Ladner is a city filled with charm and personality. While things seem to move a bit slower, the city has done a commendable job at preserving their local identity considering it is only twenty minutes away from downtown Vancouver. You’ll get the small town feeling but with adjacent access to Vancouver, Delta, Surrey, Richmond and the US border, it really provides the opportunity to delve into city life if and when you fancy.
Clair (of Clair’s B&B who you’ll read more about below) shared some pretty unique stories about organic egg farms, local honey and a vegetable store where you’ll normally find the owner operator behind the counter. . .but if he’s not there, you simply count and weigh up your product and leave money in the little box (!) To that end, small businesses in Ladner are very much so shaped and molded by their owners.
One example of that is Sharkey’s Seafood Bar and Grill located in Ladner’s Landing (4953 Chrisholm St) which has been a local’s favourite since 1992. Owner Andreas has taken over the reins from his father and it’s clearly a spot where all of the locals gather on a regular basis.
We took part in the Dine, Stay and Discover Ladner package which is being offered in partnership with Sharkey’s and Clair’s Bed and Breakfast where visitors are offered a three course dinner, a night’s stay and breakfast for $189.99. It runs now until Labour Day so plenty of opportunity to explore Ladner in the spring and summer months.
An extra spicy virgin and oyster caesars
At Sharkey’s, they offer fresh seafood, a killer list of caesars (oyster, chipotle, maple bacon, horseradish and more), grilled dishes and meats. We started with some fresh oysters that were large, meaty and very fresh. Probably pulled from a local fisherman’s boat earlier that day. The poutine was one of our favourite dishes and although some poutine snobs may argue that it wasn’t an authentic Quebecois poutine, it was darn delicious.
1. The Dine & Stay Dinner Menu 2. The caesar menu with 10 tasty variation on Canada’s favourite cocktail 3. Poutine with a healthy dollop of sour creme 4. Meaty oysters definitely fresh from the water
1. The Ladner Express is white wine and herb butter broth with mussels, clams and shrimp 2. The Lander Express accompanied with two rolls for dipping 3. Baby back ribs and rice 4. Pecan caramel cake
For our mains, I had the Ladner Express which was steamed mussels, clams and shrimp in a white wine and herb butter sauce. The seafood was very fresh and sauce was flavourful and a win according to my taste buds. It was the perfect size for dinner and the two rolls that came with it gave it that carb accompaniment that I always look for.
My dining partner had the baby back ribs which he chose to have with rice. The ribs were slow roasted, braised then finished off on the grill but could have used some more time in the cooking process as they weren’t fall off the bone tender. Finally, we shared a caramel fudge pecan torte that finished off the evening on a sweet note. A bit too decadent for my taste, but my dining partner ate it up.
After dinner, we ventured a short drive over to Clair’s Bed and Breakfast (4919 48th Avenue) otherwise known as Ladner’s spare bedroom according to the lovely proprietor Clair. The bed and breakfast is a six suite inn, that is looked after with a lot of love. The heritage home has no shortage of charm, and it was spic and span clean.
1. A warm welcome sign 2. The Parlour 3. The Garnet Room 4. The Peridot Room (with two twin beds)
Breakfast though, was the true star of the experience where Clair fixed us quite the feast. After some coffee, and orange or apple juice, we started off with a take on dessert. Strawberries with some lime juice and whipped cream – simple but tasty.
The main star was fresh salmon baked in phyllo pastry, and perfectly grilled tomato and mushrooms. The salmon we learned was dropped off the night before by Clair’s fisherman friend – talk about freshness!
After chatting with Clair over breakfast, we learned that has she owned the inn for over 10 years now and has been carefully revamping it corner by corner since. She’s done all the fixing up herself as painting and renovations come natural for this master DIY-er. After growing up on a island with no electricity and running water, she’s learned how to tackle and solve any home renovation project from tiling, to painting and even sewing all of her own bedding. In her free time, she gardens and also is THE master thrift store shopper and you’ll see some of her treasures displayed in the inn.
After breakfast, we decided to explore the city. We ventured over into Delta’s to visit the Reifel Bird Sanctuary where admission for adults was $5 and $1 for a bag of bird feed. $11 later, we were roaming the bird sanctuary where dozens and dozens of ducks, Canadian Geese and other bird species roam free. Being slightly afraid of birds, it was quite the experience as these guys swarm to you as soon as you drop some seeds.
Overcoming my fear and feeding ducks at Reifel Bird Sanctuary
Overall, a great 24 hours in Ladner tasting some delicious food, indulging at a charming heritage home and feeding ducks. The Dine, Stay and Discover Ladner package is being offered now (three course dinner, overnight stay and breakfast) for $189.99 until Labour Day.
Address: 4953 Chrisholm St, Ladner, B.C.
Address: 4919 – 48th Avenue, Ladner, B.C.