In the kitchen, I can’t live without…

 

Microplane

Versatile microplane

In our new series, we take a look behind the scenes of the high-functioning kitchens at our Constance resorts to find out what kitchen equipment our chefs use time and time again.

Here, Chef Dominique Grel, Executive Chef of Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius reveals a Microplane is his must-have gadget in the kitchen.

Tired of your old Parmesan cheese grater that doesn’t grate? Or fed up with your lemon zester that mashes the zest instead of grating it?

Buy a Microplane. They’re sharp. They’re versatile. And they look cool.

At La Spiaggia restaurant, I like to serve a beautiful and healthy salad with seasonal vegetables, elegantly sliced in thin shavings using the microplane.

Season with Dandaragan (a great olive oil from Australia which comes in 3 characters: fruity, delicate of robust), kalamata olives and chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano.

 

Simple to prepare and delicious to eat.

What’s your favourite piece of kitchen equipment?

Do you have a favourite piece of kitchen equipment you use time and again? We’d love to hear from you. You can post a comment on our blog below, or to Constance Facebook or Twitter @constancehotels.

The secret to beautiful shiny hair

Our Spa Manager at Le Prince Maurice, Sophie Demaret, shares one of her beauty insights.

Sophie Demaret

Sophie Demaret

Today, I want to let you know about an amazing hair product – amla oil.

Amla oil

Amla oil is one of the world’s oldest natural hair conditioners. Used widely in India, it turns your hair into a piece of finery that swirls in the air and shines in the sunlight!

Amla oil is made from the Indian gooseberry (or amla). It comes from the Phyllanthaceae family of flowering plants, other members of which also produce fine and precious oils.

Rich in vitamins A and C, it works like a hair pack on your scalp and your hair. It helps fight dandruff, strengthens your hair and aids hair growth – basically it’s a total hair-care must have.

From the moment you apply it to dry hair, you’ll experience a very pleasant fresh sensation, and you’ll quickly feel the benefits of an oxygenated scalp.

How to use it

When I tried it, I gave my hair a thorough soaking with the oil after a good scalp massage. I left it on for 4 hours, although ideally it’s best left on overnight. After the treatment, I shampooed my hair and – hey presto – it had performed its magic.

After just 4 hours, the results are amazing – beautiful, soft, shining hair.

Constance Belle Mare Plage celebrates Divali 2011

Guests and staff enjoyed a beautiful evening at Constance Belle Mare Plage on Tuesday 25 October, to celebrate Divali, the festival of lights.

Special dishes and decorations

Special dishes and decorations

Our chefs prepared special dishes for the evening, with traditional table decorations created from coloured rice.

Celebrations took place at Indigo and Citronelle restaurants.

The name Divali comes from the word Deepavali, which means ‘row of lamps’.

Divali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil.

Don’t miss more lovely photos of Divali at Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice on our Constance Facebook page.

Best and worst book awards

Stack of books

Book awards around the world

Guardian newspaper writer Claire Armistead offers up her longlist of the best and worst book awards in the UK and overseas.

The most pampering luxurious prize goes to the annual Le Prince Maurice prize for romantic literature, held at Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Read what else Claire Armistead had to say about this prize, and many other literary awards – The world of book awards, a longlist.

Top 5 temples and ruins in Mauritius

There’s a fascinating multi-cultural heritage on the island of Mauritius, with a religious mix of Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists.

On the road in Mauritius

On the road in Mauritius

If you want a day away from the beach, there’s plenty of culture to discover on the island. Here’s a quick tour of the top temples and ruins to visit.

1. Balaclava Ruins

On the northwest coast of Mauritius, between Port Louis and Grand Baie are the Balaclava Ruins, just a few metres away from the Bay of Turtles.

The foundations of the fortress estate were laid down by the first French governor Mahé de Labourdonnais.

The ruins are set amidst tropical vegetation, and you can see the original sea walls of the fortress within the grounds of the Maritim Hotel.

2. The Triolet Shivala

The largest Hindu temple, the Maheswarnath, is found at Triolet Shivala in the North of Mauritius. Built in 1819, the temple honours the gods Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Brahma, Ganesha and Muruga.

The Maha Shivarathri festival is celebrated here in February/March each year. There’s also a traditional early-morning Sunday market every week at the village.

3. Dutch Ruins

Set on high ground at Vieux Grand Port, you’ll find the oldest settlement in Mauritius, where the Dutch built their first fort. It’s regarded as a key part of Mauritian history and work is under way to further excavate the site.

Ganga Talao, Mauritius

Ganga Talao, Mauritius

4. Martello Towers

Five martello towers were built by the British in Mauritius, to defend their colony against the threat of attack by the French. In the early 1990s, the tower at La Preneuse in Black River was restored and protected as a national monument.

5. Ganga Talao at Grand Bassin

Ganga Talao is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites on Mauritius. Each year locals make their pilgrimage here during the Maha Shivaratri festival.