Sunday Times recommends a September break at Tsarabanjina and Ephélia

Tempting you to make the glorious summer months last a little bit longer, in this week’s Sunday Times Chris Haslam recommends booking a September break in the sun.

A September break at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

A September break at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Resorts Haslam recommends for a last blast of warmth before autumn arrives in the Northern hemisphere include Constance Tsarabanjina in Madagascar and Constance Ephélia in the Seychelles.

Describing the laid back vibe of Tsarabanjina, basking in 25°C sunshine, Haslam declares, ‘The choice of activities is almost endless: you can lie in a hammock, go snorkeling, read a book, lie in a hammock, go snorkeling or circumnavigate the island in 45 minutes.’

He claims the Seychelles is also the perfect September getaway (average temperature 27°C with, ‘white beaches, sapphire seas, coconut palms and superb seafood.’

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Recipe: Duck legs and roast pineapple, smoked bacon

Seychellois spices and tropical fruits combine to bring out the delicious flavour of duck in this popular recipe from Constance Ephelia.

Duck legs and roast pineapple, smoked bacon

Duck legs and roast pineapple, smoked bacon

Ingredients

The meat:

  • 8 duck legs
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 5g honey
  • 50ml soy sauce
  • 1 litre duck stock
  • 1 long pepper

1. Prepare, trim and season the duck legs with salt and pepper.

2. Brown them in a cast iron pan with a little oil, adding the garlic, cinnamon stick, long pepper, chopped onion and cloves. Let it all sweat for 5 minutes.

3. Take the grease off and add the honey, deglazing with the soy sauce and moistening with the duck stock.

4. Boil it and skim off the impurities. put the lid on and put it in the oven at 160˚C for about an hour and a half.

5. At the end of the cooking, take the meat out and reduce the braising liquid to three-quarters in order to obtain a syrupy sauce.

6. Put the duck legs in the sauce and keep them hot.

The garnish:

  • 2 Victoria pineapples
  • Dark Muscovado sugar
  • 200g smoked bacon/lard
  • 4 medium onions
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • Five Pepper Mixture: as required
  • Flat leaf parsley

1. Boil the smoked bacon/lard for an hour. Drain it and set it aside.

2. peel and cut the pineapple into quarters and trim the ends. Put the trimmings in a juicer to obtain some fresh juice.

3. Heat the Muscovado sugar in a pan, caramelise them in a pan, salt the quarters and deglaze them with pineapple juice. Then glaze them once more with some good juice. Store them.

4. Cut the onions into quarters, caramelise them in a pan, salt them and moisten them with the chicken stock and put them in the oven at 160˚C for about 25 minutes. Store it all.

5. Fry the parsley sprigs and set them aside.

Finishing and presentation

Put two duck legs on each plate. Add two pineapple wedges, two pieces of smoked bacon and reduce the braising liquid and finish off with the mixture of five peppers and fried parsley.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Bold dry white wine:

  • Alsace Sonnenglanz Grand Cru, Trapet Gewurtztraminer, 2007 France
  • Hermitage blanc, Domaine Marc Sorrel, 2005 France

Anniversary celebrations at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Marking anniversary celebrations with a luxury holiday means you’re looking for more than elegant, spacious accommodation and luxe facilities, you want an entire experience that will last a lifetime.

Wedding celebrations at Constance Ephelia (1988)

Helen & Ken’s wedding (1988)

Twenty-fifth wedding anniversary

When Helen and Ken Smith returned to the Seychelles where they’d married 25 years ago to celebrate their anniversary at Constance Ephélia, they discovered that a warm welcome and excellent service were what memories are really made of.

Helen tells us, ‘We did a lot of research on which hotel to stay at as it was such a special occasion and read lots of reviews and then decided to choose Constance Ephélia. The resort looked so beautiful sitting between 2 beaches, it seemed to have everything on our wish list and more.’

Return to the Seychelles

It was the first time they’d returned to the Seychelles since their wedding and expectation was running high but when they arrived at Ephélia they realised they had nothing to worry about.

‘We honestly couldn’t have asked for anything better to celebrate this special occasion,’ Helen says. ‘We booked a junior suite and the location was stunning, next to the beach and whilst we sat on our balcony we could hear the waves lapping onto the shore…

‘We spent our days chilling by the pool and beach, playing lots of tennis, we went exploring to deserted beaches and also went kayaking a few times – brilliant.’

A 25th wedding anniversary at Constance Ephelia

Returning to the Seychelles for their 25th wedding anniversary

First class service at Constance

But for Helen and Ken it was the special attention paid to them by the staff that really made the holiday perfect. ‘The hotel was beautiful and far exceeded our expectations, comfort, location, choice of restaurants but it’s the staff that are the icing on the cake. They made it so very extra special, they genuinely go out of their way to ensure that you are having the best time.’

Helen cites the example of Chantal, Sales Manager at Ephélia who greeted them on their arrival at Ephélia and went out of her way to make their holiday especially memorable.

‘She arranged for us to have breakfast on the beach which was a fantastic experience, we had champagne delivered to our room, gifts on our bed, it honestly just went on and on, so very lovely. Then, just when we though it couldn’t get any better, they arranged for us to spend our last 2 nights in a hillside villa. Wow, wow, wow – unbelievable – we just kept shaking our heads at how lucky we were.’

‘We have bored everyone to death with our stories and we are sure that some people don’t actually believe what Ephélia and their staff did for us. It was incredible.’

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Luxury spa experience in the Seychelles

Step into the quiet sanctuary of the Spa Village at Constance Ephélia and discover the latest treatments from Spa de Constance and Shiseido Spa.

Spa at Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

Spa at Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

At Ephélia, you can blend a holiday of luxury living with a 5* pampering spa experience to help tackle stress, anxiety and poor digestion leaving you feeling reinvigorated and ready to face the world again.

Our spa therapists will design a program of body and skincare treatments around your specific needs.

Shiseido and Spa de Constance

Shiseido specialise in Eastern-inspired skincare treatments while at Spa de Constance you can choose from an extensive menu of massages including hot stone, aromatherapy and shiatsu, through to body scrubs and clay wraps, a full range of beauty treatments and early morning yoga and meditation on the beach.

Special spa promotion in July

During July 2013, you can treat yourself to a Mystic Sea Ceremony as part of a special month-long promotion.

The 90-minute treatment will help prepare your skin for the sunshine of the Seychelles. The sea salt therapy will relieve your skin from heat and sun damage while the coconut oil massage will restore your body’s natural glow.

To book this special offer, visit our Spa Village during your stay or talk to our guest relations manager.

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  • Take a look at the full list of spa and beauty treatments at Constance Ephélia
  • Discover the Top 10 spa treatments available at all our Constance Hotels and Resorts
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    Two-star Belgian chef Lionel Rigolet to cook for guests at Ephélia

    At Constance Ephélia, we’re thrilled to be welcoming Michelin starred chef Lionel Rigolet to cook for guests on 19-20 July.

    Cyann Restaurant at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles

    Cyann Restaurant at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles

    Guests dining at Ephélia’s signature restaurant Cyann will be guaranteed an exclusive gastronomic experience when the two-starred chef of Brussels’ Comme Chez Soi visits the resort.

    Famous for its modern European cuisine using the highest quality, fresh local produce and cutting edge culinary techniques, Comme Chez Soi has been a high point of Belgian fine-dining since 1926.

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    Vintage Lifestyle magazine describes Ephélia as a ‘slice of heaven’

    South African magazine Vintage Lifestyle has described Constance Ephélia as the ‘crème de la crème of Seychellois island style and hospitality’.

    Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

    Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

    On a recent visit to the resort the magazine describes the Seychelles as an idyllic holiday destination and Ephélia as the perfect place to stay.

    5 star luxury in Seychelles

    ‘We stayed at the breathtakingly beautiful 5 star Constance Ephélia Resort on the island of Mahé. Here we enjoyed swimming in our private pool at our private villa where all you can hear are birds singing, the rustling of leaves in the coconut palms and small waves washing onto the North Beach just a few steps away.’

    The magazine team was amazed by the number of activities on offer at the resort and tried their hands at everything from rock climbing and zip lining to trail hiking and spa treatments. They even took time out to feed the resort’s 110-year-old tortoise, Dusty.

    Other highlights outlined by the magazine were the tantalising, 5 star food served at the resort’s five restaurants and the friendliness of all the hotel staff. ‘The staff are like a family at Constance Ephélia Resort, even though there are 800 of them!’

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    Read the full article and check out the stunning photographs of Constance Ephélia taken during the trip: Vintage Lifestyle Magazine.

    Visit our website to find out more about Constance Ephélia and check booking availability.