How to take great photos

When you’re on the holiday of a lifetime, we know how important it is to have some fabulous photos to share with your family and friends when you return home.

Fisherman at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Fisherman at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

There’s a whole industry out there, telling you how to capture the best images whatever time of day, with any type of camera.

Getting out of auto

To save you time researching, check out  ‘Getting out of auto’ by Bethany Salvon. This newly published book gives tips in an approachable and easy-to-follow way and includes sections on exposure, depth of field, lighting and general advice for getting the best frame.

Read more about ‘Getting out of auto’ in a review by journalist and photographer, Abi King.

While you’re there – if you love great writing and insider travel tips – Abi’s website Inside the travel lab is a treasure trove for travellers and anyone who wants to discover the world.

Send us your photos

We’ve got a great Constance Facebook community who love sharing their holiday photos. Take a look to see what’s up there, or send us your photos from recent holidays with Constance Hotels Experience.

On the trail of the Dodo

Natural history lovers, and fans of the weird and wonderful should head to the National History Museum in Port Louis, Mauritius to see the most complete dodo skeleton in the world.

Dodo bird

Dodo bird

Mauritius was once home to the flightless Dodo bird. It became extinct in the 1680s, only 80 years after Europeans arrived on the island.

It’s thought that the Dodo was easy prey for the animals that were introduced by explorers – dogs, pigs, cats and rats.

Still today, very little is known about the Dodo. Mare aux Songes, in Mauritius, is the site of the most significant dodo bone findings in the world. In 2005, a team of Dutch-Mauritian researchers found many bones including a rare dodo beak. The findings are believed to be at least 2000 years old.

Port Louis, capital of Mauritius
Port Louis, capital of Mauritius

When you’re visiting the capital Port Louis, it’s also worth checking out:

And if you want to explore the beaches around the island, find out which ones made our list of the top 10 beaches in Mauritius.

When nature inspires design – Constance Ephelia Resort

Tableware at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles

Tableware at Constance Ephelia

Bruno Le Gac, our Corporate Executive Chef, gives you an insight into the design of the tableware we use at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles. 

When you visit Constance Ephelia, you’ll notice the design of the table tops are inspired by the beautiful nature of the Seychelles.

Plates, bowls and cutlery are gently curved to reflect the sensual curves of the famous Seychellois granite rocks. In Corossol restaurant, table lamps are made out of resin, and shaped like a large pebble. The table linen is light grey, the shade of the rocks under the sun. And the glasses have the color of the incredible Seychellois sunsets.

Weekly round-up, 22-28 August 2011

Constance Le Prince Maurice water villas

Constance Le Prince Maurice water villas

This weekly feature offers a roundup of the content on our blog from the past week, in case you missed anything.

Split into categories, it’s another way for you to easily find the posts of value to you.

This week we’ve got a fantastic special offer at Constance Le Prince Maurice, highlights on Madagascar, beauty tips, our Friday recipe and more.

Offers

Long stay special offer at Le Prince Maurice

Stay at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius, for 7 nights and you get 15% off your stay.

Events

Edinburgh International Festival 2011

It’s not too late to enjoy the sights, sounds and culture of the 2011 Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe Festival. Find out about what’s on, as well as editor’s top picks from the Guardian.

Culinary

Recipe: Pizza dough – Constance style

Want to create some of our chefs’ amazing dishes yourself at home? Every Friday, we post some of the most amazing, delicious and popular recipes online.

Spa and sport

Top tips to get your feet sandal-ready this summer

Sophie Demaret, Spa Manager at Constance Le Prince Maurice, has some great advice to get your feet looking sexy in this season’s hottest sandals.

Insider tips

Top 5 beach beauty bag essentials

Get expert tips on what to pack for head-to-toe fabulousness as you head to the beach.

Inspiration

Top 10 highlights of Madagascar

We’ve put together our must-see list of the island for a truly epic experience, with links to more useful information.

Water villas at Constance Le Prince Maurice

The water villas are perched along the edge of a natural fish reserve, offering tranquility and beautiful views across the lagoon. Find out more, and see photos on our Facebook page.

Recipe: Pizza dough, Constance-style

Get set for a relaxed weekend supper with this pizza dough recipe from Constance Ephelia executive pastry chef Shahine Mohammad.

Pizza

Pizza

Serves 4
Preparation time: dough should be made the day before you want to use it

Ingredients 

For the dough

  • 1 kg strong plain flour (a mix of 500g of type 55 + 500g type 45 flour)
  • 50g extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g liquid ‘levain’ (a mix of 50g plain flour and 50g water)
  • 20g salt
  • 10g fresh or dry yeast
  • 500g water (at 14˚C)

 1. Firstly, prepare the ‘levain’.
2. Then pour all the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl of your mixer, and knead at speed 2 with the hook for a few minutes until all ingredients are perfectly mixed. Alternately add the ‘levain’ and the olive oil, then the water. Keep kneading for a few minutes until the dough is thoroughly mixed. Important: the temperature of the flour should be 25°C and the ideal temperature of the room 25°C as well.
3.
Stop the machine, remove the dough from the bowl and finish kneading by hand for a further 5 or 10 minutes, on a wooden board sprinkled with flour.
4. Cut small portions of dough of 150g each, then roll them by hand to give them a nice round shape. The surface should be smooth.
5. Sprinkle more flour on top and under the balls of dough.
6. Cover with a humid towel and leave in the fridge until the next day.
7. When you are ready to bake the pizzas, take each ball of dough and form it by hand to the shape of the pizza. The edges should be thicker than the centre. The thickness of the dough depends on your own taste.
8. Garnish the dough with tomato, mozzarella and other toppings of your choice.
9. Bake in a very hot preheated oven for approx 7 minutes, at 250°C. 
10. Once the pizza is cooked, brush the edges with extra virgin olive oil.

Top tips to get your feet sandal-ready this summer

Sophie Demaret, Spa Manager at Constance Le Prince Maurice, has some great advice to get your feet looking sexy in this season’s hottest sandals.

Luxury foot treatment at Spa de Constance

Luxury foot treatment at Spa de Constance

Before you leave for your Indian Ocean paradise, it’s essential that you give your feet a few treatments.

1. Use a coarse-grained salt scrub twice a week in warm water to remove any hard skin.

2. Soften the skin on your feet with a thick nourishing cream, applying in circular movements until its absorbed.

3. Once you arrive at your Constance hotel, make an appointment with us at the spa and treat yourself to a foot treatment. At Constance Le Prince Maurice, the Guerlain spa offers a beauty foot break, the ultimate luxury for your feet.

Do you have any tips you can share for keeping your feet baby-soft and summer-ready? Get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.