Mauritius most popular for destination weddings

Mauritius is the most popular destination for an exotic wedding with the Maldives taking the top spot as a honeymoon destination, according to the Mail Online.

Destination weddings in Mauritius

Destination weddings in Mauritius

Based on research carried out by Kuoni, the Mail reports that Mauritius has knocked Sri Lanka off the top position thanks to recent changes which have made getting married in Mauritius much simpler.

According to the Mail report, many couples are choosing to marry in Mauritius while the Maldives was the best-selling honeymoon destination for 2013.

In a separate article the Mail Online says a new Kuoni report predicting travel trends for 2014 believes the Maldives will retain its position as the top long-haul destination for British holidaymakers.

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Cookery holidays in Mauritius

With the trend for cookery holidays growing year on year many holidaymakers are looking further afield to expand their culinary horizons.

Cookery holidays in Mauritius

Cookery holidays in Mauritius

Learning to cook the national food of the country you visit on holiday can be a fascinating insight into the place itself.

In a recent article for Gourmet Travel, Laura Archer recommended visitors to Mauritius take cookery classes to get a step ahead with the new trend for Mauritian cuisine.

At Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage guests are offered the opportunity to take cookery lessons with one of our world-class chefs who will introduce them to the use of local spices and flavours.

Classes are two hours long and take place in one of our professional kitchens. They are available to book right up to the day before.

The type of dishes you will learn to cook may include:

  • Creole style fish salad and vegetable samoussa
  • Steamed prawns with kaffir lime, pineapple with spicy salt, tapioca and coconut milk
  • Chicken cooked with garam masala.

Classes at Constance Belle Mare Plage also include a 15-minute session with one of our experienced sommeliers who will offer advice on wines to pair with the dishes you have learnt to cook.

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5 tips for taking kids on a luxury holiday

Travelling with kids can be a great experience, expanding your children’s horizons and giving you a chance to spend real quality time together.

Family fun on a luxury holiday

Family fun on a luxury holiday

So don’t let worries about safety, keeping them entertained or strange food put you off.  Here’s our round up of some of the leading bloggers who have turned travelling with children into a way of life.

1. Tips on packing for a luxury family holiday

Hip Travel Mama claims the biggest mistake we all make is to over pack, particularly when travelling with our kids. One essential she recommends is a kids ‘distraction pack’, which she gives to her children only once they’re through airport security, full of games, colouring crayons, pads and so on.

2. Encourage them to keep a travel journal

Family travel site Ciao Bambino advises getting children engaged with a trip by encouraging them to keep a travel journal. Whether it’s full of crayon pictures for younger kids, or thoughts and pictures for the older ones it’s a great memento of a family trip.

3. Get to know you hotel concierge

Julie Cohn advises Travelingmom readers to get to know the hotel concierge. She claims many parents don’t make the most of the free services the concierge offers including informing, organising and booking family activities.

Family holidays at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Family holidays at Constance Belle Mare Plage

4. Book a trip to celebrate a special occasion

Kim-Marie Evans of Luxury Travel Mom has a tradition of taking her children on a luxury break on their own for their 10th birthday. Taking the children away one at a time gives an opportunity to really connect with them as individuals. Her major tip is don’t feel guilty about your other children (or your partner) – so long as they each get their own turn. She also advises getting the child involved with the planning so that the trip is one you both want.

5. Make travel an educational as well as a fun experience for kids

In an interview for This is my happiness, Paul Johnson of A Luxury Travel Blog says he believes it’s important to talk to your kids about where they’re going, find it on the map, talk about the history and culture of the place so that they get the most out of their trip.

Want to know more about taking your children to Constance?

 

Norwegian TV-personality of the year Eyvind Hellstrøm in Mauritius

At last week’s Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau in Mauritius we caught up with Eyvind Hellstrøm, Norwegian TV-personality of the year in 2013, former 2 Michelin star chef, author of dozens of cook books and member of the Bocus d’Or jury since 1993. Interview by Peter Bojesen of Luxury Aficionados.

Eyvind Hellstrøm

Eyvind Hellstrøm

This is the second year in a row that Eyvind has sat on the jury of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau. I ask him to compare this year’s performance of the chefs to that of 2013. ‘Difficult to say – but maybe the level was marginally higher this year, he answers. ‘Surprisingly, all the vegetarian starters looked almost identical this year, colourful and beautifully presented – almost as if the chefs had copied each other… Luckily, they did not taste the same,’ the charismatic 66-year old Norwegian adds with a smile.

Eyvind tells me that the jury was in agreement regarding the outcome of the competition. ‘One of the very interesting features about the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau is the fact that the jury members come from different cultural backgrounds. A Chinese food critic, two 3-Michelin star chefs, one being Spanish but working in Germany, the other French, Mme Loiseau with her scientific background in microbiology and biochemistry apart from being the reference in French “art de vivre” – and myself, representing the Nordic cuisine. This means that our perspectives in regards to culinary matters often differ, leading to interesting and healthy discussions. When it comes to the actual voting, I see that the French often are somewhat tougher on the candidates than the rest of us, which may be due to the long standing tradition of a strict hierarchy in the kitchens of la Haute Cuisine Française.’

Once again, Eyvind Hellstrøm is impressed by the smooth running of the event. ‘Like last year, the organisation of the Festival – both professionally as well as socially – has been close to perfect,’ he says, ‘and the wonderful atmosphere between the 12 chefs is really quite unique. On a personal level, I have had the pleasure of meeting two new very interesting personalities on the jury, Juan Amador Perez from Spain and Bob Miao from China. So it is not only the chefs taking part in the actual competition who get to establish new, international friendships – it is certainly also an added benefit to the members of the jury.’

Following judging, Eyvind was heading back to Copenhagen for the filming of next season’s edition of Master Chef Norway. ‘Until the end of June, I have to be in Copenhagen every Monday and Thursday to shoot the TV-show, which will mean a lot of travelling back and forth from my home in Oslo,’ he says. But he must be doing something right, as Eyvind recently has been nominated Best Norwegian TV-presenter of the year – an award he won in 2012 as well as in 2013.

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Night diving in the Maldives at Constance Moofushi

Night diving in the Maldives

Night diving in the Maldives

Night dives are a unique experience for many divers, enabling even the most experienced to see the ocean in a new way.

Few places offer such stunning night diving as at Constance Moofushi, located in the Maldives’ South Ari Atoll, and regarded as one of the best diving spots in the world.

What you’ll see by night

At night, diving in shallow waters, with only the light of a dive torch, the multitude of colours from the reef and the life it supports becomes even more apparent, as it stands out against the blackness.

The atmosphere on the reef at night is also very different from that experienced during the day. Predators go hunting, prey flees while other fish sleep quietly in holes or crevices.

Night divers are more likely to see certain species such as the Moray eel or octopuses emerging from their holes to hunt at night.

The vibrant colours of the Indian Ocean

The vibrant colours of the Indian Ocean

Underwater firework display

Some sea creatures use bioluminescence as a defence mechanism by ejecting glowing chemicals from their body to ward off danger. These appear as clouds of light under water, creating a beautiful sight for the night diver.

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Leading female sommelier wins at Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Cheryline Coulon from Constance Le Prince Maurice won this year’s Wine Competition at the 9th edition of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau in Mauritius.

Cheryline Coulon, sommelier at Le Prince Maurice

Cheryline Coulon, sommelier at Le Prince Maurice

Cheryline tells her story of how she’s found her place as one of the rising sommelier stars in Mauritius.

I had the opportunity to start my career in France, in the largest palaces of the Cote d’Azur in Nice in 2006, including the Palais de la Méditerranée, Le Méridien and Sol Cala Di Ajaccio in Corsica.

In 2009 I got a big break when I had the opportunity to learn and share extensively with industry professionals in the champagne bar ‘L’Effervescence’ in the Old Town, Nice. From that moment my love and passion for wine has not stopped evolving.

On my return to Mauritius in 2010, I started working at Constance Belle Mare Plage and then moved onto Le Prince Maurice. Constance is a pioneer in this field, and attaches great importance to food and wine.

The Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau is an extraordinary experience for everyone involved. It’s a trying week both mentally and physically but it also offers unforgettable encounters with Star Chefs from around the world. Do not forget the wine and cuisine walking hand in hand. A good dish should be highlighted by wine and vice versa, this is what is known as the triad.

The festival is also an opportunity for us candidates to excel, to question, to see our limitations and to improve.

I am delighted to have won the title of Best Sommelier Festival Bernard Loiseau 2014 and to have had the honour to represent Constance Le Prince Maurice. I am now taking part in the competition of the Best Sommelier of Mauritius 2014.

In the words of David Biraud (Meilleur Ouvrier de France 2004): “I have known many more defeats than victories, but the important thing is to get up and persevere.”

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