyclists, and of course pedestrians, as it can get congested in spots. At Marine Drive we reached the end of the separate bike trail, but our goal was to go right down to the river, so we continued our adventure by following Marine Drive down to the Fraser River Park.

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On the way down to the river we stopped to admire the view of the marina and cycled down to ride around the Milltown Bar & Grill parking lot.  The restaurant doesn’t open until 11am and the reviews say it fills up fast. We definitely plan to return for lunch before summer’s end!

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We followed the Fraser River Park trail until we reached a big frost fence with a Dangerous Do Not Enter sign against the perimeter of the McCleery Golf Course.

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We circled back to check out the park. A couple of people chatted together while their dogs enjoyed some off-lease freedom by running along the little beach,  splashing in and out of the river and barking their pleasure. The park has a network of boardwalks so you can bike right out along the shoreline.  We ventured out onto the pier to watch a tugboat chugging downriver to take care of some business and a plane descending through the trees on its approach to the Richmond airport. At the dock there’s a plaque explaining the history of how labour, government and business worked together to build the pier in 1988.

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After we had our fill of the scenery we rode back up to the street and stopped at the Friend’s Café, a little restaurant serving local businesses.

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It was a beautiful morning and we enjoyed a feast of gorgeous views on our ride back home.

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We still plan to get to the Grouse Grind but we’ll have to wait a couple of weeks until it reopens after its annual grooming before the summer onslaught of tourists!

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Biking, Healthy Lifestyle, Restless Retiree, Retirement lifestyle

Biking the Seymour Valley Trailway

According to the Vancouver North Shore things to do website, “The Seymour Valley Trailway is a 10km paved path that winds through a diverse forest. The Trailway features five picnic sites with outhouses, picnic tables and garbage cans.”

http://vancouversnorthshore.com/things-to-do/parks/lower-seymour-conservation-reserve/

I think this is a great pathway, it’s all paved with smooth asphalt. Early April was a perfect time to try out this moderate trail ride on our bikes. We took advantage of one of the few sunny days we’ve had in weeks. Vaughn strapped our bikes onto the car and off we went!

After a quick trip over the Iron Workers’ Memorial Bridge we followed Lillooet Road up to the end-of-the road and started our adventure by 2pm. Here’s Vaughn unloading our bikes.

The path is great, nice and smooth and because it was a weekday there were only a few other cyclists and very few walkers. The no dog policy is also a plus when you’re biking, no worries about dogs darting into your path.

The ride up had some steep, long climbs but I managed without having to get off my bike and push, granny gear did the job for me!

At 9km, Stoney Creek picnic area, I decided I’d had enough so we passed on the last 2kms up to the Seymour Dam Lookout and headed back down. We always like to leave a reason, some motivation, to come back again!

 

Cycling back down was a bit easier than the ride up. I started to get into the groove of racing downhill to gain momentum for the next uphill climb.

We arrived back in the parking lot at 3:30 and decided to head back over the bridge to home before the afternoon traffic rush started.

Overall the Seymour Valley Trailway is a great fitness activity and now I’m ready to tackle the Grouse Grind!

 

 

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