Learn to cook with the professionals at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

There’s a special cookery class taking place at Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius on Thursday 30 September.

Colourful spices of Mauritius

Colourful spices of Mauritius

Seasoned and novice cooks alike can enjoy a day learning about Mauritian cuisine.

The event will be hosted by two of our chefs, Rajesh and Frederic Goisset, and wine tasting is led by our head sommelier at Belle Mare Plage.

Against the backdrop of the Deer Hunter restaurant, situated at the Legend golf clubhouse, our chefs will reveal some of our island secrets for creating subtle and lingering flavours.

Deer Hunter restaurant at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Deer Hunter restaurant at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Guests will learn about roasting spices using traditional local Mauritian methods, and how to prepare them. One such method involves a rock, known as the roche carrie, which is used to crush and mix the spices.

This relaxed and informative day includes:

  • 2 hour cookery lesson, where guests will make chicken with garam masala
  • Presentation by the Z’épices Experience shop
  • Recipe sharing including traditional methods
  • Wine tasting with our head sommelier
  • Three course lunch dining with the chefs (includes wine, drinks and coffee)
  • Gifts to take home including an apron, recipe CD and diploma for the course

As this special day will be popular, you can avoid disappointment by booking your place in advance. Email us at: info@bellemareplagehotel.com or visit the Constance Belle Mare Plage website to find out more about our luxury hotel.

Discover the Coco de Mer at Vallée de Mai on Praslin Island, Seychelles

Lying in the heart of Praslin Island, Seychelles, is Vallée de Mai  –  a National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the highly revered Coco de Mer seed.

Coco de mer

Coco de Mer is found at Vallee de Mai nature reserve on Praslin Island in the Seychelles

Vallée de Mai is the only place in the world where you’ll find Coco de Mer  - or the sea coconut.

Believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac and fertility symbol, the Coco de Mer is famous for its size and likeness to the female reproductive area.

The seed can weigh up to 30kg and grow to nearly 20 inches in diameter.

General Gordon of Khartoum believed that the prehistoric rainforest at Vallée de Mai was the original site of the Garden of Eden, and that the Coco de Mer was its forbidden fruit.

Today, visitors to the reserve can wander along sheltered pathways beneath the giant palm trees, whose leaves can measure 6m wide and 14 m long. Vallée de Mai is also home to five other endemic palms and fauna, and the rare the Seychelles Black Parrot.

Prince William and his wife the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, were presented with a rare Coco de Mer during their recent honeymoon to the Seychelles.

Find out more about our luxury hotels in the Seychelles, the Constance Ephelia Resort and Constance Lémuria Resort.

2011 Seychelles Regatta

Jeremie Beyou has won the 3rd Seychelles Regatta. The event took place on 21-29 May 2011. Renowned Frenchman Beyou was racing on the Hyundai Boat and came in just 2 seconds ahead of Michel Desjoyeaux on his Nicholas Feuillate Yacht.

Catamaran in the Indian Ocean

Catamaran in the Indian Ocean

Catamarans race from the main island on course to some of Seychelles’ jewel islands. The annual event attracts some of the world’s most experienced sailors and skippers. They’re drawn by the idyllic location and the opportunity to test their skills against the South Easterly trade wind that cuts across the Seychelles between May and September.

Results for the 2011 Seychelles Regatta

  • First: Jeremie Beyou – Boat Hyundai
  • Second: Michel Desjoyeaux – Boat Nicholas Feuillate
  • Third: Francois Gabart – Boat

Find out more about the 2011 Seychelles Regatta

Preserving turtles habitats at Constance Lémuria

The beaches at Constance Lémuria, on Praslin Island, Seychelles, are important nesting sites for the endangered hawksbill and green turtles.

Hawskbill Turtle

Hawskbill turtle,

These majestic creatures return to the same beaches year after year to lay their eggs.

Our turtle programme

To help protect the species and improve their chances of survival, at Constance Lémuria we run a turtle preservation programme.

The success of the programme hinges on the hard work of our Turtle Manager, our work with the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles, and the support of the local community and hotel guests.

Lémuria’s Turtle Man

Our ‘Turtle Man’ is Robert Matombe. During the turtle nesting season from October to February, Robert patrols the beaches each day. He records the female turtles that come up to nest, and identifies which have visited the beaches before.

Turtle tracks in the sand

Turtle tracks in the sand

Robert makes sure that each turtle safely lays her eggs without being disturbed. He also wants the baby turtles to make it safely back down to the sea.

On Praslin Island each visiting female turtle lays about 150 to 200 eggs. Robert marks the location of each nest.

Over the next two months, while the eggs incubate deep in the sand, he keeps an eye on the nest site.

Lémuria – a favourite nesting ground

Thanks to our turtle programme, we’re seeing an increase in the number of nests each year. For the turtles to continue coming, we maintain the beaches in their natural condition.

Ideal conditions for turtle nesting

  • Nesting turtles prefer to nest under the bushy beach vegetation – the shade provides the ideal temperature for the incubation of eggs.
  • Nesting turtles and their offspring need dark beaches. If lights from the hotel are visible on the beach at night, they can frighten female turtles and keep them from coming onto the beach to lay their eggs.
  • Lights confuse hatchlings as they make their way from the nest to the sea. Baby turtles are attracted to the brightest point on the horizon. On a natural beach that instinct will guide them to the sea.
  • Healthy dense beach vegetation acts as a barrier to the light from the hotel and keeps the turtles in the dark. The vegetation also protects the beach from erosion.

Visiting the turtle nesting grounds

Our Turtle Manager can take Constance guests to see the baby turtles move down to the sea. Seeing these primal creatures take their first steps towards the ocean is a truly amazing experience.

Female turtles coming out of the sea

Female turtles coming out of the sea to nest

Tips for turtle watching

To ensure the continued survival of the turtles, here are some tips for how to behave when visiting the nesting beaches, or if you see a turtle unexpectedly.

  • If you see a turtle emerge from the water, stand still. If she’s just coming out of the sea, let her move past you to a point where she can’t see you.
  • The best spot for watching turtles is either from a distance where you’re shielded by vegetation, or directly behind the turtle out of her field of vision.
  • Always make sure you can’t see the turtle’s eyes.
  • Don’t approach the turtle – keep at least 3 m away.
  • Speak quietly – a whisper is best.
  • Don’t touch the turtle – they don’t enjoy being petted.
  • Don’t take flash photography.
  • Don’t block the turtle’s passage back to the sea.
  • Report any turtle sightings to the Constance Lémuria Resort Turtle Officers.

Find out more about the work we’re doing to protect the environment at Constance hotels.

Recipe: The ultimate spare ribs from Chef Stuart Blair – Constance Moofushi

Alizee restaurant, Constance Moofushi, Seychelles

Relaxed barefoot chic at Constance Moofushi's Alizee restaurant, Maldives

Barefoot luxury is what Constance Moofushi Resort, Maldives is all about.

Alizee restaurant is serving simple, generously sized dishes made out of the best produce – in other words, ‘bare food’.

Stuart Blair, the executive chef at Moofushi, has brought back from his native Australia a very special recipe for spare ribs.

The ultimate Moofushi spare ribs

The ultimate Moofushi spare ribs

No cutlery is needed. At Moofushi, you’re given warm wet towels regularly during the meal to clean your hands.

Chef Stuart never shares his recipes with anyone. But he made an exception… just for you.

Ingredients

  • 400g pork ribs

For the marinade:

  • 220g soft brown sugar
  • 70ml chilli sauce
  • 120ml dark rum
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 60ml tomato ketchup
  • 60ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3g dry mustard
  • Black pepper to taste

Vegetables to serve:

  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 1 medium courgette, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, cut into wedge shapes
  • 6 Asparagus
  • Cauliflower, a handful of the flowers

1. Clean and prepare the ribs.
2. For the marinade – combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until all ingredients have dissolved. Cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Marinate the pork ribs for 12 hours before cooking.
4. For the prepared vegetables – sprinkle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Chargrill until ready.
4. Chargrill the pork ribs until cooked through, and serve hot.

Let us know how you get on and send us your comments and pictures of your own spare ribs.

You can get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

Recipe: Lemon compote with star anise and vanilla

This week’s delicious recipe from the Constance kitchens is Lemon compote with star anise and vanilla. It’s the perfect partner for seafood or duck.

Star anise

Star anise is a key ingredient for Mauritian lemon compote

Let us know how you get on and send us your comments and pictures of your own lemon compote.

You can get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 3 1/2hours

Ingredients

  • 1 kg lemons
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 5 star anise
  • 500g sugar
  • pinch of salt

1. Brush lemons under cold running water and cut 4 vertical slits into each of them.
2. Cook them for 4 minutes in boiling salted water, then put them into iced water. Do this three times to remove any bitter taste.
3. Cut the lemons in 4, remove seeds. Then cut the lemons into wedges, and then dice them.
4. Put the diced lemons in a saucepan, add 1 litre of water, the vanilla, star anise and sugar Cook on low heat for 3 hours.
5. Allow to cool and keep in the fridge until needed.