cafe interior

Simply French Café is a lovely space for coffee, pastries, or a light lunch right off Alma at West 10th Avenue. Scottish-born Isobel owned Truffles Bistro in Kitsilano for 15 years. She and her husband sold the bistro, later spending six months in France together with their two teenage daughters.

Simply French Cafe Macaron Class-15

While living in France, Isobel took a macaron making course; upon the family’s return to Vancouver, she was inspired to open a café. Simply French Café has been going strong for just over three years, bringing a slice of je ne sais quoi to Point Grey.

Simply French Cafe Macaron Class-3

Aside from a cozy interior filled with antique chandeliers and unique objects d’art, Isobel (and Sara, one of her daughters) teach an evening macaron class from Monday to Friday (after January, the courses will run Monday through Thursday, as Sara will be back at SFU studying for a criminology degree).

Simply French Cafe Macaron Class-4

I was invited to take one of their very popular French macaron making classes (currently booked into spring 2013!) this week. The two hour course is both instructional and hands-on, with students able to experiment with forming the base cookies as well as filling the macarons.

Simply French Cafe Macaron Class-5 Simply French Cafe Macaron Class-6 Simply French Cafe Macaron Class-12 Simply French Cafe Macaron Class-7 Simply French Cafe Macaron Class-8

We created two different macaron cookie colours as well as two different fillings.

Simply French Cafe Macaron Class-10

Classes are limited to 12 students. We were given recipes as well as a lot of great tips on the subtleties behind macaron creation.

Simply French Cafe Macaron Class-17

The most important aspects of making these French delicacies are precise measurement of ingredients, making sure that the egg whites are fully stiff (Sara turned the bowl upside down to demonstrate this), and the right amount of time to allow the cookies to settle before baking.

Simply French Cafe Macaron Class-11

I loved watching Sara tap the trays against the old wood working table, in an instant making our less-than-perfect circles uniform in size and shape.

Simply French Cafe Macaron Class-14

During the cookies’ sitting stage, Isobel brought out a few divine creations from the bakery along with mimosas and iced tea, inviting conversation as well as anticipation for the finished result.

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Luckily, the filling is much easier and less precise to prepare. I was amazed at how easy it is to create macarons, and hope to try making them at home. It’s a matter of patience and practice. We each wrapped up six macarons in cellophane with ribbon to take home and enjoy.

Simply French Cafe Macaron Class-20

If you’re interested in taking a baking class at Simply French Café, the next one up is truffle making. After sampling some of Isobel’s rich truffles, I’d highly recommend signing up.

Simply French Cafe Macaron Class-2

Coffee, sandwiches, soups, salads and baked goods are all available during cafe hours (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm; weekends 10 am to 5 pm). There’s also a gift shop selling jewellery and other whimsical items. Simply French Café is located at 3742 West 10th Avenue in Vancouver.


  • Comment by Debra — October 24, 2013 @ 11:01 am

    Do you still offer macaron classes?

  • Comment by Ariane Colenbrander — October 24, 2013 @ 11:04 am

    Hi, it’s not me offering the classes. Visit the website for details on what they’re currently offering; thanks!

  • Comment by connie — April 5, 2014 @ 9:30 pm

    If you are interested in learning the secrets of baking authentic Parisian macarons from a Le Cordon Bleu pastry chef trained in Paris, check out

  • Comment by Ariane Colenbrander — April 5, 2014 @ 11:06 pm

    Thanks Connie, for bringing that to the attention of my readers!

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