Weekly roundup, 23-31 July 2011

This weekly feature offers a roundup of the content on our blog from the past week, in case you missed anything. Split into categories, it’s another way for you to easily find the posts of value to you.

Culinary

Smoked marlin and palm heart

Smoked marlin and palm heart

Recipe: Smoked marlin and Pejipaye fresh heart of palm tree with passion fruit dressing

Want to create some of our chefs’ amazing dishes yourself at home? Every Friday, we post some of the most amazing, delicious and popular recipes online. This week Michael Scioli, our Executive Chef at Constance Le Prince Maurice shares one of his superb fish dishes.

Insider tips

Top 3 beauty tips for beautiful hands

The condition of your hands can really reveal your age if you don’t take care of them. Sophie Demaret, our Spa Manager at Constance Le Prince Maurice, gives her top 3 tips to bring your hands back to their youthful beauty again.

News and events

Chefs at Constance Halaveli scoop up medals at Hotel Asia 2011

Our fabulous chefs at Constance Halaveli brought back 14 medals from the recent Hotel Asia 2011 Culinary Challenge. They won 5 gold medals and came 1st in the Live Hot Cooking Beef category. Find out more about their well-deserved win.

Inspiration

Local children playing on Pomponnette beach

Local children playing on Pomponnette beach

Top 10 beaches in Mauritius

Hundreds of fabulous beaches hug the shoreline around Mauritius. We’ve chosen our top 10 around the island. Let us know if you agree.

Holiday inspiration: wildlife of the Seychelles

As well as being one of the world’s most desirable honeymoon destinations, the Seychelles is rich in flora and fauna that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Behind the scenes

The essence of the Constance Hotels Experience

Constance Hotels are every bit as special as they hype would have you believe. Find out what makes these Indian Ocean get-aways so unique.

Recipe: Smoked marlin and Pejipaye fresh heart of palm tree with passion fruit dressing

Smoked marlin and heart of palm from Constance Hotels Experience

Smoked marlin and heart of palm from Constance Hotels Experience

Fresh heart of palm tree is an Indian Ocean delicacy. Michael Scioli, our Executive Chef at Constance Le Prince Maurice, shares with you one of his best recipes made out of fresh palmiste – ‘Cigars’ of smoked marlin and Pejipaye fresh heart of palm tree, with passion fruit dressing.

Serves 4 

Ingredients

For the palmheart:

  • 130g thinly diced fresh Pejibaye heart of palm
  • 40g fresh lemon-flavoured mayonnaise
  • 10g grated horseradish
  • 5g grain mustard
  • 4g gelatine leaves
  • 4g chopped chives
  • 1g salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
 

For the marlin and passion fruit dressing:

  • 130g smoked marlin in slices
  • 30g passion fruit coulis
  • 2g maïzena
  • Rucola salad leaf
  • 8ml extra virgin olive oil

1. Put the gelatine in cold water. Press the gelatine and melt in a bain-marie.
2. Remove the gelatine from the bain-marie, add the horseradish, mustard, mayonnaise, chives, salt and pepper.
3. Add the heart of palmtree, mix well and keep at room temperature.
4. Divide the marlin into 4 servings.
5. On a sheet of cling film, lay out the marlin in a rectangular shape, spread a quarter of the mix of palm tree, then roll as a cigar with the cling film.
6. Keep in the fridge for at least 5 hours.
7. Dilute the maizena with a few drops of water.
8. Bring the passion fruit coulis to the boil, then thicken with the maizena.
9. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

You can also purchase the Constance Prince Maurice recipe book from our online store.

Chefs at Constance Halaveli scoop up medals at Hotel Asia 2011

Our chefs at Constance Halaveli, Maldives, have won a remarkable 14 medals at Hotel Asia 2011 Culinary Challenge. The event took place in Male, Maldives from 14-16 July.

Our winning team at Hotel Asia 2011

Our winning team at Hotel Asia 2011

Executive Chef at Constance Halaveli,  Glen Cooper doesn’t do things by half. When he decided to line up his team for the most important culinary competition in the Maldives, he had one clear goal in mind – to make a strong impression.

 The results speak for themselves:

  • 5 Gold Medals
  • 3 Silver Medals
  • 5 Bronze Medals
  • 1 Merit Award in carving
  • 1st Overall in Live Hot Cooking Beef (out of 27 entries)
  • 2nd Overall in Live Hot Cooking Poultry (out of 22 entries)
  • 2nd Overall in Live Hot Appetizers (out of 25 entries)
  • 3rd Overall in Live Plated Desserts (out of 36 entries)

Our chefs who made up the team were Saroj, Upul, Pradeep, Sheran, Durga, Siyaful, Nuwan #1, Nuwan #2 and Janaka.

Congratulations and well done boys!

Top 3 beauty tips for beautiful hands

Beauty products at Spa Constance

Beauty products at Spa Constance

Our hands and nails quickly show signs of ageing if we don’t take care of them. Hands lack fat and sebum, which makes them very sensitive to external factors including water, chemicals, sun and cold weather.

After your face, people tend to notice your hands. Get them back in top condition with these simple tips from Sophie Demaret, Spa Manager at Constance Le Prince Maurice in Mauritius.

 1. Hand massage and moisturise

Use a neutral Ph soap. Dry your hands carefully and apply a moisturiser. The best way to do this is to gently massage your fingers and thumb, and then the palm of your hand. Don’t forget to relax!

Oil in glass bottles

Oil in glass bottles

2. Reinvigorating warm oil bath

If your hands are very dry or damaged, give them a treat with a warm argan oil or olive oil bath.

Model and author Sophie Dahl is a fan of argan oil – the latest beauty must-have, found in South western Morocco. Argan oil is rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants. It also contains eight essential fatty acids and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Gently warm the oil and place in a deep bowl. Rest your hands in the oil bath for at least 10 minutes. Then pat them dry with a soft towel.

3. Cellophane wrap

If your hands need some super-deluxe treatment, wrap them in cellophane after the warm oil bath and rest for a further 15-20 minutes. You’ll be amazed at the results.

We’ll be posting regular spa, beauty and health tips here so watch this space.

The essence of the Constance Hotels Experience

Constance Hotels Experience resorts are elegant and beautifully proportioned, enveloping you in a luxury that’s relaxed and refined.

Lobby at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Lobby at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

As you wander through one our resorts, you feel you’re experiencing luxury on every level. Everything is designed to offer the ultimate sensory experience as you take in the landscape, people, décor and food.

Luxury on a big scale

There’s nothing small scale about a Constance hotel. Bedrooms are beautifully proportioned – huge beds, pillows placed enticingly, enormous windows that take in the view. Bathrooms come with double sinks, massive baths, walk-in showers and perfect lighting.

Poolside view at Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

Poolside view at Constance Ephelia

At each resort you’ll find a choice of swimming pools, bars and restaurants – all offering a different atmosphere. Music gently rolls out – loud enough to create a vibe but not intrusive.

Culinary spirit

In the restaurants, Constance offers its guests a taste of the Constance culinary spirit. Dishes are beautifully prepared, often around one spice or key ingredient, and our sommeliers serve wines from around the world.

Snorkelling in the Maldives

Snorkelling in the Maldives

Spa, sport and island tours

You can spend your days relaxing by the pool, on the beach, trying out watersports and diving, golf or spa, tennis, fitness studio or take an island tour. Many activities are offered free of charge.

Constance staff

There’s something intuitive about the level of service that guests receive at a Constance hotel. There’s a warmth and generosity of spirit in the staff as they greet you. And as the days pass you awaken to a sense of belonging.

These are joy-filled places, designed to meet your every need. In that sense they are totally indulgent. But there’s a sincerity to them that takes the service and the experience to another level.

Find out more about some of our Constance hotels:

Top 10 beaches in Mauritius

Situated in the Indian Ocean, the island of Mauritius is surrounded by turquoise sea, flanked by hundreds of white sand beaches.

Here’s our list of the top 10 must-see beaches in Mauritius.

Grand Baie beach, Mauritius

Grand Baie beach, Mauritius

1. Grand Baie

On the sheltered north coast, Grand Baie is teeming with hotels, restaurants and shops. It may not be the quiet spot it once was but it’s definitely worth a visit and has a magnificent beach. You can enjoy watersports and deep sea fishing from here too.

2. Péreybère

One of the most popular places for swimming on the island is the northern beach of Péreybère. Popular at weekends with local Mauritians, the water is beautifully clear.

3. La Cuvette

Close to Péreybère is this gem of a beach. It’s a small, horse-shoe shaped beach with glass-like water. There are shady spots under the trees dotted along the top edge of the sand. Get here early at the weekend as it’s popular with local people.

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

4. Belle Mare Plage

On the peaceful East coast is the beach belonging to Constance Belle Mare Plage. This long stretch of beach gently curves around the bay, and faces directly out to the reef beyond. The water is calm for swimming. Catch amazing sunrises from here if you’re up early enough, and at night you can enjoy some fabulous star gazing.

5. Roche Noires

North of Belle Mare Plage along the East coast is the beach of Roche Noires. Black volcanic rocks line part of the water’s edge, wedged deep into a long stretch of white sand. Calm water makes it safe for swimming. The east coast gets the offshore winds in the winter, making it a good spot for sailing.

6. Blue Bay

In the south-east of the island, near the airport, is the well-known Blue Bay beach. Soft sand, clear calm water and shady spots make this beach very popular at the weekend. Further along the beach are some rocks, from where you can head into the water for some great snorkelling. 

Gris Gris beach, Mauritius

Gris Gris beach, Mauritius

7. Gris Gris

The south of the island is home to the most dramatic beaches on the island. Top of these is the breathtakingly beautiful Gris Gris. From the cliffs above you can look down to the wide stretch of sand below, and the large waves as they come pounding into the shore. It’s not safe to swim here but walk along the shell-filled beach and shoreline, and feel your spirit soar.

8. Pomponnette

Children playing on Pomponnette beach

Children playing on Pomponnette beach

Drive west along a winding road through small fishing villages with colourful houses, verdant vegetation and Hindu temples until you reach the long beach of Pomponnette. Untouristy and quiet, the water’s calmer here than at Gris Gris but still be careful when swimming.

9. Flic en Flac

This small village on the West coast is popular with tourists. You’ll find a growing hotel and restaurant trade, as well as dolphin watching tours. The white sand beach is popular at the weekend.

Surfers at Tamarin Bay

Surfers at Tamarin Bay

10. Tamarin

North  along the West coast is Tamarin bay. Tamarin isn’t protected by the reef, so the sea is rougher here than at Flic en Flac. But that makes it ideal for surfing, and long walks along the sand. The Tamarin river forms an estuary here, backed by mountains to the East.