The best apps of 2012

From providing entertainment to sourcing information that helps us manage our day, tablets and smartphones are a central part of modern life.

iPhone user,

iPhone user, photo taken by Yago Veith

Here we round up our favourite apps from 2012:

1. Barclays Pingit – iPhone/iPad/Android/Blackberry (Free)

All the signs seem to point to the fact that in the future we will move away from cash and cards to using mobile devices to transfer cash. This innovative app gets the ball rolling, allowing users to send money to friends simply and electronically.

2. Airbnb – iPhone/iPad/Android/Blackberry (Free)

Are you looking for an apartment to rent for a couple of nights in Paris or a loft in New York? This clever app puts you in touch with people with properties to rent all over the world. With reviews, maps and guides this travel app proved so popular it was voted iPhone App of the Year by Apple.

3. Radioplayer – iPhone/Android (Free)

Home or abroad now you never need miss the sounds of your favourite radio station with this free app. Radioplayer streams hundreds of UK radio stations including all of the BBC’s.

4. Barefoot World Atlas – iPhone/iPad (£2.99)

Forget the printed atlases of your childhood this is the very best in new interactive, digital information with an illustrated globe you can spin and tap zooming in and out. With a tap of your finger you can access facts and photos of any region you’re interested in. A treat for children and parents alike.

5. The Room– iPhone (Free) iPad (£1.49) Voted Apple’s Best Game

of the Year for the iPad this intricate puzzle with stunning graphics and challenging mysteries will keep you enthralled for hours.

Read more reviews about the best apps for 2012

Condé Nast Traveller recommends Le Prince Maurice spa

In the January edition of Condé Nast Traveller, retail editor Thea Darricotte features the spa at Le Prince Maurice in her ‘Most wanted’ column.

Suite on stilts at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Suite on stilts Le Prince Maurice

Of the recently refurbished spa, Darricotte gives it her ‘Thea loves’ seal of approval:

‘We recommend Sisleya Face & Body Exceptional Ritual which involves two and a half hours of pampering to remove signs of fatigue and leave you looking younger, healthier and ready for the sun’.

Find out more:

 

Laid back dining on the beach at Lémuria’s Takamaka

This month we’ve created a new and exciting menu for our Lémuria beach restaurant Takamaka.

Tiger prawn ceviche, Constance Lemuria, Seychelles

Tiger prawn ceviche and sweet potato crisps

An elegant take on beach dining the new menu includes dishes such as this sumptuous tiger prawns ceviche with citrus dressing and sweet potato crisps.

Nestled on the white sand of Petit Anse Kerlan with the turquoise ocean lapping at the shore, Takamaka is named after the lush Takamaka trees which offer this secluded spot their shade. A perfect place to watch the sun go down as you enjoy good food amongst friends.

Find out more about Constance Lémuria and check booking availability on our website.

Wine and dine with two of France’s best vineyards at Ephélia and Lémuria

Guests at Ephélia and Lémuria resort can enjoy the unique opportunity to celebrate two of France’s leading vineyards this Christmas with a specially created vineyard menu.

Constance Ephélia

Gonet-Medeville at Constance Ephelia

Gonet-Medeville at Ephelia and Lemuria

Nicolas Rossignol and a representative of the Gonet-Médeville vineyard will join guests at Ephelia on the 25-27 December to introduce them to some of their famous wines and champagnes. A menu has been specifically designed to compliment the famous French wines and to create a dining event not to be missed.

From a family of winemakers Nicolas Rossignol established his own estate back in 1997 in the region of Volnay using ancient winemaking techniques.

Gonet-Médeville has also stayed true to traditional growing methods in the creation of its grand cru and premier cru champagne.

Come and taste the best of the wines they have to offer at Ephélia this Christmas.

Constance Lémuria

Guests at Lémuria resort will get a sneak preview this week when they too are visited by the Family Gonet-Médeville and Nicolas Rossignol for an exclusive wine and dine event.

Highlights of the menu will include:

  • Pan fried foie gras with semi-ripe papaya chutney served with ginger bread puree, salty nut crunch and balsamic jus to be accompanied by a Champagne Gonet Médeville Blanc de Noirs 1er cru
  • Roasted red snapper fillet in a red wine sauce, crispy leeks and sautéed ‘patole’ accompanied by a Volnay 2011
  • Roasted duck breast with sweet spices and honey crust pumpkin gratin and wilted local spinach with tamarind jus accompanied by a Volnay 1er cru Santenots 2009
  • Duo pineapple-vanilla with red berries coulis accompanied by a Château Gilette ‘Crème de tête’

Find out more about Nicolas Rossignol and Gonet-Médeville or visit the Constance Ephélia website to check availability.

Top 5 food blogs

It’s always fun to try something new in the kitchen and with Christmas round the corner, it’s the perfect time of year to experiment with cooking something you haven’t tried before.

Luxury food at Constance Hotels & Resorts

Culinary delights at Constance

We’ve compiled a list of our top 5 food blogs to get you inspired.

1. Cannelle et Vanille 
Produced by Basque ex-pat Aran Goyoaga, this beautiful food, life and photography blog is chock full of recipes with an emphasis on all things sweet.

2. Bon Appé Tempt 
Winner of this year’s Best Food Humour Blog Award from Saveur, Bon Appé Tempt offers a mix of recipes and humorous, edgy anecdotes from the life of blog creator Amelia.

3. Lottie + Doof 
Offering a blend of recipes, tips for entertaining guests and muses on the central role food plays in our lives.

4. Eat Like a Girl 
Popular blog by Niamh Shields offering an eclectic array of recipes inspired by well-loved recipe books and the writer’s own travels.  Also includes information, tips and advice for foodies abroad.

5. Trail of Crumbs 
A gastro travelogue, written and photographed by an American couple now living in Paris with a selection of photos, recipes and stories inspired by their travels. With regular guest authors the blog is a handy resource for foodie travellers seeking tips on culinary treats to try when overseas.

Food for thought

Foodies looking for new and exciting culinary experiences will find what they’re looking for in Mauritius.

Asian tapas, Constance Le Prince Maurice

Asian tapas, Le Prince Maurice

The restaurants at Le Prince Maurice and Belle Mare Plage epitomise Constance’s culinary spirit combining traditional haute cuisine with the flavours and spices of the Indian Ocean.

Our menus are based around the very freshest local produce, whether it be fish caught that day or herbs and spices grown on the island. Across our restaurants we then prepare these delicacies using a variety of local and international culinary traditions.

Guests can indulge their taste for European fine dining one evening and then shake things up with a traditional Mauritian beach barbecue the next.

At Le Prince Maurice highlights include:

  • L’Archipel – Chef Michael Scioli celebrates local Mauritian cuisine with his lunchtime barbecues and light, spice-infused evening menu.
  • Le Barachois – One of the most romantic restaurant in the Indian Ocean floating on pontoons on the lagoon, diners can enjoy fresh-from-the-sea seafood cooked in local herbs and spices.
  • Laguna Bar – fans of Asian food should visit the new Asian Tapas Corner where Chef Li Junwei prepares the freshest sushi, noodles and dim sum.

At Belle Mare Plage diners can experience:

Crab curry, Deer Hunter restaurant, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Crab curry, Deer Hunter restaurant

  • La Spiaggia – the finest Mediterranean cuisine cooked in the classic traditions of France, Italy and Spain. Once a week La Spiaggia hosts a lobster menu offering a variety of lobster dishes.
  • Deer Hunter – a celebration of Mauritian cuisine. Chef Rajesh Payanandee uses traditional recipes and cooking techniques to create a taste of Mauritius for his guests.
  • Blue Penny Café – the epitome of fine dining, head chef Frederic Goisset sets the culinary standard extremely high with his creation of elegant dishes, beautifully presented. He also frequently opens his kitchens to Michelin-star chef’s from around the world.
Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival

 

In March every year Belle Mare Plage attracts foodies from around the globe to the famous Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival. Six European Michelin-starred chefs compete in teams alongside Constance chefs to create award-winning dishes using only local produce.
Our chefs are given the opportunity to work alongside these European masters, watching and learning from the best of the best. In return the European chefs return to Europe with a hint of Mauritian spice they’ve learnt from us.