Our latest adventures in Chilliwack included a stop at one of my new favourite Valley gems — Dicken’s British Sweets & Groceries.
Located at 45945 Alexander Ave, this iconic family run business is more than just a destination, it’s the ultimate British experience for all ages.
As we entered the 10,000 square-feet of retail space, which includes U.K. sweets, groceries, souvenirs, loose leaf teas, novelty gifts, a museum and tea room, we realized there was no way we’d be in and out in under an hour as planned.
It was as though we had been transported to jolly ol’ England, minus the pricey airfare and cramped seats.
Much to the delight of both my girls, there was quite the extensive selection of goodies — a colourful feast for the eyes.
After prying the enormous lollipops out of their hands, we browsed through the groceries.
Half of our family lives in England, and some in Ireland, so there were plenty of goodies that we recognized on the shelves, including like Branston pickle (so good on toast!), Coleman’s Mustard, flakey bars from Cadbury and tins of creamy custard.
There’s also a cozy little nook filled with over 150 varieties of loose-leaf teas, china cups, saucers and tea pots for purchase.
Eventually, we made our way over to Oliver’s tea room, which is on site and like nothing we’ve experienced before.
“Wow, I feel like I’m in England right now!” said my mom, scoping out all the scenery.
Every square inch of retail space is filled with U.K trinkets, treasures and memorabilia.
“You can choose to sit wherever you like,” said our friendly waitress, pointing to the various themed dining options.”
Thank goodness we pried those lollipops away – I”m not sure my girls would do well with china cups when all hopped up on sugar.
My mom and I ordered the “Taste of Britain” High Tea, which came with a pot of Yorkshire tea, a selection of petite sandwiches and savoury sweets from the onsite bakery on a tiered silver tray.
Molly and Zoe share the children’s version, dubbed the ‘Tiny Tim’s Children’s Tray, which was the perfect amount for their teenie-tiny tummies.
The food was so fresh, delicious and filling – tasted just like the lunches my nanny Margaret used to make us when I was little. I highly recommend the high-tea experience if you’re in the area.
After lunch, it was time to explore Dicken’s one-of-a-kind museum.
Owners Fred and Anne Halls have spent many years collecting novelty items and memorabilia to create fascinating and factual exhibits, including the history of the British Royal Family and the famous Titanic. There’s even an impressive “war room” with displays from WWII. Everything to illustrate life in Britain as it used to be.
Today, Dicken’s British Museum is a “must-see” for thousands of visitors from all over the Fraser Valley and beyond – even across the border.
After Remembrance Day Dickens is transformed into a Christmas Village, with a variety of holiday scenes to thrill Christmas lovers of all ages.
And guess what? There’s no fee to enter the museum or Christmas Village.
From the conception, it had been the pledge of both Fred and Anne there would be no charge to the museum and is true to the present day. However, donations to the BC WheelChair Foundation are greatly accepted.
I can’t wait to return to this Valley gem around the holidays for another high-tea experience and to see the Christmas display. My girls are going to love it!
ENTER TO WIN A “TASTE OF BRITIAN” HIGH TEA FOR 2
ValleyMom.ca is pleased to partner with Dicken’s British Sweets and Grocery to give away a “Taste of Britain” High Tea experience for 2. To enter, simply tell us below one of the products or highlights of this Valley Gem that you’re excited to discover for yourself. Contest closes Sept. 14 and the winner will be announced on our FACEBOOK page. Good luck!
Contest is Now Closed. Congrats Kathy Pearce!