I've never been shy about traveling for food and things related to food despite the fact I have plenty to eat at home... (Rob Ford anyone? What?). Anyways, I was recently invited to check out the West Coast Christmas Show & Marketplace at the Abbotsford Tradex. Abbotsford??? You spent how much gas and time for some measly free tickets? Yes, I admit I gotta stop doing that, but hey, I wanted to check it out anyways so it was no harm, no foul. Hence, on Friday, we bundled the kids up into the SUV and made the drive out.
The best way to describe the market would be a hybrid between EAT! and the PNE Showmart. Therefore, you have the usual vendors selling knick knacks mixed in with food, a Christmas choir, cheese seminars and shows (featuring Anna Olson). Nestled within the many craft and trinket stalls, I was able to spot some favourites including Kitchening & Co. featuring macarons made by Carly Wintschel. Nearby, I was surprised to find La Chocolaterie with their fresh chocolates. Normally, one would find them in the Izumiya Market in Richmond.
Another familiar vendor was The Candy Meister, which I got to first sample at the YVRBloggers Hootup a month ago. And yes, the candy tastes as good as it looks with appealing fruit flavours and not being overly reliant on just sweetness. Nice people too. I suggest you check them out. Also, I found this interesting Brazilian-style cheese puffs called Pao de Queijo from Otimo. I found them similar to cheese buns except more firm and flavourful. I particularly liked the jalapeno version as there as a nice spicy kick.
At this point, my son was getting a bit antsy, but that was all relieved when we spotted the make n' take model building sponsored by One Stop Hobbies. He decided on the Corvette Stingray (good choice) and we spent a good amount of time doing that. All-in-all, the West Coast Christmas Show was pretty much what we expected. I think if one (who lived somewhat nearby) was into shopping and wanted to pick up some Christmas crafts and decorations, it would be worth the $6.00 admission fee. However, for me at least, it would be a tough sell for anyone far way to make the trek out to Abbotsford.
- Free parking
- Cheap admission (kids free)
- Something to do
- Not worth the drive if you are far away
- Could use more headliners and/or events