Moment in ‘Paris’ — A Trip to Soirette…

If you remember my previous posts about macaron jewelry, you will know that I am crazy about these little French pastries.  The funny thing is that I’ve never had a macaron, and I’m not in New York or Paris, the privileged homes of Ladurée, and arguably the final word on the macaron.  Curiosity, determination, and a hearty appetite and tooth for sweets meant that I was going to search my town and backyard for a patisserie who specialised or had a spot for the coveted treats.

I had no luck in Comox.  The Cakebread Artisan Bakery only offered one flavour –a chocolate macaron for $2.00.  My man didn’t think it was worth it, and I had to agree.

In Vancouver, the grass was much greener.  I found Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Café, Bel Café, Thomas Haas, and Murchie’s Tea & Coffee, among others.  However, one shop stood out in particular —Soirette Macarons & Tea.  Having the word ‘macarons’ in it’s name, I figured they knew the little cookies inside and out, and I planned to visit them the next time I was in town.

So I did!  Yesterday, a dear friend and I went on a girly date (acting like ladies who brunch-‘n-lunch… hee hee) and I suggested Soirette as the perfect spot to do just that.  I ate my first macaron, folks!  (Three, really, but I wasn’t counting, just chewing…)

Across the street, it beckoned to us…

We oohed over the gorgeous outdoor seating, and I fanatically snapped photo after photo.  In total, I came away with about 40 snapshots of the place.  What I am sharing with you is a finely edited and curated collection… 😛

We then went inside, to be greeted by this:
How could anyone resist such a sight?  The girls behind the counter were all so friendly and knowledgeable, one can tell that they care.  I’m also grateful to them for allowing me to take so many photos. 🙂
We deliberated over our macarons carefully.  Both M and I are afflicted with the disease of indecisiveness when confronted by such a dazzling multitude of choices, but in the end we narrowed it down to three each.

M chose:

♥ Savoury White… Jasmine?  (I forget the name.)  ((It’s Savoury White Truffle! M has set the matter straight. :)))

♥ Earl Grey (This was her favourite, I believe.)

♥ Cappucino

I picked:

♥ Caramel Fleur de Sel (Some parts tasted like… chocolate? And other parts like caramel.)

♥ Raspberry (Yum!)

♥ Pistachio (Intriguingly delicious.)

We went outside, sat down, and then opened the box with great ceremony.  I tentatively took my first bite, because by this point, I was a bit worked up (over a cookie, I know, I know…) and was worried that I would be disappointed.  I wasn’t, though… and every bite and flavour was divine.  They were, in my friend’s words, ‘just the right size’.  And just the right elegance, too –including the charming little place.  I felt so Audrey Hepburn-ish, sitting outside on a beautiful day, dreaming and enjoying a good bite… and Tiffany’s was only a block or so away.  It was, quite simply, Romantic.

After we had finished the contents of the box, we went back inside to finish it off properly with some tea.  This also gave me the chance to snap away with the camera again.
It is a haven of refinement inside, and the charm extends even into the washroom.  I could come here to share warm moments with friends, or even alone and be just as perfectly happy to sit in a nook and indulge in a good read and a sweet.  The ambiance is conducive to both sharing and quiet reflection.

Our tea came after a few minutes, looking very polished with tiny flower petals scattered on top…
It was definitely a day of firsts, as I tried out ‘London Fog’ for the first time.  What a cozy drink!  I think it has officially taken the Pumpkin Spice Latte down to second place as my favourite autumn sip.

Cardigan:  Simons retro bow jacket

Top:  Simons velvet bow tee

I’m so thrilled that I have finally tasted a macaron, and to have found such a taking little place.  I am absolutely smitten with it, and I look forward to visiting it whenever I need a bit of feminine indulgence and quality time.

What are you waiting for?  If you haven’t been to Soirette yet, drop in and say hello to the ladies at 1433 W Pender Street, Vancouver!


— Miss Cathie


  1. September 20, 2012 / 12:58 pm

    I love this post! The photos are spectacular. 🙂 So bright and cheery; it makes me want to visit you and see all the grand Vancouver sights.

    • Cathie
      September 21, 2012 / 6:40 am

      Rissa, I’d love for you to come to Vancouver, and then we can dust off our Gibson hats and go swanning with a refined air into charming places and have a great good time. 🙂

      London Fogs are the best!! I can’t believe I waited so long to try one. Miss Barista, do you have any recommendations? ^_^ I’d love to expand my tastebuds’ repertoire!

      • September 21, 2012 / 10:39 am

        Something that’s been trendy at our shop lately is the “Dirty Chai.” Not sure how I feel about the name, but it’s a chai with a shot of espresso in it. It tones down the sweetness a bit. 🙂

  2. September 20, 2012 / 12:59 pm

    P.S. Aren’t London Fogs the best? Working at a coffee shop, I guzzle them almost every gray morning we get. 🙂

  3. September 20, 2012 / 9:11 pm

    So quick! 🙂
    I did mean to ask for your thoughts on the London Fog ~ I love a cozy beverage! The Lavender Grey Latte was magnificent. Definitely worth a trip back. I have to agree with Rissa, your pics are great. My fave: The Grand Unveiling.

    ps *whispers* It was a Savoury White Truffle.

    • Cathie
      September 21, 2012 / 6:44 am

      M!! 🙂 I had such a good time with you –hope you did as well. I hope you’re proud of me for valiantly refraining from putting up pictures of your beautiful self. 😉 lol

      The London Fog tastes like a frothy, softly nutty/earthy-creamy cup of Earl Grey with a ‘natural’ sweetness to it, assuming they didn’t add any, since yours seemed to be left for you to suit to your tastes. Hmm… I don’t know how to more accurately describe it, but it’s ‘MMMMMMM’!!!

      • September 23, 2012 / 9:54 pm

        Your description of the Fog sounds heavenly!! And I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a honey-fiend.
        I had a wonderful time with you too! I definitely need more of these charming interludes in my life 😀

  4. September 24, 2012 / 2:24 pm

    pretty photos, love the colours of the macroons (and chairs outside soirette).
    not sure if it would be considered “fine dining” though…
    this is on my list of places to try out soon!

    • Cathie
      September 24, 2012 / 5:52 pm

      Hi Vanessa,

      Thanks for visiting my little spot on the web. 🙂 I wasn’t too sure whether a macaron/pastry shop would be considered fine dining either, but besides not having a dress code or full meal courses, it did have elegant decor, pastries made with care from scratch, and professional, attentive service (to use a definition I found on the web). I just went with it because it made me feel very special. ^_^ Would you happen to have an idea for a better tag? I’m always open to suggestions, and if the right word to describe these sorts of establishments can be found, I would love to use it!

  5. September 26, 2012 / 7:19 pm

    The Parisian macaron is unlike anything else I have had. American chefs can replicate the cookie, but there is a subtlety to the perfumed essence of the filling that is most certainly a french trade secret. Pure bliss. I have been scared to buy macarons in New York because maybe the water is different and it won’t be as perfect as Paris.

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