The perfect burger recipe

With the days becoming warmer and Bank Holidays approaching it’s time to brush off the barbecue and indulge in a little al fresco dining.

The perfect burger recipe - coming to a barbecue near you?

The perfect burger recipe – coming to a barbecue near you?

For some inspiration to get you started here is our recipe for the ultimate home-made burger as served in Indigo Restaurant at Constance Belle Mare Plage.

Belle Mare Plage’s Indigo Burger recipe:

  • 1kg Australian beef topside (15% fat)
  • 350g Special Wagyu beef trimmings (65% fat)
  • 50g onions (chopped and fried)

Chef’s tip

The secret for any grilled meat is to allow the meat to rest before serving it.

It is always better to slightly under cook the meat and allow it to rest (some chefs let it rest almost the same amount of time it has been cooked).

The result is that the meat is more tender and juicier in mouth.

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Top 6 beaches in the Seychelles

Top beaches in the Seychelles: Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue

Top beaches in the Seychelles: Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue

Visitors to Seychelles will be enchanted by its powder white beaches shaded by lush takamaka trees and crystal waters.

Here’s our guide to 6 of the very best of the Seychelles’ many heavenly beaches.

1. Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue

A mixture of white and pink sand surrounded by sea-smoothed granite boulders nestled against verdant palms have made this beach one of the most photographed in the world. A short boat ride from Praslin, La Digue is an island with a friendly laidback vibe which only adds to the beach’s charm.

2. Anse Georgette, Praslin

Nestled into a secluded bay sheltered from view by glorious foliage and dramatic granite boulders is the beautiful Anse Georgette. Accessible via a beautiful nature trail from Constance Lémuria, Anse Georgette was voted the world’s second most beautiful beach by Condé Nast Traveller.

3. Ile Cache Beach, Cerf Island

If you’re looking for your own remote slice of paradise search out Ile Cache (literally ‘hidden island’). Situated at the southern tip of Cerf Island it is possible to walk from Cerf to Ile Cache at low tide. Follow the island’s only path to its secluded beach, a stunning spot with views out across the ocean and towards Mahé.

Anse Georgette, Praslin

Anse Georgette, Praslin

4. Anse Beau Vallon, Mahé

If you’re looking for a little more action then Anse Beau Vallon is the answer with shaded beach bars and restaurants, water sports and a weekly street market selling crafts, souvenirs and local food. Locals and tourists alike come to Beau Vallon for the social vibe but, this being the Seychelles, there are still plenty of quiet areas to call your own.

5. Anse Lazio, Praslin

No list of the top beaches of Seychelles would be complete without Anse Lazio with its powder-white sand sloping gently down to calm, clear water. Perfect for swimming and snorkelling or just kicking back and relaxing in the beautiful surroundings.

6. Pirates Cove, Moyenne Island

This is another perfect spot for those dreaming of Robinson Crusoe-style seclusion. Take the stunning boat trip to Moyenne and then from the jetty walk along the path past the beautiful Coral Cove to Pirate’s Cove. Virtually hidden by lush jungle, you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled but the reward is 60m of perfect, untouched white sand with views out towards Sainte Anne.

Anse Lazio, Praslin

Anse Lazio, Praslin

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For more inspiration read our guides:

 

5 delicious chocolate and wine pairings

Fine wine and top quality chocolate make perfect partners, and when paired together offer that pleasure of a simple, deliciously indulgent moment.

Chocolate and wine pairings at Constance

Chocolate and wine pairings at Constance

Here Head Sommelier at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Jérôme Carlier, offers his tips for how to pair wine with chocolate.

1. Coeur de Guanaja 80% chocolate with Porto Red, Auinta de Infantado, Ruby

The pairing of the fruity Porto wine here with the rich, intense bitterness of the chocolate creates a beautiful balance between bitter and sweet.

2. DGF Caraibes 72% chocolate with Mas Amiel Vintage 1980, Olivier Decelle

The combination of the crisp, dark DGF Caraibes (buttons) 72% with the sweet acidity and light syrupy flavours of the Mas Amiel wine create multi-dimensional flavours of roasted walnut on the palate.

3. Valrhona Manjari 64% chocolate with Du Toitskloof Cellar Red Muscadel 2011

This pairing of the acidulous notes of red and dried fruits from the chocolate, and the rich fruit of the wine creates a full body mouth with persistence of fruit and acid on the palate.

4. Pegasus white chocolate with Pinot Gris ‘Pokiri’, late harvest, 2009

This unusual match between white chocolate and a very good Pinot Gris wine from New Zealand combines the sweetness of the chocolate with the sweetness of the Pinot Gris to create a very light flavour with notes of lychee fruit.

5. Valrhona Jivara 41% chocolate

This delectable milk chocolate with its pronounced cocoa taste and notes of malt and vanilla can be perfectly matched with all the wines listed above. With each wine it will create its own unique tasting experience.

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Top 5 luxury travel accessories 2014

Here is our list of luxury items for you’ll be longing to take on holiday with you.

Luxury travel accessories: Griffin PowerDock 5

Luxury travel accessories: Griffin PowerDock 5

Saint Laurent Classic Monogram Document Case

Carry your travel documents in ultimate style in this canvas and leather document case made in Italy by Yves Saint Laurent.

Maslin & Co Chambray Zebra Hide Beach Towel with Crossbody strap

Inspired by ‘exotic ideals of 70s hedonism’ Maslin & Co animal-hide towels (complete with leather holdall straps with envelope purse) are the latest must have items on the beaches of the world’s 5* resorts. New for 2014 is this 100% cotton, powder blue zebra print which comes in the shape of a zebra hide.

Griffin Powerdock 5

This is the ultimate gadget to keep all your devices fully charged while on holiday. The stylish Griffin Powerdock 5 can charge up to 5 devices from one power source, saving you from hunting around your hotel room looking for multiple power sockets. Specially designed for iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads, it’s 5 USB docks means that it also works for most USB-powered devices, including Kindle.

Mara Collection Currency Case from Smythson

Never get your English pounds mixed up with your Mauritian Rupees again in this stylish calf leather multiple-currency wallet from style leaders Smythson. The purse is divided into four sections each with a different colour zip so that all you have to do is remember which colour relates to which currency. As always with Smythson, you can add a personal touch with their bespoke handcrafted gold stamping service.

Aesop’s Ginger Flight Therapy & Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol

The perfect remedy for the effects of long-haul flights, Aesop’s carry-on aromatherapy and skincare products will leave your tired skin and senses feeling refreshed and revived. The Ginger Flight Therapy is applied to pulse points to stimulate the senses while the Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol is a spray-on hydration treatment which aromatically creates alertness.

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Head sommelier at Constance Lémuria explores the Syrah grape

With his passion for grapes and wine head sommelier at Constance Lémuria, Cédric Jacob shares his knowledge of the Syrah grape and gives his tips for how to enjoy the wine in the heat of the tropics.

Enjoying wine in the Seychelles

Enjoying wine in the Seychelles

The Syrah grape

With its creation of dark full-bodied red wines, the Syrah grape charms with its dark fruit flavours ranging from sweet blueberry to savoury black olive. Tasting a Syrah wine is like receiving a punch of flavour that tapers off to leave a subtle, spicy, peppery aftertaste.

Syrah tends to give its distinctive kick on the front palate and so it’s often blended with grapes that offer more to the mid-palate. In France, Syrah is traditionally blended with Grenache or Mourvèdre to create the classic Côte du Rhône blend. Some producers also blend it with Cabernet Sauvignon to create a more complete, rounded taste.

My Old World Syrah recommendation

Côte Rôtie, ‘Blonde du Seigneur’, Domaine Georges Vernay, 2011 – France, Rhône Valley

In what has traditionally been a very male dominated industry, Christine Vernay (daughter of Georges) has put her stamp on the French winegrowing industry with this wine. She and her husband Paul Ansellem run this tiny 12ha winery (mostly focusing on Condrieu but with 2.5ha of Côte Rôtie) with fantastic flare.

The cuvee ‘Blonde du Seigneur’ is a Syrah-based wine blended with a small amount of Viognier. The wine presents a fine acidity on the palate as well as lots of blackberries and raspberry flavours, forest fruit and liquorice. It is like a Provencal Garrigue with its subtle peppery notes. Deep in colour this medium to full-bodied wine shows a richness and terrific personality.

Constance Lémuria

Constance Lémuria

Drinking this wine in the Seychelles

Due to the high temperature and humidity I recommend drinking this at 14-16ºC and letting it reach that temperature slowly. It is better to serve this wine directly from the bottle to avoid losing the fresh acidity that contributes to its elegance.

My New World Syrah recommendation

Mullineux, Syrah, 2011 – South Africa, Swartland

I discovered this fantastic wine about 2 years ago on a trip to South Africa. Chris and Andrea Mullineux are at the forefront of the ‘Swartland Revolution’, adopting a minimalist approach to their wines with a particular focus on expressing the terroir, translating the granite and schist soils of Swartland.

This superb Syrah presents notes of black pepper, dark juicy cherries and a hint of smoke. This full-bodied wine offers a silky texture with delicate melted tannins. I am impressed by its long fresh finish with a kick of black pepper.

How to drink this wine in the Seychelles

Again, I suggest drinking this Syrah at around 14-16ºC and letting it reach that temperature slowly. A soft decanting is necessary but done very slowly to avoid losing the freshness of the wine.

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What to pack for a luxury beach holiday

Planning a luxury escape to a far-flung beach this year? Here’s our pick of the top beach chic recommendations from style gurus Net-a-porter and Vogue.

A luxury beach holiday at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

A luxury beach holiday at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Net-a-porter

Spring/Summer trends 2014

Bang on trend for spring/summer 2014 are exotic prints inspired by far off places and used in light, flowing kaftans, maxi dresses and tunics. Etro looked East for its wrapping designs while Valentino and Chloé use the colours and patterns of Morocco. Perfect beach and day wear for exotic locations.

Net–a–porter highlighted Maiyet’s silk-chiffon batik maxi dress as embodying the trend.

Poolside chic

In a roundup of poolside chic, Net-a-porter have chosen bold prints in light materials such as Dolce & Gabbana’s printed silk-chiffon tunic.

Meeting the current trend for wedge sandals is Kenzo’s palm tree-print leather version.

Serious swimmers and water sports enthusiasts can mix this year’s monochrome style with streamline practicality in the cut-out swimsuit from Adidas by Stella McCartney.

While those who’s priority is sunbathing and glamour will love the vibrant colours and patterns of Mara Hoffman’s Ganesh printed bikini.

Poolside chic

Poolside chic

Vogue

In it’s run down of trends for Spring/Summer 2014, the fashion magazine Vogue also highlighted the tribal influences in the ranges of many of the designers.

Other trends to look out for this season include logo and slogan emblazoned summer t-shirts, floral patterns, lots of exposed midriffs and a new wave of old school athletic wear. Monochrome is back but colour lovers shouldn’t despair as there are still many glorious colours on offer in rainbow hues.

This month’s beach must-haves

As the weather heats up Vogue is already preparing for summer with a list of the best ‘Ugly-Pretty Sandals’ which it describes as this ‘summer’s must-have shoe’.

The magazine also highlights the Beach Flamingo bikini in its March ‘We Want This…’ collection. The bikini merges sporty and boho with a tasselled patterned top and sporty bottoms.

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