Domaine Mas Amiel & leading sommelier visit Mauritius

Guests at Constance Belle Mare Plage had the rare opportunity to enjoy a wine dinner inspired by two giants in the French wine industry last week.

The Blue Penny Cafe at Constance Belle Mare Plage

The Blue Penny Cafe at Constance Belle Mare Plage

The dinner, held at Belle Mare Plage’s Blue Penny Café on 8 August, featured wine selected by special guests winemaker Nicolas Raffy of Domaine Mas Amiel and David Biraud, awarded best sommelier in France.

Nicolas Raffy is the winemaker behind the legendary Mas Amiel wines of the Roussillon region while David Biraud has won accolades as the best sommelier in France and narrowly missed out on the title of Best Sommelier in Europe.

These two prestigious wine experts worked together with our chefs at the Blue Penny Café to create a menu to bring out the very best in the wines they selected.

Highlights of the wine menu included:

  • Ocean cassolette with lemon foam served with a Côtes du Roussillon Mas Amiel Le Plaisir Blanc 2013
  • Drumfish fillet lacquered with aniseed jus, citrus marmalade with taggiasche olives and steamed baby leeks served with Côtes du Roussillon Mas Amiel Altair Blanc 2011
  • Pan seared beef fillet, Macaire potato with condiments and onion flavoured with Xérès vinegar and thyme jus served with Maury Sec Mas Amiel Altitude 433 M 2012
  • Biscuit with ‘Kumabo’ chocolate with red and black fruit nectar served with Maury Mas Amiel Charles Dupuy 2008.

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Guide to big game fishing in Mauritius

In Mauritius the glorious sunshine and warmth above water and the deep-sea nutrients under water combine to create perfect conditions for big game fishing.

Big game fishing at Constance

Big game fishing at Constance

Every year people come to our shores from around the world to pit their wits against some of the most challenging giants of the ocean – the Blue Marlin, Black Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Whaoo, Dorado and even big sharks like the Mako are a regular catch.

The lure of big game fishing is the epic battle put up by these elegant giants with legendary fighting ability.

Landing the famous Blue Marlin can take as long as 3 hours.

What makes Mauritius so ideal for game fishing

The Island of Mauritius is surrounded by coral reef, which creates the gentle lapping lagoon which has always attracted holiday makers. But for the big game anglers it is what lies beyond the lagoon that proves the most tempting.

Past the reefs the ocean drops off rapidly to around 3,000 metres and here ocean currents push cold water full of nutrients to the surface attracting a rich variety of marine life, which in turn attracts the large predators.

Where to fish in Mauritius

The fishing is fantastic all around the island but probably the richest waters lie off the west coast around Black River. Here the famous Le Morne drop off, with depths of around 3,000 metres, lies just 5km off shore.

Fishing operators in this area say anglers should expect to encounter six of the major game fish (Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, Dorado, Bonito etc) on a one-day trip during the summer season.

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

In the north of the island, Grand Baie is also a popular starting point for many deep sea fishing excursions with the waters to the north teeming with rich marine life.

Fishing trips to the less exploited eastern side of Mauritius guarantee empty oceans and splendid unspoilt views for those who prefer to try their luck off the beaten track.

When to fish in Mauritius

Thanks to its warm waters and tempting sunshine big game fishing is available in Mauritius all year with many species staying in our waters throughout the year.

The increase in temperatures from October to April, however, bring with them an influx of rich marine life which in turn attracts more of the larger predators to our waters making it an ideal time for sports fishing.

Where to stay

Enjoy 5* service, luxurious accommodation and world-class cuisine while you’re onshore at Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage and we’ll organise all your deep sea fishing excursions for you.

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What you need to know for a holiday in Maldives

If you’re planning a trip to the Maldives then you probably already know about the white sand beaches, clear crystal waters and idyllic climate.

Arrive at Constance Moofushi by seaplane

Arrive at Constance Moofushi by seaplane

Here are some other things you need to know for a holiday in Maldives.

1. Arriving by seaplane is one of the highlights of the holiday

Make sure you’ve got your camera to hand as you board the seaplane at Malé Airport because you’re going to want it. Arriving at your resort by seaplane is one of the most stunning introductions to the nation of Maldives you can imagine with views across the Indian Ocean dotted with stunning white sand coral islands.

2. The Maldives is child-friendly

The Maldives may have a reputation as a honeymoon destination but that doesn’t mean that it’s not the perfect place to take kids for a family holiday. For younger kids try a beach or family villa rather than a stilted one over the water and relax beside your own pool while you watch the little ones play on the beach. Constance Halaveli even offers a complimentary Kids Club so the kids will have plenty to do.

3. Swim with some of the ocean’s gentle giants

The waters around the Maldives are home to a wide range of stunning marine life but few get the pulse racing as much as manta rays and whale sharks. These graceful giants pass through our waters from November to April.

Swim with Manta Rays

Swim with Manta Rays

4. Each Maldivian island has its own coral reef encircling a lagoon

The Maldives is made up of 1,190 coral islands spread across 26 atolls covering an area of more than 90,000sq kilometres. Each island has its own coral reef and lagoon which protects it from the wind and wave action of the vast surrounding ocean. It is the islands’ uniquely isolated location that make the Maldives feel like a secluded haven away from the modern world.

5. Maldivian culture is a unique combination of global influences

With influences from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe the Maldivian culture offers a unique blend of music, tradition and cuisine. Influences can be found in the curries which are a staple in the Maldivian cuisine, music played on the traditional bodu-beru drum which resembles an African drum and the local dhoni boats used by the fishermen which are similar in design to the Arabian dows.

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Recipe: Octopus salad

Take your taste buds to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean with this Seychellois recipe for octopus salad from Constance Ephélia.

Constance Ephélia's octopus salad

Constance Ephélia’s octopus salad

Ingredients

  • 500g octopus
  • 200g cucumber
  • 200g tomato
  • 200g peppers (mix of colours)
  • 200g red onions
  • 2tbsp fresh lemon
  • 4 – 6tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 pinches pepper
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemongrass

Method

1. Fill a large pan with water and add lemongrass, a fresh lemon cut in to quarters and parsley to flavour. Boil the Octopus in the water for 30 – 50 minutes.

2. When cooked, strain the octopus and allow it to cool then cut into small cubes.

3. Slice the tomatoes, cucumber, onions and pepper into cubes and place in a large bowl.

4. Toss them together with the octopus.

5. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some fresh parsley.

6. Check seasoning and serve.

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When to travel to the Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean offers a year-round playground of white sand beaches, sunshine and warm waters so all you need to do is pick the season and location best for you.

Indian Ocean destinations: Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Indian Ocean destinations: Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Close to the equator, temperatures rarely fall below 20ºC and seasons tend to be divided into wet and dry with a wet season in which warm tropical rain usually clears to blue skies in a matter of hours.

Choosing the perfect destination and time of year to travel to the Indian Ocean can depend on what you’re looking for from your holiday. Keen divers may want to follow key migration seasons, windsurfers are looking for sea breezes while sunbathers want nothing more than to follow the warm sun.

Mauritius

October-April: summer in Mauritius, 26ºC to 32ºC

  • This is the island’s wettest season but rainfall rarely lasts long and tends to be local, the microclimate on the island means the weather can differ within a few kilometres.
  • The warm waters of the Mauritian summer bring with them a vast array of marine life so this is a great time of year for divers, snorkelers and those interested in big game fishing.

May-October: winter in Mauritius, 20ºC to 26ºC.

  • These cooler, drier months are perfect for excursions, sports, hiking and taking in the sights of this beautiful island.
Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Seychelles

Year-round temperatures approx. 24ºC-32ºC

October-April: Northwest Trade Winds bring warm weather but with it an increased risk of rainfall, although these usually occur in the form of short, sharp showers.

May-September: Southeast Trade Winds bring cooler, drier temperatures but the wind tends to be stronger creating larger waves making this the perfect time of year for surfing, windsurfing and sailing. Those looking for calmer waters at this time of year need to look for one of the many sheltered beaches on each of the islands.

April/May and October/November: the months in which one trade wind gives way to another offering calm bright dry days with no wind, creating the perfect conditions for scuba diving and big game fishing.

Maldives

Average temperatures 27ºC to 30ºC

December-March: North-eastern Monsoon. The nation’s driest season with plenty of warm sunshine. It is also a great time to get out on the water to try some water sports. Divers and snorkelers will also marvel at the migration of the Manta Rays through our waters at this time of year.

May-November: South-western Monsoon. Brings slightly more unsettled weather with a stronger wind making this the ideal time for sailing, surfing and windsurfing. There is still plenty of marine activity to enthral snorkelers and divers at this time of year including the migration of the beautiful whale shark.

April: when one monsoon gives way to another is a dry, calm month making it the ideal time to enjoy clear waters and uninterrupted sunbathing.

Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Madagascar

November-April: warm, wet season

May-October: cooler, drier season

Within these general seasons there is a lot of local variation in Madagascar depending on elevation and which side of the island you are on (the west coast is dryer as it is most protected from the trade winds) and the driest of all is the extreme south.

Because there is so much to see in Madagascar many people choose to visit from May to October as this is the perfect time to explore nature trails, take hikes through the national parks and explore its unique wildlife.

September to December: warm and dry

The highest visibility for divers is from October to December and April to May, although many divers and nature lovers prefer to time their visits to coincide with the sperm whales’ arrival in July and August.

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Stunning dive sites in the Indian Ocean

With a seascape of stunning coral reefs, underwater tunnels, vast areas of sponge gardens, wrecks and stunning coral strewn rock formations the Indian Ocean has a vast array of spectacular dive sites to explore.

Explore the underwater world of Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Maldives.

Explore the colourful coral reefs

Explore the colourful coral reefs

Top dive sites in the Indian Ocean

Top dive sites in the Indian Ocean

Swim with Whale Sharks

Swim with Whale Sharks

Meet the Indian Ocean's many vibrant characters

Meet the Indian Ocean’s many vibrant characters

Get wrapped up in schools of fish

Get wrapped up in schools of fish

Swim with incredible Manta Rays

Swim with incredible Manta Rays

Find out more about our hotels and resorts in the Indian Ocean:

MauritiusConstance Le Prince Maurice & Constance Belle Mare Plage

SeychellesConstance Ephélia & Constance Lémuria

MaldivesConstance Halaveli & Constance Moofushi

MadagascarConstance Tsarabanjina

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