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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Night diving in the Maldives at Constance Moofushi

Night diving in the Maldives

Night diving in the Maldives

Night dives are a unique experience for many divers, enabling even the most experienced to see the ocean in a new way.

Few places offer such stunning night diving as at Constance Moofushi, located in the Maldives’ South Ari Atoll, and regarded as one of the best diving spots in the world.

What you’ll see by night

At night, diving in shallow waters, with only the light of a dive torch, the multitude of colours from the reef and the life it supports becomes even more apparent, as it stands out against the blackness.

The atmosphere on the reef at night is also very different from that experienced during the day. Predators go hunting, prey flees while other fish sleep quietly in holes or crevices.

Night divers are more likely to see certain species such as the Moray eel or octopuses emerging from their holes to hunt at night.

The vibrant colours of the Indian Ocean

The vibrant colours of the Indian Ocean

Underwater firework display

Some sea creatures use bioluminescence as a defence mechanism by ejecting glowing chemicals from their body to ward off danger. These appear as clouds of light under water, creating a beautiful sight for the night diver.

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Italian chef to create a Mediterranean feast at Constance Moofushi

Nicolino Lalla

Nicolino Lalla

In our quest to offer guests an exciting culinary experience we have invited leading Italian chef Nicolino Lalla to cook for guests at Constance Moofushi.

Nicolino will be creating a sumptuous Mediterranean dinner at Moofushi’s Alizee Beach Grill Restaurant, with a special wine pairing by Head Sommelier Nash, on 16 and 23 April.

With more than 15 years experience cooking for fine-dining restaurants including Baglioni Hotel in London, Paresa Resort and Le Meridien Beach resort in Phuket, Nicolino specialises in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.

As a chef, his passion lies in sourcing and using the very freshest seasonal ingredients.

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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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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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A guide to a luxury honeymoon in Maldives

If you’re planning a Maldives honeymoon you’ve already chosen one of the world’s most romantic spots. Here’s our guide to making sure you also get the full luxury experience.

A romantic stroll along the beach

A romantic stroll along the beach

1. Make sure the accommodation measures up for luxury

A honeymoon is a time to indulge in the very best and that includes the accommodation. At Constance Halaveli and Constance Moofushi you can choose between elegant spacious water villas hovering over tranquil lagoons or beach villas tucked on the edge of white sand. Traditional Maldivian influences are found in the Dhoni shaped villas, and palm-thatched roofs of Halaveli, where all the villas come with their own private pool, and the rustic design and art featured in the villas at Moofushi. Seating areas, private terraces, spacious modern bathrooms and sumptuously comfortable beds all add to the overall feeling of understated luxury.

2. Secluded places to be alone

A luxury Maldives’ honeymoon is all about sharing private moments in a beautiful setting and at Halaveli and Moofushi there is no shortage of spaces where you can be alone. At Moofushi you can spend a romantic evening under the stars enjoying a candlelit dinner for two on your very own sandbank. In-villa dining is the perfect option if you want to enjoy sumptuous fine-dining alone. If you want total seclusion take a boat trip to a deserted island for just the two of you and spend the day lying on your own beach, swimming alone in crystal waters and breathing in the romance of the Maldives.

A luxury honeymoon in the Maldives

A luxury honeymoon in the Maldives

3. Plan some once in a lifetime moments

Take the time in the Maldives to create memories that will last a lifetime. After a few days spent lying back in the sun, there’s plenty on offer beyond the beach. At both Moofushi and Halaveli you can take a sunset cruise in a traditional Maldivian Dhoni, or visit a local fishing village. For something a bit more adrenalin-charged you could explore the stunning Ari Atoll scuba diving. Meet the vibrant local marine life from colourful corals to blue-striped snappers.

4. First-class cuisine

Whether you’re enjoying sushi or salads by the beach or romantic candle-lit dinners for two, great food is an integral ingredient in the perfect luxury honeymoon. At Halaveli and Moofushi our world-class chefs use only the freshest, high quality ingredients, locally sourced where possible. Inspired by European traditions with Maldivian ingredients and flare, fine dining is given a local twist. Enjoy extensive wine lists with wines sourced from around the globe by our expert sommeliers.

5. Choose whether to go all-inclusive

There are benefits either way. For those who like the freedom to build their own holiday in their own way, a non-inclusive holiday can be the best option. Alternativley, our Cristal Package at Moofushi offers a luxury all-inclusive option with everything from super-premium spirits, international wine list and meals to snorkelling equipment and a Dhoni boat excursion.

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