Constance Christmas Log Cake Competition

Bruno le Gac, our executive corporate chef, reveals the winner of the Constance Christmas log cake.

Constance Christmas Couture Handbag Cake

Constance Christmas Couture Handbag Cake

The whole process started more than 6 months ago, when I launched an internal competition amongst the pastry chefs of the company.

Inspired by what the top pastry chefs in Paris have been doing lately, we wanted to create a unique Christmas log cake that would be presented and served in all our resorts on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day.

The Christmas Log challenge

The rules were quite simple: the mandatory ingredients for the cake were chocolate and tea (any kind). The chefs could choose the rest.

Our pastry chefs had to come up with something elegant, original and representative of the group. The use of pre-casted moulds, chocolate decors and commercial decorative features was not encouraged, as we wanted the chefs to express their creativity freely and to think out of the box. Finally, all components needed to be edible, even decorative ones.

Each pastry chef had the same amount of time to create, elaborate and present their own version of what the 2011 Constance Hotels Experience signature Christmas log cake should be.

And the winner is…

Chrystel Germain, pastry chef at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Chrystel Germain, pastry chef at Constance Le Prince Maurice

I had the very difficult task of choosing the winning team, based on design, originality and taste. All projects were very interesting and I was thrilled to see how well this project had been received by the teams in our different resorts.

And the winner is…. Constance Le Prince Maurice, and pastry chef Chrystel Germain, who created the Constance Christmas Couture Handbag Cake.

Constance Christmas Couture Handbag Cake

The cake is made out of a coconut ‘success’ biscuit, a body of milk chocolate with coconut tea and cardamom mousse, and a heart of Malibu mousse. It is decorated with laced milk chocolate that symbolizes woven leather.

The sides of the cake are decorated with a paste made out of icing sugar, cocoa butter and glucose syrup. This represents soft leather, and it takes the signature orange colour of Constance Le Prince Maurice.

 Chef Chrystel got his inspiration by passing by the beautiful Anya Hindmarch shop located in the lobby of the resort. Naturally, this is where we chose to take the photos of the winning cake.

Interview: The Guittet family – on holiday with Constance

Guittet family on holiday at Constance Hotels Experience
Guittet family on holiday at Constance Hotels Experience

Aurélien Guittet is a Captain for a European flagcarrier. He is married to Anouk, a lawyer, who is currently a full time mum. They have 2  children – Alexandre, 4 years old and Chloé, 2 years old. They live in Luxembourg, Europe.

Here they share their experience of family holidays with Constance Hotels.

1. Tell us what your family loves most about going on holiday with Constance Hotels Experience.

We discovered Constance 11 years ago. The first resort we went to was Le Prince Maurice in Mauritius. That was such a great time!

The resort itself was like a little paradise. The restaurants were great and on top of it all, the staff make you feel at home, giving very personalised service and a lot of attention. Since that first experience, we only stay at Constance Hotels when we travel to the Indian Ocean.

2. What do your children look forward to the most about the holidays? And you and your wife?

Guittet family out kayaking in Seychelles
Guittet family out kayaking in Seychelles

Our kids are still very young but we agreed early on that we wanted to share our holidays with them.

Our friends and family thought we were crazy to take such small kids so far away from their home. But one of our favourite quotes from Mark Twain says it all:

‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’

So every time we have the opportunity, we take our kids along for the holidays. What they look forward to is to spend time with us, discover new things, enjoy sunny weather, and the beach and pools.

For us it’s about the same. But our main goal when we come to Constance is to enjoy wonderful places, have the feeling of living something exclusive and let ourselves be pampered by the very professional staff.

3. How do you and your wife get the opportunity to relax and enjoy the wonderful surroundings, when you’re travelling with two young children?

Children playing at the kids club, Halaveli

Children playing at the kids club, Halaveli

Well, it’s a question of organisation. Most of the time, when we go to the beach or to the pool, we take them along. But when we want to enjoy a special moment like relaxing at the spa, snorkelling or sailing, we take them to the kids club.

4. Tell us about the different resorts you’ve visited. Do you have a favourite, and why?

As said, our first visit to Constance was at Le Prince Maurice. The second visit was at Constance Lemuria. That stay proved to us that Constance was really the kind of resort we wanted for our holidays because of the location in a small paradise, because of the great service, food, and the impression that every guest is treated like an individual person.

So a few holidays later, we went back to Le Prince Maurice and got engaged there one evening, having a cup of champagne close to the pool with a musician playing flute in the background…

We returned to Le Prince Maurice to celebrate our 10 years together and that was our last trip without our kids.

Aurelien, Alexandre and Chloe on the beach

Aurelien, Alexandre and Chloe in the Seychelles

The first resort we visited with the kids was Constance Ephelia. We were a bit sceptical when we booked, as this resort was much bigger than the ones we visited before, and we were wondering how our kids would behave in such a place. But the experience was just fantastic.

Our last visit was to Constance Halaveli Resort in theMaldives. There, we also had a great experience.

Our favourite remains Le Prince Maurice due to the sentimental value it holds for us, and Ephelia is in our opinion the best for kids.

But we must say that in any Constance resort, the architecture and lighting are absolutely beautiful and well designed, making it a very peaceful place.

5. Have you stayed in different types of accommodation? If so, which type has suited you the most as a family?

Children at the water villa, Constance Halaveli

Children at the water villa, Constance Halaveli

All the suites we have had were really big and it is no problem to share it with the kids. The best was the water villa at Halaveli – very spacious, state of the art equipment, very quiet, breathtaking view and again, the impression of being alone.

6. Do your children enjoy the special kids’ activities that are on offer?

Yes they do! As said before, we sometimes leave them there when we want to do activities that are not suitable for them. They like to play with other kids, use the facilities (games, swimming pools) and they get on very well with the friendly and professional staff from the kids club.

7. Is the food at Constance ‘family friendly’?

Guittet family dining at Constance Hotels Experience

Guittet family dining at Constance

For us, being French, food and wine is of great importance during our holidays.

At Constance, this is just fabulous. Eating at the restaurant is a real pleasure when you can taste high quality products prepared with passion, with the perfect matched wine.

In every Constance hotel we have been, there was always a great choice of restaurants. At the beginning with the kids, we were afraid that they would find the time at the table long and disturb the other guests, but they behaved really well, and the staff are so friendly that it really makes you feel at home.

I was so pleased to discover the wine menu at Halaveli, and to visit their great wine cellar with the chief sommelier. Amazing wine list, especially when you remember that you’re on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean!

We also love to order breakfast for delivery in our room. Being a family and having breakfast on your terrace with your kids, watching the endless ocean and observing the fish hunting is priceless.

8. Would you share some highlights from your family holidays with Constance?

Our kids are very lucky. By travelling with us, they have already seen different cultures, different people, and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.

Guittet family with giant land tortoise

Guittet family with giant land tortoise

They have fed sharks and rays, played with giant turtles, learned to swim in the nicest places and the nicest pools. They came with us deep sea fishing, tried kayaking and had a go in a paddle boat. What else can you dream of to develop their curiosity?

And when they get tired, put them on the bed – the in-room video on demand system has many cartoons that they will enjoy…

9. Do you have any tips for travelling with young children that you’d like to share with other Constance fans?

For the flights, night flights are great as the kids can sleep during travel.

The only ‘enemy’ will be the sun, never let them out without sun protection…

Interview with Nadia Periasammy, sommelier at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Nadia Periasammy is a sommelier at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius. Here she tells us what drew her to working as a sommelier, and how women are finding more opportunities in this traditonally male role.

Nadia Periasammy

Nadia Periasammy

1. What made you decide to become a sommelier, and how has your career developed?

I have never been so proud of my job since I met wine. I first discovered wine when I was in South Africa for a wine package trip. I met Mr Razvan Macici, the cellar master, who takes care of his winery to improve the quality.

He made us visit and taste many different varieties of wine. I was very impressed by the diversity and fascinating job behind all this, and I decided then to develop my career in this role.

2. What does your job involve?

I’d say, good knowledge in general about wine, making our guests feel comfortable, giving advice so guests can choose the right wine, and knowing which food pairs well with which wine.

3. What qualities do you need to be a good sommelier?

  • Good palate.
  • An ability to relate to people about wine.
  • A good follow up about the service.
  • Skill of understanding the customer.

4. In your experience, does a woman bring different qualities to the role?

Table setting at Le Prince Maurice

Table setting at Le Prince Maurice

Women are stepping up and creating a new breed of sommelier with a feminine touch.

Of course, there are still some people who are reluctant to accept the advice of a female sommelier but others find the presence of a female sommelier refreshing, less forceful and more accommodating. Women truly want to delight their guest.

5. Are there more opportunities for female sommeliers these days – how are things changing?

Yes there are definitely more opportunities for female sommeliers these days. Barriers seem to be coming down as women step up into a more prominent position in the wine world. Nowadays, female sommeliers are involved in choosing a fun and creative wine list to suit the restaurant.

Things are changing, and most men are accepting of this - encouraging women to learn more about wine. Women are now becoming certified as master sommeliers, bringing something new and much appreciated.

6. What do you most love about your job?

What I love most about my job is the good atmosphere and team spirit at Le Prince Maurice – people are always there to help and advise when I need it. We have a very interesting wine list.

As we are on a small tropical island, Mauritius, we get the chance to travel all around the world through our wine list. At Constance, we have a diverse choice of wines from different countries.

7. Can you give us your top tip for a great wine to try in 2012?

  • Cru – Beaucaillou 2nd Classified
  • Growth in 1855
  • Owner – Borie Family
  • Vintage – 2001

This wine embodies the elegant, subtle mineral aromas of raspberry.

Children's yoga at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Yoganimals at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Yogani'mals at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Young visitors to the 5* deluxe Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius are delighting in the latest offering for children – Yogani’mals.

After having introduced spa treatments for children, Le Prince Maurice is launching yoga classes for our younger guests.

What happens at Yogani’mals?

The essence of Yogani’mals is to awaken children’s senses, and teach them about yoga through simple, fun exercises.

These yoga sessions for children help lengthen attention span, improve their sense of balance, enable a better understanding of how their body functions and strengthens them physically.

Regular classes are available through Spa de Constance, lasting up to an hour.

Here’s another photo of one of our young guests trying out yogani’mals:

Child doing yoganimals at Constance Le Prince Maurice
Yogani’mals, monkey pose
 

Children’s yoga at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Yoganimals at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Yogani'mals at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Young visitors to the 5* deluxe Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius are delighting in the latest offering for children – Yogani’mals.

After having introduced spa treatments for children, Le Prince Maurice is launching yoga classes for our younger guests.

What happens at Yogani’mals?

The essence of Yogani’mals is to awaken children’s senses, and teach them about yoga through simple, fun exercises.

These yoga sessions for children help lengthen attention span, improve their sense of balance, enable a better understanding of how their body functions and strengthens them physically.

Regular classes are available through Spa de Constance, lasting up to an hour.

Here’s another photo of one of our young guests trying out yogani’mals:

Child doing yoganimals at Constance Le Prince Maurice
Yogani’mals, monkey pose
 

Spa treatments at Constance Le Prince Maurice this Christmas

Spa de Constance

Spa de Constance

Spa de Constance at the 5* deluxe Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius is offering a wonderful new treatment this festive season.

Indulge in our decadent ritual ‘Esprit du rhum’ – Rum Spirit – to relax, renew and recharge during your holiday. This treatment will give you a wonderful sense of wellness and me-time.

Prepare yourself for a Mauritian sensorial escapade with fragrances such as vanilla, cinnamon and aged amber rum. This sweetest treat will envelop your skin until dusk.

Spa treatment at Constance Hotels Experience

Indulgent treatments to restore wellbeing

The treatment starts with a refreshing foot soak and scrub with tamarind salts and lime. This is followed by a gentle exfoliation with rum, sugarcane and cinnamon to renew your skin and prepare it for exposure to the sun.

During our wonderful signature cinnamon massage, you’ll feel any tension in your body slip away.

Enter a comfort zone like never before and watch your skin glow.