Leading winemaker Patrick Léon to visit Constance Ephélia

We have invited leading winemaker, Patrick Léon, to Constance Ephélia in the Seychelles to share with guests his expertise and passion at a wine tasting lunch on 13 March.

Leading winemaker Patrick Léon to visit the Cyann restaurant

Leading winemaker Patrick Léon to visit the Cyann restaurant

With a stellar career in the wine industry spanning 40 years including managing director for Baron Phillipe de Rothschild, consulting oenologist at Château D’Esclans and running his own vineyard in Bordeaux, Château Le Trois Croix, Léon has earned a first class reputation for wine making.

Guests at Ephélia will have the opportunity to meet Léon at a lavish wine tasting lunch at Cyann where they can enjoy wines selected by him from Château d’Esclans and his own Château Les Trois Croix.

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5 natural wonders of the Seychelles

The Seychelles, an archipelago of granite and coral islands, reefs and atolls, is blessed with a sublime tropical climate, and a rich and unique biodiversity.

The Seychelles

The Seychelles

With two UNESCO World Heritage sites, six marine national parks and countless areas of outstanding natural beauty it could be argued that the entire archipelago is a natural wonder.

Here is our list of 5 natural wonders of the Seychelles

1. Atoll of Aldabra

Top of any list of natural wonders of the Seychelles must come this collection of stunning coral islands set around a shallow lagoon and surrounded by a rich, vibrant reef. One of the largest atolls in the world, its location in a remote area of the Seychelles has meant that it has remained largely untouched, a fact now protected by its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a rich, largely endemic, biodiversity and the highest population of giant tortoises in the world.

2. Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve

The second UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Seychelles is the legendary Vallée de Mai on Praslin. Once believed to be the original Garden of Eden, this primeval palm forest is the home to many rare, endemic palms including the famous coco de mer. Wildlife includes the endemic black parrot, Seychelles kestrel, sunbird, Seychelles house snake, green and bronze geckos and six species of caecilian.

Port Launay National Marine Park

Port Launay National Marine Park

3. Grand Anse, La Digue

There are so many beautiful beaches in the Seychelles that it is difficult to pick any one out above the others. Grand Anse, on La Digue (a short boat ride from Praslin) does, however, epitomise what visitors are looking for when they come to a Seychellois beach. With its perfect white, powder sand, softly shaded granite boulders and clear, shallow waters it looks as if an artist has created a vision of a perfect beach and brought it to life. La Digue itself has many beautiful and rare species including the paradise flycatcher or ‘veuve’, swiftlets and sea turtles.

4. Port Launay National Marine Park

This stunning reef and natural seascape is the only marine park in the Seychelles accessible by both land and sea. Including 8 stunning beaches on the island of Mahé, the park offers fabulous snorkelling opportunities as well as the chance to spot whale sharks as they pass through the waters attracted by the rich plankton which accumulates here. Constance Ephelia overlooks the marine park.

5. Aride Island Nature Reserve

Home to one million breeding seabirds across 10 species, including the endemic magpie robins, fodies, brush warblers and blue pigeon, Aride Island is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Protected from human influence since 1973, Aride is the largest nature reserve of the granitic Seychelles islands and the only natural home of Wright’s Gardenia. It also has a rich population of reptiles and nesting turtles.

Where to stay in the Seychelles

Elle South Africa includes Constance Ephélia on its travel bucket list

South African Elle magazine has created their bucket list of places to go and stay around the world including Mahé, Seychelles and Constance Ephélia.

Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Alongside destinations like Rajastan and the Chaweng Buri Resort in Koh Samui, Mahé is selected for its ‘little secluded beaches dotted along the entire coastline and lush, green forest as you move more inland.’

Assistant editor Lynette Botha recommends, ‘If you have the budget – Constance Ephélia is literally a slice of heaven, with its own private beach, 5-star service and the most magnificent setting.’

To read the full list of destinations and hotels recommended by the Elle team visit the South African Elle website.

Visit our website for more information on Constance Ephélia or to make a booking.

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What’s on in the Seychelles this Easter

Easter is the perfect time to visit the Seychelles when the weather settles to gentle sunshine, the ocean calms and the mood is one of holiday celebration.

Easter at Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Easter at Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

1. Easter festivities

As a predominantly Christian country Easter is celebrated with lively Seychellois flair across all the islands including local processions, festivities, feasts and religious ceremonies.

The atmosphere is one of relaxed fiesta as locals and tourists alike enjoy the warm, calm weather that April brings to the islands.

2. Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine

The end of the rainy season means consistent daytime temperatures of around 31ºC with 12 hours of daylight making it the perfect remedy for European tourists looking to put the long winter months behind them with a blast of sunshine.

3. Seychelles National Fishing Tournament

The Easter weekend is a holiday in the Seychelles so there’s plenty going on, including the annual fishing tournament held on Mahé (18-19 April). Fishing is a major part of the culture of the Seychelles and this big game trolling event offers cash prizes for selected fish categories and best teams.

For those looking for a bit of high octane adventure on the ocean, the calm waters at Easter also make this an ideal time for big game fishing with Yellow Fin Tuna, Blue Marlin and Sailfish all presenting fisherman with a lively challenge in the open water.

Fishing in the Indian Ocean

Fishing in the Indian Ocean

4. Scuba diving

Whether you’re a beginner looking for your first diving experience or an old hand, the calm, clear waters of the Seychelles at Easter make the perfect diving environment.

As the monsoon clears and before the trade winds start to blow, April is the calmest time of year for the ocean in the Seychelles. As a result the water reaches a sumptuous 29ºC with a visibility of up around 30 metres.

The high visibility means you’ll see everything as you explore the stunning granite reefs, pure coral reefs, rocky walls, gullies and wrecks that make this such an exciting diving region.

Marine life to look out for include Octopus, Spiny Lobsters, Whale Sharks, Reef Sharks, Ribbon-tailed Stingrays, Soldierfish, Napoleon Wrasse and Giant Grouper.

5. Party time

Apart from the Easter celebrations there is plenty going on in the Seychelles between March and April:

  • Semaine de la Francophonie 19 – 22 March. A week-long celebration on Mahé of the French influence on the Seychelles. It will include live music, art exhibitions and special French menus at restaurants.
  • Carnaval International de Victoria 25-27 April. A gathering of all the leading carnival groups from around the world will include floats, street parties and stalls selling traditional food.

5* luxury in the Seychelles

Find out more about Constance Ephélia and Constance Lémuria or for availability and bookings visit our website: Constance Hotels and Resorts

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Recipe: Lemongrass prawns

It’s not difficult to succumb to these large lemongrass prawns, juicy, highly desired and fragrant as they are. Created in the kitchens at Constance Ephélia, the idea occurred to our chef while travelling in Thailand.

He loved the famous Tom Yam Kung, but the broth was too powerful for the European palate, and the texture of the seafood was not highlighted enough. This personal and tasty version is enjoyed by alternating a mouthful of prawns with a sip of broth.

Constance Ephélia's lemongrass prawns

Constance Ephélia’s lemongrass prawns

Ingredients (Serves 4)

The seafood:

  • 12 black tiger prawns (size U 10)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tomato
  • 200g lemongrass
  • 1 ginger root
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • Olive oil: as required
  • Salt/pepper

1. Shell the prawn tails keeping the heads for the shellfish broth. Store it.

2. Put the heads together with the orange that has been cut in half into a saucepan along with the tomato. Cover it with water and cook for 25 minutes on a low heat.

3. Sieve this broth through a cheesecloth strainer to remove the impurities.

4. Wash and slice the lemon. Peel and finely cut the ginger root. Let them steep for 5 minutes with a kaffir leaf in the shellfish consommé. Strain the consommé and keep it warm.

The garnish:

  • 1 red pepper (capsicum)
  • 100g mange-tout peas
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 white turnip
  • 1 red chilli pepper

1. Take the stalks off the mange-tout peas. Wash and chop them finely lengthways. Store them.

2. Peel the carrots then wash and cut them with a mandolin cutter into thin 3mm-thick slices, then into julienne slices. Put them in a bowl with iced water.

3. Follow the same procedure for the turnip.

4. Cut the red capsicum pepper in half and remove the seeds. Using a food processor, remove the skin and chop it finely. Store it.

5. Wash the red chilli pepper and cut it finely.

6. Drain all the vegetables and put them together in a bowl. Mix them well. Add some red pepper and serve separately in small bowls. Add a drizzle of olive oil.

Finishing and presentation

Whichever is more convenient for you, grill or pan-fry the prawns.

Serve the lemongrass tea in a teapot, and the bowls of crispy salad vegetables separately.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Dry white wine:

  • Pernand-Vergelesses, 1er Cru “Sous-Frétilles”, Deux Montille, 2008 France
  • Chablis 1er Cru “Vaucoupin”, Corinne et Jean-Pierre Grossot, 2008 France.

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Top spa breaks in the Indian Ocean

Take a break from the frenzy of daily life and reboot your system with a spa break in the Indian Ocean.

Here’s a glimpse inside some of our spas in the Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles.

Spa de Constance at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Spa de Constance at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

 

Spa breaks in the Indian Ocean: Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Spa breaks in the Indian Ocean: Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

 

Shiseido Spa, Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Shiseido Spa, Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

 

Spa de Constance at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Spa de Constance at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

 

Spa de Constance at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Spa de Constance at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

 

Top spa breaks in the Indian Ocean: Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Top spa breaks in the Indian Ocean: Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

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