7 tips and tricks for perfect sushi

Sushi master at Constance Halaveli, Ferdinand Nono gives his tips and tricks to get your sushi making technique spot-on.

Ferdinand Nono

Ferdinand Nono

1. When making sushi, there are 3 main points to remember - colour, flavour and texture.

2. Try to pick contrasting colours. This is important because it makes the sushi appear vibrant and interesting. Use a rich red tuna beside a yellow omelette, or next to the green hues of an avocado or a cucumber.

3. Remember to use interesting flavours in your sushi. Sushi is traditionally very simple, but don’t let that fool you: simple foods are enjoyable because they use a few complimentary flavours. Experiment with some good fish and vegetables and don’t be scared to try unusual ingredients.

4. Texture is crucial to a good piece of sushi. You should use a mixture of ingredients that are soft, chewy and crunchy and find a balance between them on your sushi. When in doubt, put an avocado in the roll as it adds a nice and creamy, complimentary texture to any sushi.

5. Remember the key to good sushi is contrasting colours, unique flavours and exciting textures.  If you try to get all 3 characteristics into each sushi roll, you are well on your way to becoming a Master.

6. Sushi rolls are presented in many ways depending on the style of the sushi but the overriding rule of presentation is simplicity. All of the ingredients used should be of good enough quality to speak for themselves. Don’t over-garnish the sushi plate or pile too much sushi onto one plate. Anything that detracts from the main event – the sushi – should be removed or reorganised.

7. Bear in mind that the sushi itself is a work of art, and it needs to be treated as such. Try to arrange your plates with only 1 or 2 rolls each, and include just a little wasabi and ginger to garnish. Very simple and elegant.

Constance Hot List – the top tables in Paris right now

If you’re heading over to Paris for a long weekend, check out these top tables in the French capital as recommended by Bruno Le Gac, our leading gastro connoisseur and Resident Manager at Constance Belle Mare Plage.

Eiffel Tower at night

Eiffel Tower at night

1. Akrame

A young and very creative chef has quickly become the talk of the town. New kid on the block Kei Kobayashi, Japanese chef with top training in France, has opened a remarkable table which is getting more successful by the day.

2. Thoumieux

Cuisine superstar Jean-François Piège is hotter than ever with his restaurant located on the first floor of his brasserie Thoumieux. So sought after – you’ll be lucky to get a table.

3. Le Chateaubriand

Since Iñaki Aispitarte at Le Chateaubriand was voted one of the top restaurants in France, he unplugged his phone… Every single American coming to Paris wants to book. Hotel concierges don’t even bother to call any more. Just go there and check if a seat is available. If you are (very) lucky, you’ll get the ultimate creative-on beat bistro experience.

4.  Bristol and Mini Palais

Masterchef 3 Michelin stars Eric Frechon at Bristol is as the top of his game. And don’t miss his second restaurant: Mini Palais.

5. Le Cinq at George V

Last but not least, Chef Eric Briffard at restaurant Le Cinq in George V is doing amazing things. A dinner there, welcomed by master sommelier Eric Beaumard, is a pleasure that will last in your memory for a long time.

What do you think?

What are you recommendations for eating out in Paris? Post your comments here or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Constance Hotels – where glamour meets pure escape

Stunning island locations, dotted across the Indian Ocean, make the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable holiday.

Constance Moofushi Resort, Maldives

Constance Moofushi

Add to this the Constance blend of first-rate service and high functioning luxury, and you have 7 exquisite resorts that you’ll want to visit time and time again.

From comments on Facebook and Twitter we know that for many of our guests, there’s often one resort that really captures their heart.

Here’s a glimpse into the world that makes Constance Hotels so special.

1. Location

Seychelles, Maldives, Mauritius and Madagascar- these paradise islands conjure up images of romance, sun-filled days and warm tropical nights.

At Constance we’ve gone one step further – seeking out the best locations on each island to create our luxury resorts.

Anse Georgette at Constance Lemuria

Anse Georgette, Constance Lemuria Resort

Beautiful Anse Georgette

On the island of Praslin, Constance Lemuria is nestled next to the pristine beach of Anse Georgette. Regularly featured in lists of the top 10 beaches in the world, Anse Georgette offers super-soft white sand, warm clear sea and not a sun-lounger, bar or restaurant in sight. This is nature at its very best.

If you want to escape for the day to this paradise, we can arrange for a beach picnic to be brought to you for when you’re feeling peckish.

World-class diving at Constance Moofushi

Widely regarded as one of the best diving spots in the world, Constance Moofushi in the South Ari Atoll is a mecca for anyone wanting to experience the full technicolor beauty of the underwater world of the Maldives.

Moofushi is one of the few resorts in the Maldives to be surrounded by a spectacular house reef.

The main reef is just a few metres off the beach, rich with marine life and diverse coral habitats. Visibility is fantastic, usually between 20 and 25 metres, with a slow to moderate current creating perfect diving conditions.

Migratory ocean species such as mantas, whale sharks, dolphins and sea eagles all pass by along with a diverse array of fish including stingrays, sea cucumbers, lionfish, snappers and eels.

Find out more about diving at Constance Moofushi.

2. Delicious food and rare wines

Special beach dinner at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Special beach dinner at Le Prince Maurice

At each of the restaurants and bars in our 7 resorts, you’ll find first-class chefs from around the world creating culinary delights that draw inspiration from local and international dishes.

Special meals in special locations at all our resorts

We also offer unique private dining experiences that allow you to enjoy a wonderful meal in a truly exotic location.

  • Dine under the stars on the beach at Constance Halaveli, surrounded by flowers and flaming torches. Your meal is prepared by your own chef and served by your personal butler.
  • Family in-villa dining – for those evenings when you or your kids just don’t want to eat in a restaurant, we can provide in-villa dining. Great choice is available from the menu, or you can ask our chefs for something different. This relaxed dining experience takes the frazzle out of family eating when everyone’s tired from a long day’s play in the sunshine.
  • At Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar we serve fish and seafood as fresh as you’ll find anywhere in the world. You can choose to dine with other guests at the convivial main restaurant or enjoy a fresh seafood platter on the beach as you watch the sun go down.

Wines from around the world

You may not expect to find rare wines at a resort in the middle of the Indian Ocean but our sommeliers travel the world to keep our wine cellars stocked with the finest old and new world wines. There’s a huge selection, from a crisp white to enjoy by the beach while the sun goes down to rare vintage heady reds, perfect for a celebration dinner.

At Constance Halaveli, our renowned wine collection features nearly 20,000 bottles of old and new world wine from 800 different varieties.

Find out more about the culinary spirit at Constance Hotels.

3. Top knotch spas

Spa villa at Constance Ephelia

Spa villa at Constance Ephelia

If you’re in need of a system re-boot, head to one of our spas where we’ll help to restore your sense of well-being.

Leading spa brands

We’ve created our own fabulous range of Spa de Constance holistic products, and partnered with some of the best beauty and spa brands in the world.

  • Valmont Spa, Ila Spa and Spa de Constance – Halaveli
  • Shiseido and Spa de Constance – Belle Mare Plage, Ephelia, Lemuria
  • Guerlain and Spa de Constance – Le Prince Maurice
  • Spa de Constance – Moofushi and Lodge Tsarabanjina

Spa village and villas at Constance Ephelia

If you’re looking to combine a holiday in paradise with a spa-escape, Constance Ephelia in the Seychelles offers the perfect solution. Our spa villas offer the luxury of having your own private spa set in the heart of your villa.

Roll out of bed in the morning and take a few steps to your spa where one of our therapists will give you a treatment of your choice. Each spa villa comes with a double treatment room, hot tub, steam shower and laconarium (sauna/hammam). The spa opens onto a private garden and swimming pool. Bliss.

4. Personal service

Chef serving family at Constance Hotels

Service with a smile at Constance

At Constance Hotels, our guests are known by their name not their room number.

Many of our guests return year after year because they’ve fallen in love with one of our resorts, and because they know that a holiday at Constance gives a feeling of having chanced upon somewhere really very special – it’s the essence of the Constance Hotels Experience.

Fantastic staff

Reviews on Trip Advisor speak for themselves – time and again people praise our staff’s ability to attend to detail while only being there when guests want them to be there, and not when they don’t.

‘The genuine warmth and kindness from all the staff made us feel very special and the candlelit dinner on the evening of our anniversary was totally amazing.’ Constance Le Prince Maurice on Trip Advisor

‘This hotel offered everything we could have hoped for and more. The service was excellent and the staff always went over and above what was expected. Everyone was really friendly from the reception to the dining room to the maintenance.’ Constance Moofushi on Trip Advisor

5. Dream destination weddings and honeymoons

Wedding couple on a boat at Constance Moofushi

Wedding at Moofushi

Destination weddings are a big trend again this year, and at Constance Hotels we go out of our way to make sure your big day is as perfect as you dreamed it would be. Our wedding planners work with you to organise the detail, from pre-wedding spa treatments, flowers, champagne, dinner, and a petal-strewn bath, to a wonderful morning-after breakfast.

Find out more about dream weddings at Constance Hotels.

Perfect honeymoons

Many couples choose Constance Hotels as the destination for one of the most important holidays of their lives. There’s much to appeal to honeymooners from the beauty of the landscape and the allure of a water villa on stilts, to fabulous food and cocktails, and the intimacy of our suites complete with huge beds and baths big enough for two.

Read more about honeymoons at Constance Hotels.

Romance at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Actors Claire Forlani and Dougray Scott travelled to Constance Le Prince Maurice earlier this year. In Harper’s Bazaar, Forlani revealed the resort was the scene of ‘one of the most romantic nights ever’ with her husband.

6. Golf

Legend golf course, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Legend golf course

If you’re looking to combine your enthusiasm for a few rounds on the green with a luxury holiday, you won’t have to compromise on the quality of either at Constance.

MCB Tour Championship – Constance Belle Mare Plage and Le Prince Maurice

At our resorts in Mauritius, you’ll find 2 championship 18-hole golf courses: the Legend and the Links. Every year in December, these courses set the stage for the MCB Tour Championship, the season-ending big finale in the European Senior Tour Championship.

The only golf course in the Seychelles – Constance Lemuria

At Constance Lemuria, you’ll find the only golf course in the Seychelles archipelago. This 18-hole course, par 70, covers an area of 5580 metres with magnificent scenery and views of 3 spectacular beaches. There’s no charge to play for guests of Constance Lemuria.

Have you joined our Facebook community yet?

Visit us on Facebook to find out more about Constance Hotels, and what our guests think about each of our resorts.

And you can follow us on Twitter to get the latest news and updates @constancehotels.

Visit our website to find out more about Constance Hotels, including booking your holiday online.

Top 5 reasons to go to Madagascar right now

If you’re looking for the perfect place to escape to right now, here are 5 great reasons to consider Madagascar.

1. Weather

Beach at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina

Beach at Lodge Tsarabanjina

Good weather ranks high on most people’s holiday wish list and from April-November, the weather in Madagascar is at its best.

Not too hot but still warm and sunny, diving conditions are excellent. Add in opportunities for sight-seeing at the world-renowned national parks, and the fabulous beaches at Lodge Tsarabanjina and you have a heady combination of paradise beach holiday mixed with exotic island escape.

2. Wildlife

Madagascar has long been known for its lemurs. The 33 species, all endemic to the island, include the ring-tailed lemur and Sifakas, or dancing lemurs.

In 2011, David Attenborough’s series on Madagascar put many other amazing creatures and land formations into the spotlight.

Home to some of the world’s rarest animals, 80% of the island’s plants and animals can’t be found anywhere else on the planet.

Read more about Wildlife of Madagascar.

3. Diving

Clown fish

Clown fish

Vibrant ocean life, clear warm water and unusual underwater rock formations make Madagascar a diver’s paradise.

Off the coast at Lodge Tsarabanjina, there are a number of dive sites accessible by boat for beginners to more experienced divers.

At the Four Brothers site, you’ll find 4 small volcanic islets teeming with fish, while the Tetons is a labyrinth of granite slabs, corridors and grottoes. Expect to see jack fish, scorpion fish, turtles, sponge gardens, angel fish and many many more.

Read more about the Top 5 diving sites off Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar.

4. Fresh, local food

Fresh, local produce features prominently on the menu at Lodge Tsarabanjina.

As Tsarabanjina, we use almost exclusively local products. The quality of the fruit and vegetables is fantastic – we buy great quality food from small farmers. Freshly caught fish and lobster is the norm here, and you can try a whole range of fish you may not normally see in other 5* luxury resorts.

Read more about regional and sustainable food at Constance

5. Barefoot and digital free

Restaurant and bar at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina

Restaurant and bar at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina

The latest trend for no technology holidays took off in a big way this year. On Madagascar you can turn off, tune out and embrace a simpler way of life.

The emphasis at Tsarabanjina is on relaxation and luxury – the only noises you’ll hear are the waves and the birds. Go bare foot, even in our bar, and enjoy the sand beneath your feet.

With stunning sunsets, a small house of your own on the beach and healthy and delicious food, you’ll truly enjoy the exclusive experience of a lifetime.

Visit the Constance Tsarabanjina website to find out more and don’t miss our Spotlight on Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina.

Top 8 washbag goodies to take on holiday

If you’re getting ready to jet off to the Indian Ocean or beyond, take a look at these hair and skincare favourites from InStyle’s 100 Best Beauty Buys 2012 to keep you looking and feeling fabulous on your holiday.

North Beach, Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles

North Beach, Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles

Pre-holiday skincare treats

1. Body exfoliator

Prep your skin so it’s glowing and polished with the delicious smelling Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish from REN.

2. Self-tan

Add some colour to wintery looking skin with the brilliant Self Tan Bronzing Mousse from  St Tropez. After exfoliating, use a moisturiser before applying the mousse sparingly.

In-flight lovelies

3. Eye de-puffer

Long-haul flights cause the skin to dehydrate, particularly the delicate area around the eyes. Origins’ No Puffery Cooling Mask for Puffy Eyes is tucked into the washbags of beauty insiders for good reason.

4. Wipe-off cleanser

Cleanse your skin before catching up on your beauty sleep, and you’ll wake up looking more refreshed. You only need a small amount of Lancôme’s Eau Micellaire Douceur to do the job.

5. Skin perfector

Constance Moofushi Resort, Maldives

Constance Moofushi Resort, Maldives

Even if you don’t sleep well on your flight, Estée Lauder’s Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator is easy to apply and does what it says on the tin, evens out skin tone and adds a glow with its pearly finish.

On holiday

6. Hair de-frizzer

Keep your tresses looking beautiful with Moroccanoil, massively popular since it came on the market a couple of years ago. The key ingredient is Argan oil, which nourishes your hair while smoothing out the frizz caused by humidity, sun and salt water.

7. Best waterproof mascara

Every woman needs a decent waterproof mascara that you know will stay on your lashes in a hot climate, and Lancôme’s Hypnôse Waterproof mascara is just the ticket.

8. Best bronzer

Enhance the look of your sun-kissed skin and some shimmer to your cheekbones, neck and décolleté with Guerlain’s Terracotta Moisturising Bronzing Powder.

 

Spring Summer 2012′s hottest accessories

Give your wardrobe an instant lift with this season’s most covetable accessories.

Woman wearing sunglasses

Key trends this season

Bags, shoes, shades and hats

Check out Stylist’s pick of the best spring accessories, from funky shades to killer heels by way of some fabulous totes and every style of straw hat imaginable.  

Shoes

The fashionista’s online bible, Net-a-porter, features the most desirable heels this season – big this Spring are sexy colour-block heels and evening flats.

Shades

With the sun shining, it’s time to reach for your shades. Take inspiration from Elle magazine’s round up of early season shades featuring the loveliest sunglasses in the shops right now.  

Jewellery

Fast track your way to instant chic with one of this season’s easiest trends to wear – chunky bangles. Vogue shows you how to work the look.