BBC Good Food Show Summer 2011

Strawberry

Summer strawberry

The BBC Good Food Show Summer 2011 is underway at the NEC in Birmingham, and runs until Sunday 19 June.

A summer-must for all foodies out there, the show is chock full of presentations, things to try, demos and freebies.

Highlights include:

  • Top chefs – including James Martin and Rachel Allen – demonstrating delectable summer recipes for you to try at home
  • Masterchef Live – an unmissable opportunity for all Masterchef fans
  • Producers Village– your chance to chat to small speciality producers and sample local, seasonal produce
  • Grow your own – top tips on how to get the tastiest fruit and veg out of even the smallest of plots.

Tickets are available online from the BBC Good Food Show Summer website.

Also check out A Food Lover’s Diary – sharing recipes and adventures in food.

Each week we publish favourite recipes from the Constance kitchens.

New competition: the item I can't go on holiday without is…

Win a magnum of champagne

Will you choose Deutz Champagne, a Serge Lutens Fragrance or Art De Vignes wine?

Win your choice of a Magnum of Champagne Deutz, an amazing bottle of Wine from Art De Vignes or a bottle of one of France’s finest fragrances from Serge Lutens by entering our new competition.

To enter is simple, all you need to do is tell us the item you can’t go on holiday without.

You can comment on this blog post below, tweet us @constancehotels or post on our Facebook page saying:

The item I can’t go on holiday without is….[your comment here]

You can attach pictures if you want to and you can enter as many times as you like.

All eligible entries will be entered into a prize draw – if your entry wins, you can choose which of the above three prizes you’d like – but you can only win one of them!

The competition closes at midnight GMT on Tuesday 20 June. You can read our terms and conditions here.

Visit our Facebook or Twitter page to enter. Good luck!

Le Prince Maurice Prize for romantic literature

The winners of the 9th Le Prince Maurice Prize for romantic literature are Sophie Fontanel for her novel ‘Grandir’ (Robert Lafont) and Kéthévan Davrichewy for her novel ‘La mer noire’ (Sabine Wespieser).

Winning authors of the 2011 Le Prince Maurice prize for literature

Winning authors of the 2011 Le Prince Maurice prize for literature

The award ceremony took place on 11 June 2011. The winners were chosen from a shortlist of three authors, which also included Kettly Mars novel ‘Saisons Sauvages’.

The event was chaired by Daniel Picouly. The panel of judges included famous authors Paule Constant, Marc Lambron and Alain Mabanckou, and Mauritian writers Kumari Issur, Carl de Souza and Alain Gordon-Gentil.

The annual event marks an important cultural exchange between Mauritius, France and the UK. It celebrates the best in literary love stories, and alternates each year between French and British novelists.

This year, a new student prize was also introduced – offering a one-year grant to a Mauritian student to study at a French or English university. This year’s winner is Ambreen Rojee.

Winners of 2011 Le Prince Maurice prize for literature

Sophie Fontanel, Ambreen Rojee and Kéthévan Davrichewy (from left to right)

The authors get a second chance to visit Mauritius, to enjoy their prize of a 15-day holiday at the luxury Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Read our blog about celebrities who have supported Le Prince Maurice prize.

US Open Golf 2011 gets underway, 16–19 June

Golfer hitting ball

US Golf Open 2011

This year’s US Open golf championship at the Congressional Country Club in Bethseda, Maryland, 16-19 June, will see the best 156 golfers in the world playing for the $7,000,000 prize.

Tiger Woods has confirmed he won’t be playing due to left knee and achilles’ tendon injuries. Tim Clark from South Africa has also withdrawn due to an elbow injury.

  • Keep up to date with the latest action at the Congressional Country Club with the US Open website.
  • For the latest golf news and views, check out the Armchair golf blog.
  • And see what the writers at the Washington Post think about this year’s championship.

The winner of our most romantic holiday snap competition is…

Romantic sunset holiday picture

@lauraball123's winning romantic holiday snap

Many thanks to everyone who entered our #winfizz competition on Twitter this week.

All of your wonderful entries were place in our prize drawer and the lucky winner whose photograph was drawn is…

@lauraball123!

Many congratulations to Laura, a magnum of champagne will be winging its way to you shortly.

We had an amazing response to the competition and would like to thank everyone who entered. Here’s a couple of the other entries:

wedding on beach, bride in her bridal dress

Reuben Freeman and his beautiful bride on the beach

Couple enjoying the sun on holiday

A very happy couple! Entry from Hannah Davidson

Dressing gowns laid out on a bad - competition entry
Romantic dressing gowns from @alittlebitmoe

We’ll be launching another weekly competition later on today, so watch this space – and remember, you can still enter our amazing competition to win a holiday to Mauritius until 22 June.

As a thank you, here are just a few of the other worthy entries to the #winfizz competition on Twitter. Why not enter our next competition this week, guys – you might be luckier next time?

Snorkeling paradise: The Maldives

The islands of the Maldives are a snorkeling paradise. The warm water, incredible diversity of marine life and exceptional visibility make the Maldives one of the top spots for snorkeling and scuba diving in the world.

Marine fish in the Maldives

Snorkeling in the Maldives

The islands, or atolls, are surrounded by coral reefs. Here, you can find some 70 different species of coral, and over 700 species of fish and other marine life.

What makes the Maldives so unique for snorkeling?

One of the things that makes snorkeling in the Maldives so appealing is that you get some amazing underwater experiences without having to don a tank and go scuba diving.

This makes it perfect for people who are a bit nervous about going too deep, as well as for children and anyone just wanting to explore the waters near their resort.

The best place for snorkeling is along the coral reefs. Many resorts, including Constance Moofushi and Constance Halaveli, have house reefs – a coral reef surrounding each resort. Here, you can see many rare species such as the Napoleon Wrasse, sharks, turtles, octopus, manta rays and eels. Many resorts also organise boat trips to some of the finest dive sites, also suitable for snorkeling.

Where to go snorkeling

Marine fish in anemone, Maldives

Marine fish in anemone, Maldives

Both the North and South Ari Atolls offer exceptional snorkeling conditions.

Constance Moofushi is renowned as being one of the finest diving resorts in the Maldives. For snorkelers, it’s also great news. There are three large lagoons and a superb house reef where you might see lion-fish, stingrays, dolphins, whale sharks and breathtaking corals.

Off Constance Halaveli, the house reef is exceptional and home to turtles, manta rays and sharks. With a very gentle current, this snorkelling site is perfect for anyone wanting to experience the magic of snorkelling without too much effort.