Fruit skewer palm tree
Gong Xi Fa Cai!
On the evening of 23 January, Constance Halaveli celebrated the Year of the Dragon for Chinese New Year – a very important holiday for our Chinese guests.
Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The end of new year is celebrated on the 15th day with a nighttime Lantern Festival.
As the year of the Dragon unfolds, it promises to be one of excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration and intensity – all characteristics of the Dragon.
For travel, Dragons are often attracted by the bizarre. No self-respecting Dragon desires to walk in a tourist’s footsteps. Instead, they take a lot of pleasure in finding hidden destinations, or locations off the beaten track.
Dragons are also sentimental at heart, so taking a second honeymoon would bring immense pleasure too.
If you celebrated Chinese New Year at Constance Hotels, we’d love to see your photos. You can post them on the Constance Facebook page.
Purple tips of the new coral regrowth
Back in November 2011, our team of experts at Constance Halaveli Resort launched a reefscaping programme that aims to stimulate the growth of coral in the lagoon around the Maldives’ resort, and help repair the damage caused by the 2004 Tsunami in 2004.
Since we launched the metal cage structure into the lagoon, there has been significant growth. The purple tips of the coral are a sign that the coral is growing a very rapid rate. Great news!
The next step in the project is a delicate and very important one. Once the coral has reached a healthy size it will be removed from the metal frame and planted in the sea bed within a marked area.
Great progress as the coral starts to grow
The coral will then be monitored regularly to see how it adapts to being placed back in the natural environment.
We’ll keep you posted on progress.
We’d love to hear what you think about the project – you can leave a comment on the blog below, or post to our Constance Facebook page or Twitter.
Chinese New Year 2012 - Year of the Dragon
The beginning of the Chinese New Year dawns at midnight on 23 January 2012, marking the start of the Year of the Dragon. The most auspicious sign in the Chinese zodiac, the dragon year promises change.
Celebrate this new beginning with our wonderfully tasty, and very quick to make, noodle dish from Constance Moofushi. Perfect for a Monday evening.
Tantalise your tastebuds with this delicious aubergine chutney served with lightly battered chillies and onion rings.
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 20 minutes
For the eggplant chatini:
- 500g aubergines
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 5 spring onions
- 1 small fresh red chilli
- 3 sprigs coriander
- 150g toasted peanuts
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and freshly ground pepper
For the batter:
- 75g flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- vegetable oil for deep frying
For the coriander salad:
- 1 bunch coriander
- 3 small preserved limes (salt cured)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- salt and pepper
- 6 cari chillies
- 12 onion slices
1. Preheat oven to 220ºC.
2. Wash the aubergines, season them with salt and pepper, wrap them in aluminium foil, adding 2 tbsp olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes.
3. Let cool, cut in 2 lengthwise and spoon out the flesh. Mash it with a fork and set aside.
4. Peel and chop the onion. Chop the onion greens, chilli and coriander separately. Chop the peanuts with a knife.
5. Mix the aubergine pulp with remaining olive oil, lemon juice, chopped onion, spring onions, coriander, chilli and peanuts. Add a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
6. Make the coriander salad: wash the coriander, strip the leaves off the stalks. Halve the preserved limes, remove seeds and cut the flesh into julienne sticks. Toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan for 5 minutes on low heat. Mix all the ingredients and correct seasoning.
7. Halve the cari chillies lengthwise, remove the seeds and blanch them in boiling salted water for 1 minute. Cool in iced water. Repeat once.
8. Make the batter: separate the eggs. Mix the flour with 12.5cl water, the egg yolks, the olive oil and some salt.
9. Heat the oil for frying to 180ºC.
10. Beat the egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the previous mixture shortly before frying the vegetables. Season the vegetables with salt and dip each one of them (half a chilli and onion slice) in the batter, and fry them until golden (about 5 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper.
10. Drop some aubergine and peanut chatini in a circle in the middle of each plate. Place the vegetable fritters around the chatini and the coriander salad in the centre.
Every Friday we publish a delicious recipe from the kitchens of Constance Hotels. Visit our culinary section to see more of the tasty recipes you can cook at home.
Wonderful spa treatments available at Constance
As we stride into 2012, are you enjoying the challenge of keeping to your new year’s resolutions?
This is a great time of year to make changes in your life that will bring you a greater sense of wellbeing, and improved health and happiness.
These days, the trend is towards a certain art of living. There’s a general wish to feel comfortable with ourselves, and to find simple internal happiness.
Lifestyles are constantly evolving and we need to adapt to the new demands on us. A spa is all about combining health, beauty and well-being through specific and tailor-made treatments.
Try something new…
At Constance Hotels, our guests return time and again to our spas for well deserved treatments.
Stunning setting for Spa de Constance at Moofushi
It’s not just about reclaiming ‘me-time’ – it’s about reminding ourselves, when we’re not functioning at full speed, to listen to our body and mind, and to restore an equilibrium that enables us to live life to the full.
Our spas provide a wonderful harmonious space were you can:
- enjoy something new
- immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings
- receive personalised treatments
- feel really well looked after
- nuture your physical and emotional self.
At our 7 resorts across the Indian Ocean, you’ll find the renowned Spa de Constance as well as spas specialising in Guerlain and Shiseido treatments. At Constance Ephelia, you’ll find spa villas that come complete with personal treatment spaces.
Visit our Constance Hotels Experience website to find out more about our spas at each resort, and don’t miss these spa articles on our blog:
Delectable black truffles
La Confrérie de la Truffe Noire, the Brotherhood of the Black Truffle, is based in the hill region of the Drome des Collines in South East France.
They kindly sent one of their members, Helene Faure, to Mauritius to speak with our chefs and sommeliers about the tuber melanosporum, more commonly known as the black truffle.
The black truffle provides the gold standard in the truffle world because of its delicate taste, and delightful and intense bouquet.
To help in understanding and recognising this black treasure, Helene offered the team a comparative tasting and visual appreciation of the various kinds of truffle. We learnt how to identify each one’s shape, aroma and taste. Helene also gave our chefs a variety of recipes for how truffles can be used in our cuisine.
Guests in our Mauritian resorts enjoyed special dinner menus on Tuesday 10 and Friday 13 January 2012, featuring a flavoursome black truffle purée and an amazing black truffle soufflé, which made a delicious and tasty dessert.
The atmosphere in the stylish and friendly settings of both the Constance Le Prince Maurice’s Archipel Restaurant and the Constance Belle Mare Plage’s Blue Penny Café was really something to be savoured – quite simply fantastic.