How to mix the perfect cocktail

Have you ever sat in a hip city bar watching a mixologist creating a Mojito or Martini and wish you could mix it up just the same?

Mix the perfect cocktail at Constance Halaveli

Mix the perfect cocktail at Constance Halaveli

Now’s you chance. At Constance Halaveli in the Maldives you can take a cocktail-making master class in the beautiful Jing Bar, set on a jetty floating above the Indian Ocean.

With views out across the still lagoon our expert bar staff will teach you how to mix, shake and stir your favourite cocktails.

The class lasts an hour and features some of the world’s most popular drink combinations.

Our staff will ensure that by the end of the class you’re well on your way to mastering the art of mixology.

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Stunning swimming pools with a view

With amazing pools, beautiful vistas and sun loungers as big as your bed… here’s a poolside view of our hotels and resorts in the Indian Ocean.

Poolside at Constance Belle Mare Plage's Presidential Villa

Poolside at Constance Belle Mare Plage’s Presidential Villa

The main pool at Constance Le Prince Maurice

The main pool at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Stunning swimming pools with a view at Constance Lémuria

Stunning swimming pools with a view at Constance Lémuria

Soaking up the sun at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Soaking up the sun at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Poolside twilight at Constance Halaveli

Poolside twilight at Constance Halaveli

A mirrored view at Constance Moofushi, Maldives

A mirrored view at Constance Moofushi, Maldives

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Mauritius most popular for destination weddings

Mauritius is the most popular destination for an exotic wedding with the Maldives taking the top spot as a honeymoon destination, according to the Mail Online.

Destination weddings in Mauritius

Destination weddings in Mauritius

Based on research carried out by Kuoni, the Mail reports that Mauritius has knocked Sri Lanka off the top position thanks to recent changes which have made getting married in Mauritius much simpler.

According to the Mail report, many couples are choosing to marry in Mauritius while the Maldives was the best-selling honeymoon destination for 2013.

In a separate article the Mail Online says a new Kuoni report predicting travel trends for 2014 believes the Maldives will retain its position as the top long-haul destination for British holidaymakers.

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Winners of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2014

The 9th Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau in Mauritius has seen the finest Michelin-star chefs from Germany, Sweden, England, Switzerland and France team up with Constance island chefs in a competition that puts their skills to the test and challenges them beyond their normal capabilities.

FCBL winners: Masashi Ijichi & Dammika Sarath of Constance Halaveli, Maldives

FCBL winners: Masashi Ijichi & Dammika Sarath of Constance Halaveli, Maldives

The winners

1st Prize:

Michelin Star Chef Masachi Ijichi from La Cachette restaurant in Valence, France and Dammika Sarath from Constance Halaveli Maldives, have won the 9th edition of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

The competition which took place at Constance Belle Mare Plage from the 29 March to 6 April has also seen the crowning achievement of:

2nd Prize:

Jacob Holmstrom from Gastrologik restaurant Stockholm, Sweden, 1 Michelin star and Sandy Sokalingum from Constance Lémuria Seychelles.

3rd Prize:

Tim Allen from Launceston Place London, UK , 1 Michelin star and Yogessen Ramen from Constance Ephélia Seychelles.

The other teams in the competition were:

Masashi & Dammika's winning main dish: Spices and orange marinated Duckling breast

Masashi & Dammika’s winning main dish: Spices and orange marinated Duckling breast

  • Jens Rittmeyer from Budersand Hotel Golf & Spa, Sylt, Restaurant Kai 3, Hornum, Germany, 1 Michelin star and Dinushan Patabadage, Constance Moofushi Maldives
  • Mirto Marchesi from La Table d’Adrien restaurant, Le Chalet d’Adrien, Verbier, Switzerland, 1 Michelin star and Emmanuel Fortuno from Constance Belle Mare Plage Mauritius
  • Nicolas Masse from Les sources de Caudalie, La Grand’ Vigne restaurant, Bordeaux-Martillac, France, 1 Michelin star and Sasha Dinnoo from Constance Le Prince Maurice Mauritius.

The winning dishes

Starter:

Cold white coco beans soup, carrot mousse and marinated vegetables.

Main course:

Spices and orange marinated Duckling breast, onions stuffed with giblets, fruits chutney and sweet potato cromesquis.

Cocktail competition

Cocktail competition winner: Ashvin Purrun from Constance Belle Mare Plage

Cocktail competition winner: Ashvin Purrun from Constance Belle Mare Plage

Ashvin Purrun from Constance Belle Mare Plage is the winner of the Cocktail Competition held on 31 March at Constance Belle Mare Plage.

This year, three barmen from Constance Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice took part in the competition. The liquors used were from Chamarel Rhum. The jury were Laurence and Joachim Louis representatives of Jack Daniels and Crème Chambord.

Wine competition

Cheryline Coulon from Constance Le Prince Maurice is the winner of the Wine Competition held on 31 March. The competition consists of finding the best wines to accompany the dinner which was served by Chef Eyvind Hellstrom. In competition were three Mauritian sommeliers who presented their selection of wines in front of four jury members.

Service & Art de la table competition

Benito Bellehumeur from Constance Belle Mare Plage is the winner of the Service & Art de la table Competition held on Tuesday 2 April at the Blue Penny Restaurant, Constance Belle Mare Plage. He presented the most beautifully prepared table and the best service.

Dominique Loiseau, Mercotte and Isabelle Mobihan made up the jury.

Wine competition winner: Cheryline Coulon from Constance Le Prince Maurice

Wine competition winner: Cheryline Coulon from Constance Le Prince Maurice

Café Gourmand competition

Pastry Chef Camel El Sherifi from Constance Le Prince Maurice is the winner of a new Competition the “Café Gourmand” that was added this year to the event and organised in collaboration with our partner Nespresso. Participants were the Executive and Pastry Chefs of Constance Hotels and Resorts and were asked to create four pastries to best accompany a Nespresso coffee.

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Smith & Family rates Constance Le Prince Maurice and Halaveli

Stylish family travel specialist Smith & Family has included Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Halaveli in its guide to the best family-friendly coastal hotels.

Smith & Family loved Halaveli's family beach villas

Smith & Family loved Halaveli’s family beach villas

Part of the Mr & Mrs Smith group, Smith & Family aims to select the very best fun, stylish hotels from around the globe to recommend to its readers with children.

Having already attracted a loyal following amongst couples seeking beautiful luxury hotels in the Indian Ocean, families are now also discovering that Constance offers much for those looking for luxury where children are also welcome.

Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Halaveli

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius and Constance Halaveli, Maldives have been included in its ‘Beach in Reach’ section, which it says looked for hotels worldwide that mixed ‘buckets of fun for children with a relaxing retreat for parents’.

At Le Prince Maurice, Smith & Family were impressed by the two-bedroom family suites with a children’s bedroom complete with bunk beds and steps to the sinks in the bathroom.

Halaveli was praised for its family beach villas, which come with what it described as ‘helpful essentials’ including pushchair, cot and bottle-sterilising unit. For older families it recommended the double storey villas with pool giving parents and teenagers plenty of space to spread out.

Both hotels were recognised for the complimentary ‘fun, friendly kids club’ Constance Kids Club.

Read more on the Smith & Family website.

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The heat is on… Day 3 at Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Wednesday 2 April – the final day to get everything ready before tomorrow’s finals at the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2014.

Peter Bojesen gives the day’s highlights from Mauritius.

Event chefs: Jacob Holmstrom & Masashi Ijichi

Event chefs: Jacob Holmstrom & Masashi Ijichi

A final without the star chefs present – only the Island chefs will be allowed in the kitchen at Constance Belle Mare Plage, each with an appointed commis chef at his side.

Today was the day when the finishing touches to the recipes are made, the dressing of the dishes approved, the recipes written.

I arrive in the kitchen in the morning and the tension is palpable at several of the stations. Some chefs seem to be more relaxed than others, however. One of those is Mirto Marchesi from Switzerland: ‘I’ve been very lucky with my Island partner, Emmanuel Fortuno, who normally works here at Constance Belle Mare Plage,’ he says. The two are sitting at a table with their starter dish in front of them, trying to compose a fitting name and to write the recipe required by the jury. The starter looks like a beautiful painting, where red, orange and green colours dominate. Hopefully, it tastes as good as it looks…

Chef Masachi Ijichi comes from Japan, and runs a one-star restaurant in the French city of Valence and speaks very little English. As his Island partner, Damika Sarath doesn’t speak French a translator is needed, but apparently it hasn’t affected the bonding between the two chefs. ‘Everything is going just fine,’ Masachi says with a big smile, ‘we have the same kind of philosophy regarding gourmet cooking, and I have learned quite a lot from my new friend, who normally works at Constance Halalevi in the Maldives.’

German chef Jens Rittmeyer also seems quite cool in spite of the heat in the kitchen. ‘I enjoy working with my partner Dinushan Patabadage who comes from Sri Lanka but works at Constance Moofushi in the Maldives. Our two dishes are well under way, and I am sure that Dinushan will perform well tomorrow,’ he says, while his partner is busy dressing the main course on a bone white Raynaud plate.

Leaving the kitchen, I enter the Blue Penny Café, which today hosts the Service and Arts de Table competition, which for several years has been a part of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau. Five tables have been beautifully laid, each occupied by two carefully chosen guests. Each table has been assigned a waiter, each of whom has won an internal competition in five of the hotels in the Constance group.

The guests are served a gourmet lunch by the five waiters in question under the watchful eye of three jury members, one of which being Mme. Dominique Loiseau. I watch several courses being expertly served, red and white wine properly presented and poured, coffee and tea offered. Everything seems to be perfectly in order, and I am quite sure that the jury will have a tough task deciding on the winner.

But just like the cooking- and sommelier competitions, we shall all have to be patient and wait until Saturday night to learn the names of the different winners of the ninth edition of the Bernard Loiseau Culinary competition.

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