Recipe: Ice cream with Madagascan Vanilla

Bourbon vanilla produced on the islands of the Indain Ocean (Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, La Réunion) is very popular. It is widely used in patisserie, as an ice cream, and also in confectionery and in various forms (fresh pods, powder, liquid extract or sugar vanilla).

Ice cream with Madagascan Vanilla

Ice cream with Madagascan Vanilla

At Constance Belle Mare Plage, we offer a multitude of different flavours of ice cream. It is always vanilla which is the most popular.

Ingredients

The ice cream:

  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 750ml milk
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 150g sugar
  • 125g crème fraîche

1. Prepare the custard: slit the vanilla pod in two lengthways and scrape the seeds with a knife into a saucepan.

2. Pour the milk into the saucepan and bring it to the boil over a gentle heat. Turn off the heat and leave it to infuse for 15 minutes.

3. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl, until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour the hot milk slowly, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the spoon. Remove it from the heat and let it cool.

5. Remove the vanilla pod from the custard. Pour it into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

The chocolate sauce:

  • 100g cooking chocolate
  • 100ml whipping cream

1. Break the chocolate into small pieces and cover them with boiling cream.

2. Stir until the chocolate melts, then store it in the fridge.

The garnish:

  • 50g chocolate chips
  • 50g crushed hazelnuts

Top tips for the best beach reads of 2013

Whether you’re loading them on your kindle or wedging paperbacks into your suitcase, choosing the perfect holiday read is always a challenge. Here’s our list of the Best Beach Reads for 2013.

Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Constance Moofushi, Maldives

1. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Sitting comfortably in all the bestseller lists this summer is the first novel for six years from Khaled Hosseini (‘The Kite Runner’). This moving family saga follows a brother and sister born in Afghanistan as they journey through life moving from Afghanistan to Paris, San Francisco and Greece. A beautiful depiction of love and the family bonds that shape us.

2. Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell

Following all the hype around the release of the Baz Luhrman Hollywood production, the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ will be on many people’s reading lists this summer. If it’s on yours this is definitely a book to read alongside it. Sarah Churchwell’s thorough research attempts to put together the true characters and places that inspired Fitzgerald’s novel. The result is a fascinating insight into the affluent, social climbing and turbulent human stories behind the glittering roaring Twenties.

3. All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

A darkly atmospheric, menacing tale from the author of ‘After the Fire, A Still Small Voice’ this novel follows the reclusive Jake Whyte as she sets up home on a remote and seemingly deserted British island. Jake wants to be alone with no one but sheep and her untamed companion Dog but when something starts brutally killing the sheep, one by one, she begins to question her solitude.

Constance Tsarabanjina

Constance Tsarabanjina

4. The Infatuations by Javier Marías

Every morning María, a publisher’s editor, has breakfast in the same café and watches the same couple at the next table. She grows increasingly attracted by their obvious infatuation until one morning they’re simply not there and she feels oddly deprived. Seeing a picture of the man murdered in the papers María feels compelled to get involved. Spanish author Javier Marías lures us into a world of desire and infatuation with such graceful beauty and ease that the reader becomes as entranced by the playing out of the inevitable murder as María herself.

5. Soon by Charlotte Grimshaw

Tensions arise as two families are thrown together for the summer in a palatial beach house in New Zealand belonging to the Prime Minister. The intense inter-personal relationships are further complicated by emerging tales of corruption and political intrigue in this page-turning novel which has sat at the top of the New Zealand bestseller lists since publication.

For more inspiration for your summer reading check out:

Top tips for getting over jet lag

Revive aching muscles and stiff bones after a long flight with a range of full body stretches devised by personal trainer at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Isabelle Lamant.

Exercise 1 – Relax the lower back

Open arms and keep shoulder blades on the floor. Relax your legs on the side. Inhale for 8 seconds with the nose – exhale naturally through the mouth. Repeat 5 times.

Exercise 1 – Relax the lower back

Exercise 1 – Relax the lower back

Exercise 2 – Stretch your bottom to avoid pain in the lower back

Put your right foot on your left knee, right arm between your legs, cross your fingers on or under the left knee. Press your knee in the direction of your chest until you feel the muscle stretch. Hold for 20/30 seconds per leg.

Exercise 2 – Stretch your bottom to avoid pain in the lower back

Exercise 3 – Stretch your hamstrings with a towel

Hold a towel with both hands and stretch your right leg as far as you can. Hold for 20 seconds. To avoid curving the back, bend the opposite (left) leg and put the left foot on the floor before changing legs.

Exercise 3 – Stretch your hamstrings with a towel

Exercise 4 – Stretch the outside of your legs (abductors)

Hold the towel in your left hand and place it under the right foot. Keep your left leg flat on the floor, turn your head and stretch out the right arm on the right side. Put the left elbow on the floor and pull your hand gently until you feel the stretch on the outside of the right leg. 20/30 seconds per side.

Exercise 4 – Stretch the outside of your legs (abductors)

Exercise 5 – Stretch inside of your legs (adductors)

Place the towel under your right foot and hold in the right hand. Keep your left leg flat on the floor, turn your head to the left. Put the right elbow on the floor and pull your hand gently until you feel the stretch on the inside of the right leg. 20/30 seconds per side.

Exercise 5 – Stretch inside of your legs (adductors)

Exercise 6 – Stretch inside of your legs (adductors), hands and forearms

We never think of stretching of our hands but they can really need it. Bend your knees, bring your big toes together and sit down as far as you can on your heels. Point your fingers in the direction of your hips and then press the palms of your hands on the floor. Hold for 20 seconds.

Exercise 6 – Stretch inside of your legs (adductors), hands and forearms

Exercise 7 – Stretch quads and improve the flow of blood circulation in your hips

Position your right knee above the right heel, stretch the left leg back and raise your spine. 20 seconds per leg.

Exercise 7 – Stretch quads and improve the flow of blood circulation in your hips

Exercise 8 – Stretch your hamstrings and shoulders

With your legs close together, cross your fingers behind your back and bend forward. Stretch your arms above your back as far as you can. Hold for 20 seconds.

Exercise 8 – Stretch your hamstrings and shoulders

Exercise 9 – Stretch your arms and chest and open the thorax

Put your fingers on a wall, stretch your arm and twist your body in the opposite direction. 5 deep breaths per side.

Exercise 9 – Stretch your arms and chest and open the thorax

Exercise 10 – Stretch your Legs, back, shoulders and arms

Press your hand against a wall. Stretch your arms and legs and keep your back parallel to the floor. Hold for 20 seconds.

Exercise 10 – Stretch your Legs, back, shoulders and arms

After this routine of 10 exercises you will immediately feel the benefit. These are stretches you can do every day without moderation.

Learn more

 

Are you getting the most out of your 5 star hotel?

Many travellers can be reticent about getting the most from a stay in a luxury 5 star hotel, according to travel writer Mark Hodson in the Huffington Post.

Personal service at the Beach Bar, Constance Tsarabanjina

Personal service at the Beach Bar, Constance Tsarabanjina

Hodson suggests that ordinary travellers need to understand that excellent high-end service is what you’re paying for when using 5 star hotels and travellers should not be timid about taking advantage of this.

Ways to improve your 5 star experience, according to the post, include:

  • The concierge – Hodson describes the concierge as the pinnacle of service at a 5 star hotel. ‘The concierge is a highly-trained and well-connected fixer whose services are at your disposal.’ Available for everything from theatre ticket bookings (if you contact the concierge desk before you arrive) to restaurant reservations and bookings, the concierge is there to smooth out any difficulties, fix any problems and make your stay as pleasurable as possible.
  • Get in touch before you arrive – ‘Once you’ve made your booking, contact the hotel to let staff know how they can make your stay more comfortable,’ advises Hodson. This can mean anything from ordering the perfect pillow to informing them what brand of tea you prefer in the morning.
Expert preparation at Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Expert preparation at Constance Moofushi, Maldives

  • Butler service – Take advantage of butler service by having your butler unpack for you, they will also iron clothes and hang them for you if required. Hodson claims a personal butler will run any errand for you during your stay, much like an executive PA.

Read Mark Hodson’s full post on How to get the most out of a luxury hotel.

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Barefoot beach experience in the Maldives and Madagascar

Retreat to a castaway island in the Indian Ocean for an all-out escape from the pace of everyday living and gain the ultimate barefoot beach experience.

Senior Water Villa, Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Senior Water Villa, Constance Moofushi

The small, remote islands of Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar and Constance Moofushi, Maldives exude a laidback, barefoot vibe where you can indulge in warm sunshine, white sand and crystal clear waters by day, before enjoying balmy nights under star-filled skies.

The all-inclusive Cristal package means you can enjoy everything that’s on offer, without sparing a thought for needing to settle the final bill at the end of your holiday.

Stay in a beach or water villa

At Tsarabanjina each secluded beach villa has its own hammock hung in the shade of the trees, perfect for taking time out to cool off from the sun and let time drift away.

The villas themselves exude a rustic charm with palm thatch, Malagasy crafts and woven furniture. We’ve thrown in a few modern day luxuries to make sure this is barefoot living at its finest including air-conditioning, vast beds and mini bars stocked with a superb selection of drinks and snacks.

At Moofushi the laid back charm of the beach villas’ are echoed in the palm-thatched water villas, accessed by wooden jetties warmed by the sun. The villas’ expansive wooden terraces have their own steps leading down to the clear waters of the lagoon where you can swim and snorkel.

Constance Tsarabanjina

Constance Tsarabanjina

Spa indulgence

Feel your pulse slow to the more gentle rhythm with a range of spa treatments that reflect the environment you’re in.

The therapy rooms at Moofushi are open sided so that the ocean view is part of the experience – so much so that we’ve even put glass panels in the floor so you can see marine life passing by beneath you.

At Tsarabanjina we’ve gone a step further with an indoor and outdoor natural spa set on a secluded shelf of ocean rock. Watch the sun set while breathing in the scent of natural locally-sourced remedies and oils during a massage and feel reconnected with yourself and the world around you.

Fish for your dinner

At Tsarabanjina and Moofushi try fishing in the traditional way, on a Malagasy pirogue or Maldivian dhoni. Bring your catch back to shore and our chefs will prepare it for you so that you can experience the joy of eating your own freshly caught fish, with your barefeet in the sand.

Castaway by night

At Moofushi’s Manta bar, lounge on beanbags on a beach lit by natural torchlight while enjoying a glass of chilled champagne, or watch a classic movie under the stars.

Spa de Constance, Moofushi

Spa de Constance, Moofushi

For those seeking true Robinson Crusoe-style seclusion a private dinner for two on your very own sandbank at Moofushi will make you feel that you have truly escaped the hustle and bustle of the modern world.

And at Tsarabanjina, fresh seafood and vegetables bought at the local daily market are served in the main beachside restaurant, combining a boutique boho feel with delectable food and wine. Then walk along the shoreline to the quiet and intimacy of your beach villa.

Tempted to find out more?

Match food with fine wines at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Take inspiration from Le Prince Maurice, and match food with fine wines, selected from the hotel’s extensive wine cellar.

The wine cellar at Constance Le Prince Maurice

The wine cellar at Constance Le Prince Maurice

1. Springfield Estate, ‘Life from Stone’, Sauvignon Blanc, 2011, Robertson region, South Africa

This Sauvignon Blanc has an expressive nose with exotic fruit flavours of passion fruit, pineapple and hints of grapefruit. It is crispy in the mouth, full of minerals with a citrus fruit aftertaste.

Food pairing

Albacore tuna carpaccio, celeriac and preserved lemon

2. Mullineux White Blend, Chris and Andrea Mullineux, 2011, Swartland Region, South Africa

This has a glorious nose of apricot, peach and honey, a harmonious blend with a beautiful complexity and a lemony freshness and fruitiness.

Food pairing

Faye faye crab millefeuille and victoria pineapple with coconut dressing.

3. Felton Road, Chardonnay, ‘Bannockbum’ 2010, Central Otago, New Zealand

The nose expresses top notes of white peach and cashew followed by a hint of toasted oak. Rich mouth filling flavours of white peach followed by some spicy taste, a touch of citrus and creamy in texture with a long aftertaste.

Food pairing

Grouper fillet cooked on a low temperature, creamy mussel marinière and local river watercress puree.

Laguna Bar, Constance Le Prince Maurice

Laguna Bar, Constance Le Prince Maurice

4. Vuurberg Red, Rall Donovan, 2009, Stellenbosch region, South Africa

Incredible concentration with intense fruit and structure in the mouth. Lots of cassis and spicy, leather notes with a firm tannin structure and the potential to evolve beautifully. Decanting recommended.

Food pairing

Roasted duck breast from the South Island with herbal flavours, sautéed sweet potato and pumpkin with braised mushrooms.

5. St Emillon Château Tertre Roteboeuf, Grand Cru Classé, 2004, Bordeaux Region, France

With floral notes and black fruit aromas this is charming and elegant in the mouth. It has a very fruity and caressing taste with soft tannin, excellent balance and a splendid finish.

Food pairing

Strips of foie gras and Australian beef tenderloin, pan-fried exquise potatoes from the South, oyster mushroom and onion pickles.

Wine cellar at Constance Le Prince Maurice

For more inspiration guests at Le Prince Maurice can visit the wine cellar and join our sommeliers for a wine tasting where you can sample a selection of some of the best wines from the new and old world.

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