Heritage In-villa Dining BBQ

One of the best experiences for everyone at Heritage was the In-Villa Dining BBQ. Chefs and waiters come to your villa and prepare the food. Whilst you start your dinner you can see the chef barbequing the meat infront of you; the smells are just as much part of the taste of the meal.

First crudités and salad with freshly prepared dressings decorated the table. First coming of the main course the beef steaks which melted in your mouth like butter. Then, accompanied by a special Barbeque sauce, came the Lamb Shanks which were equally tender and delicious. After this was the culinary pinacle and final main dish, the giant Indian Ocean Prawns were fluffy and generously flavoursome.

The dessert was a beautiful trio of Chocolate Mousse with Citrus Curd, Tiramisu and Tropical Fruit Kebab. Once we had had our coffees to finish, we met the chefs and applauded them enthusiastically as we had a fantastic meal.

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Heritage Villas Stay

On arriving at Heritage Villas you are welcomed at the Chateau, where you are asked whether you want to have the formalities conducted inside the chateau or in the villa. We were led to our villa and given a complimentary cocktail and cold towel, shown around and were asked when and where we wanted dinner as we were with the Dining Around Package where you are expected to try the different restaurants on the resort.

Having stayed already at Heritage villas previously, our party were interested in the differences and similarities between the villas. The previous villa had been all on the ground floor but this villa had a stunning upstairs Master Bedroom with a view of the sea. Each villa has a different personality due to having different owners, so it’s very unique and intimate in comparison to a hotel experience.

Despite it being winter in Mauritius, some of our party tried out the pool and there was plenty of seating outside around the pool for others to join in whilst staying dry. The art and décor of the villa was tasteful in using delicate neutral colours, perfect for everyone.

From the villa we were able to explore all that Heritage had to offer at Awali, Le Tel Fair, C Beach Club and the Golf Club as the villa comes with a golf buggy which offers you that freedom.

http://www.villasdemaitre.com/hotelinfo.asp?SupplierID=1689 

Design background of St Regis Mauritius Resort Mauritius

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Opening on 15 Sept 2012 the first St Regis Resort in the Indian Ocean – The St Regis Mauritius Resort

The tradition of the St Regis brand and design will merge with the local heritage and regional aesthetics of Mauritius.

Stauch Vorster, an internationally renowned architect and  Trevor Julius interior designer of dsgn were inspired but the  romance of Mauritius colonial past and the location in the shadow of the World Heritage site of Le Morne Mountain on the Southwest tip of the island.

The architects and interior designers have recreated the grandeur, structure and ambience of a 19th century sugar baron’s manor house and historical estate. The legacy of colonial romance, refinement and education of this era matches  perfectly with the St. Regis’ history and vision of the art of living.

The design is the colonial style of grandeur and authenticity with rooms with airy high volumes, huge verandas and colonnades especially in the manor house. No impersonal reception but the feeling that the guests are arriving at a private residence.

Matching the St. Regis values of personalised experiences and discretion, the guest is greeted on arrival by a spectacular view along a colonnade and a personal welcome by a signature St Regis butler.

The remainder of the resort is designed around the manor house, where the restaurants, bars, ballroom and other facilities such as a library and conservatory can be found. Its tropical gardens house within the vast estate the spa, pool, additional restaurants, guest suites and a villa.

The architecture of the manor house and other buildings, such as the boathouse, have been conceived as altered originals, deliberately conjuring the passage of time. History has been preserved in the details, the furnishings have all been carefully collected and selected – no two pieces are the same. It mirrors the habits of the colonial owners who cherished and collected heirlooms associated with their Mauritius ancestors’ rich colonial past, taking in French, Eastern, British and Indian influences.

Delightful to see are the bespoke designs specifically created for particular rooms in the manor house. Toiles and wallpapers reference historical events and central moments in Mauritian history, or aspects of the regional flora, or even details from historical sketchbooks.

The St. Regis Mauritius will host six premier restaurants, each with its own definitive style drawn from a particular aspect of Mauritian heritage and all led by the Hotels’ highly acclaimed French Executive Chef Dominique Blais.

The bar is adorned with a signature mural, a St. Regis trademark. Wood, fabric, rattan and bamboo are the dominant materials used creating the warm atmosphere which takes one back in time.

The guest suites are generous in size and well positioned in order that guests can enjoy the proximity of the beach and spectacular ocean views. The suites flow easily from inside to outside.

The interiors reflect colonial romance with natural materials and a neutral tone-on-tone palette.

The overwhelming impression the resort design and feel is a home away from home, with a perfect romantic touch that perfectly embodies the St. Regis experience.

More details http://www.villasdemaitre.com/hotelinfo.asp?SupplierID=1799

A Journey Somewhere in Time… (Colonial Dream Beach House)

Colonial Dream is not just a wonderful beach house; it is a journey somewhere in time.

This villa is the very last colonial home on the Northern coast of Mauritius. It is also the very first beach home that was built in Pointe aux Canonniers by a prominent figure of the island back then as his “campement” seaside home. The campement at that time was used only one to two months a year, during what was called “la saison”, i.e. when wealthy families gathered to spend the winter months on the coast.

The villa is built in stone with numerous thatched roofs that keep the house cool at all times. The rooms display the white and fresh tones of authentic colonial homes. The furniture is mainly “Compagnie des Indes”, carved in purple palissandre 200 years ago in India, or authentic Mauritian creole furniture made with the sought after local mahogany called “macaque”, now almost extinct in the wild. In the entrance, an XVIIth century baroque altar greets the guests. A bunch of flowers stands on an early XIXth century centre table leading to the endless view towards the reef. A 2000sqft outdoor living area with broad verandahs and a huge deck overlooks the Indian Ocean. The main façade is North oriented, therefore the sun pours in all day long towards the pool whose colours match those of the sea.

The Villa size is 5000sqft (3000 inside + 2000 verandahs and deck) and comprises four bedrooms, four bathrooms (3 en-suite, one adjacent, all with double basins). All the bedrooms display priceless antique furniture including: XIXth century colonial mahogany basin stands, old carved tables and stately four poster beds. The interior is bright and airy, with white linen curtains blowing in the sea breeze, immaculate handmade bed covers and superb Egyptian cotton bed sheets. An authentic modern colonial atmosphere.

Outside, the 10 meters long thatched dining room overlooks the pool and sea and has its own small kitchen area with a sink and a fridge. It faces a huge thatched day bed in white with soft pillows to relax and enjoy the view.

Or maybe you will choose a sun lounger on the deck.

Another favourite spot is in the shade under the veranda in one of the old planters’ armchairs. Colonial bliss.

The white sand beach is exceptionally quiet: you are usually all alone all day long.

The extensive living and dining room houses the authentic Compagnie des Indes furniture sideboard, centre table and pair of Indo-Portuguese influenced liquor chests on pedestal, French dessert sideboard, Mahogany creole table with twisted legs, old Chinese portraits, beautiful caned colonial settee and modern white couch.

Heirlooms included: Compagnie des Indes table, caned XIXth century armchair, antique inlaid European desk, XIXth cent ivory and ebony  inlaid dressing table, British colonial chair coming from the Colonial Assembly, antique chinese chest, early 18th cent local Armoire Normande (one of 3 in Mauritius, one being in the Mahebourg museum) as well as  old style “larder” in beautiful oak with hand painted glass and mirrors.

http://www.villasdemaitre.com/hotelinfo.asp?SupplierID=1786


Life is Magnifique – Sofitel So Mauritius Spa

During my recent stay at Sofitel So Mauritius I had the delight to visit and enjoy the spa acclaimed to be the best in the Indian Ocean. I simply had to try it for myself.

Lush vegetation, a turquoise lagoon, quietly flowing stream…Sofitel So Mauritius stands on the south coast of the island in one of nature’s most glorious settings.

I had a guided tour around the spa facilities and was seduced by the idea of a spa in luxuriant tropical vegetation; where they use ancient traditions from around the world mixed with the refinement and skill of the latest French cosmetology. I felt a window in my busy agenda was calling me to rid myself of the stresses and strains of daily life and I could awaken my senses. I modestly booked a long overdue facial and found myself in for 90 minutes of pure pampering. I must say at this point I did consider the Claret Coquet Method … An acupuncture natural lifting therapy with hundreds of gold needles but felt I would just go for the “nourish my body, nourish my soul”.

I loved the idea of the seasons, organic ingredients and the Chinese therapies; I was not disappointed.

The treatments were presented in a typically French manner as a gastronomic menu and I want to share them with you.

Specialite du chef 

Hisbiscus therapy. 90 mins

Body scrub & wrap, full massage

STARTERS 30 mins

Aromatic bath

Relaxing or energising with Bel Ombré aromas

Natural scrub

Rice powder, coconut, papaya, Hisbiscus powder

Natural wrap

Coconut milk, papaya, pineapple

Main dishes

Follow the season beauty biorhythm.

Interesting they call Mauritian Summer Season from Oct to March and Tropical Summer from April to September.

Personalised consultation based on Chinese Medicine

MAURITIAN SUMMER

drain, refresh, sooth with Green tomato and geranium essences

Choice of

Tonic one soothing Summer experiences

season’s body scrub followed by an energetic massage

Sensory Summer journey

gentle facial scrub,organic mask followed by a face massage

TROPICAL WINTER

Nourish the body, stimulate your cells with vanilla, pumpkin, borage essences

Choice of

Invigorating or relaxing Tropical Winter Experience Season’s Body Scrub followed by energetic massage

Tropical Escape

Gentle facial scrub and organic mask, followed by a face massage

I was recommended the latter and followed Premila to a very private treatment room with its very own changing room with shower, basin and toiler. No need for lockers and robes. The decor was bright and fresh, lots of white with a bit of wood and lots of daylight and tropical foliage. As I was lying down with my eyes closed most of the time, this is all I can recall. Premila examined in French every step of the treatment… From the various processes involved in the facial to the Chinese massage of my arms and the massage of my feet. During the 90 minutes I was fascinated and entranced by the whole process. I wondered how I would feel and look afterwards.

Continuing with the menus there are additional well-being main courses:

Indoors meets outdoors hand and with body scrub

Bel Ombre Aroma massage

Verviers, citrus fruit, sandalwood essential oils

herbal poultice massage with spices and flower seeds

Abhyanga massage ( Ayurvedic massage to sooth and balance the body)

Anti jet lag massage

Yoga Tai Chi Qi Gong

Sessions on the beach, in your private garden or in the yoga pavilion

Finally…. the Desserts

Head massage – Simply divine! you need it

Express Body massage – Well being secret for those who are always on the go

Tasty manicure and gourmandises

30 or 60 mins for perfect hands

Happy pedicure and tropical cocktails

30 or 60 mins For perfect feet

Foot reflexology

60 mins

SENSORY SPA JOURNEYS

4 days

Shh…total detox

Day 1 indoors meets outdoors hammam with body scrub, body wrap and body care day 2 Seasons beauty Mauritius summer or tropical winter experience face and body Day 3 Body massage, head massage happy pedicure day 4 Abhyanga massage and private yoga session

Hi! get Deep Energy

day 1 Shiatsu massage and reflexology

Day 2 Natural scrub and herbal poultice massage Day 3 Seasons Beauty MAuritius Summer or tropical winter experience face and body day 4 enviro rating walk by the beach & yoga session & scalp massage

Ahhh….Be relaxed

day 1 Private Qi Quong session and outdoor feet reflexology
Day 2 aromatic bath & Abhyanga massage & scalp massage Day 3 Seasons beauty day 4 Tasty manicure and happy pedicure

WOW… Anti ageing

Day 1 Hisciscus therapy full body scub wrap and massage
Day 2 body massage with be, ombré aromas and reflexology
Day 3 season beauty aroma massage and season beauty facial
Day 4 Natiral lifting acupuncture session “the golden needles of Celine” and tasty manicure

HUMM… Just the two of us

day 1 )hammam with body scrub and anti stress massage
Day 2 aromatic bath and aromatic massage and head massage

Exploring Mauritius East Coast

We headed off from Grand Bay across the flat north countryside with views all around of the coast and the remote islands. It was September and we came across some sugar cane fields being burnt before they were harvested.

Then we came across some planters harvesting their potatoes.

We passed the entrance to one of the large sugar estates Mon Loisir just before Riviere de Rempart.

We stopped at Poudre d’Or, the place where Bernardin de Saint Pierre’s fictional heroine Virginie lost her life in the (real) disaster of the vessel Saint Geran that sank during a cyclone. A much visited monument reminds us still of this long bygone tragedy. A group of ladies were having an outing in a bus and were enjoying the simplicity of this quiet corner of the island.

We found the Poudre d’Or hospital built in 1864 as a chest hospital.

The coastal road on the east coast makes a lovely scenic drive.

Roches Noires is a residential area with magnificent villas. There are many little coves with sandy bays and black rocks.

As we turn we come to the closest part of the coast to the reef. The wind blows and the waves crash on the reef; it’s dangerous to bathe here.
Fishermen often stand on the rock here and come to the villas to sell their fresh catch.

In the south of Poste Lafayette the reef is further away. A lovely quiet sandy beach stretches for miles.


You can drive along the coast for miles. We stopped a moment at Palmar to look at the remote quiet beach.

After Trou D’Eau Douce we head towards Bel Ombre and see the mountains of Montagne Blanche.

At Anahita we visit the coast by boat. We see the mangroves growing on part of Ile Aux Cerf.

Finally we land on Ile Aux Cerf and visit the beautiful sandy beach. Every day many visitors come by boat to visit and many golfers come to play golf on this special island.

Breakfast at Anahita, Mauritius

One of my favourite  interests when staying in resorts like Anahita is witnessing the imagination chefs put into their breakfast menu. Some really understand the joy of starting the day with a culinary adventure which is both exciting and healthy. During my past trip to Mauritius I was wowed by the breakfast bar at Anahita and just wanted to share it with you.

The spread was varied and catered for all tastes including the traditional English buffet breakfast spread, delicious pastries and beautiful fruits & cereals. There was a chef on one area of the bar who would whip up fresh pancakes right in front of you with a wide selection of jams, syrups and toppings; an exciting and special experience especially for any guests with young children.

The selection from the juice bar is impressive with local specialities such as Frangourin (Juice of Sugar Cane) and Tamarin Juice. Well worth a try! The Eggs from the farm are local from the estate and you are given the choice of every type of egg done to perfection, we tried out the boiled egg with farmhouse bread for a difference and the taste was sublime.

As you can see from the A La Carte menu below, there is a huge range of choice and if you’re anything like me, you’ll relish trying out all the different options over the course of your stay. You are also given the choice to eat inside or outside looking over the lagoon. The beach and kids club are just next door so there’s no need to go back to your room, the day is yours!

Bravo Anahita! I look forward to my next visit.

 

Juice Bar

Fresh juice
Orange, grapefruit, pineapple, apple, melon,citrus

Mauritian savours
Citronella (lemon grass), frangourin (juice of sugar cane), coconut water, tamarin juice

Fruits and vegetables

Red alert: beetroot, carrot, orange, spinach

Clean sweep: carrot,celeriac, apples, ginger

Zen attitude: ginseng. ginger, passion fruit, cucumber

Traditional

Alluda, lassi, cold milk 0%, gombova ice tea, soya milk

The ‘Must’

Buck’s fizz , Bloody Mary, fresh fruits and sherbet, macaroon and boudoirs

A LA CARTE

Eggs from the farm

Scramble: truffle caviar or smoked marlin
Benedict: on muffins with hollandaise sauce
Over easy: roasted tomato, grilled musroom and backed beans
Boiled: at your choice with farmhouse bread
Omelette of your choice: Plain, Chives, onion, tomato, ham, coriander, mushroom, cheese, chili or smoked marlin

Coldcuts
Coppa, mortadella, ham and chorizo

Delicatessen
Chicken salami, chicken sausages, beef sausages, Turkey bacon

Cheese
Brie, cheddar, emmental, goat cheese, Roquefort

Mauritian speciality
Chilli bites, eggplant fritters, vegetable samoussa

or

Stuffed roti with peas stew and coconut chutney

Breakfast at Chateau de Bel Ombre

I am definitely a morning person who really appreciates a thoughtful and exciting breakfast menu which was what we were treated to in Chateau de Bel Ombre whilst staying at Heritage Villas. One either sits inside the chateau itself or on its exquisite terrace looking over the fountains and golf course.

The tables were beautifully laid with lovely white porcelaine. We were seated on the terrace and began our breakfast taking in the vista. All started well with coffee for me and a pot of hot chocolate for Jasmine.

Especially for guests on a week’s stay the menu had plenty of choice:

Baker basket
Cereal
Yoghurt
Fruit platter
Eggs- fried eggs, scrambled burrito, eggs benedict,
Mama Creole omlette (fluffy omlette with green chili, scallions, pomme d’amour, peppers)
Eggs, hash brown and bacon
Onions served with grilled lamb kofkas
Steak N Egg burger

Kids choice
Buttermik pancakes with chocolate sauce, local honey, red fruit coulis or nutella
scrambled egg on toast with boerwoerst

 

I am however always disappointed when breakfast is served in the wrong order; such as when the yogurt or cereal arrive after the cooked breakfast or the pastry basket is taken away when the cooked breakfast arrives! Everyone enjoys this meal in their own way and I wished the staff would have simply asked, if that is not the case if you are staying I would urge you to make it clear in which order you would like it in before it begins.

Otherwise our experience at Chateau Bel Ombre was excellent. I chose the Mama Creole omelette and savored the spicy delights of Mauritius a highlight of my day and Jasmine chose her favorite eggs, hash brown and bacon.

http://www.villasdemaitre.com/hotelinfo.asp?SupplierID=1689

Restaurant Gin’ja, Heritage Le Telfair Mauritius (Restaurant review)

Whilst staying recently at Heritage Villas, we paid a visit to Heritage Le Telfair Mauritius where we had dinner at the famous restaurant Gin’ja. The restaurant which serves innovative Pan-Asian fusion cuisine gave us an elegant fine dining experience with a range of exotic flavours and creative combinations.

We were welcomed enthusiastically and shown our table near the teppanyaki corner. We were left constantly pleasantly surprised as we were not choosing from the menu but given a selection of their best dishes which I have listed below in the menu.

Every dish brought us excitement which only increased as we tasted our way through the surprise menu. There were touches of genius all evening such as the delicious steamed buns before and during our meal with exotic dips, as well as the innovative vanilla tempura icecream which melted in our mouths.

We loved how you could also watch the chef prepare the dishes through a glass window near our table; it let us join in with the creation of the food as well as the tasting. You effectively sit outside looking out onto the water under a roof with dimmed lights which really adds to the atmosphere of the restaurant.

We cannot wait to return and taste more of their impressive inspired cusine!

Review

Staff– Friendly, knowledgable and efficient

Food– Delicious, skillfully prepared, innovative and just the right quantity

Atmosphere– The restaurant is trendy and relaxed. We arrived early when just a few tables were occupied but soon we were joined by many others and there was a feeling of mutual appreciation for the culinary delights.

– Menu –

Starter

Gin’ja delicate platter
Assorted sushi maki, Peking duck with tangy hoisin sauce, jumbo tiger prawn tempura

Main course

Duo platter delicious teryaki beef tenderloin, miso glazed ombrine fish with sauteed baby bok choy and green tea sweet potato

Dessert

Vanilla tempura ice cream with warm cardamon chocolate sauce


http://www.villasdemaitre.com/hotelinfo.asp?SupplierID=1689

Mauritius South West’s Unspoilt Coast

The south west coast of Mauritius is unspoilt and beautiful. I love the simplicity of the natural forms of the coast, its empty beaches and the expanse of the ocean heading south with next stop Antarctica. The different colours of the blue ocean are mesmerizing and the warm breeze is invigorating.


We stopped to take in the view and refresh ourselves on the sweet local pineapples. The happy vendor chatted away as he skillfully prepared a pineapple to eat like a toffee apple. We were also tempted by the delicious papayas and watched a passerby have a coconut opened for a refreshing drink.

At Case Noyale we came across the most magnificent banyan tree and wondered at the various directions the branches had taken over the many years.

Le Morne is a UNESCO world Heritage site and this magnificent rock is the backdrop of Villas Paille en Queue. The mountain was used as a shelter by runaway slaves, maroons, through the 18th and early years of the 19th centuries. Protected by the mountain’s isolated, wooded and almost inaccessible cliffs, the escaped slaves formed small settlements in the caves and on the summit of Le Morne. The oral traditions associated with the maroons, have made Le Morne a symbol of the slaves’ fight for freedom, their suffering, and their sacrifice, all of which have relevance to the countries from which the slaves came – the African mainland, Madagascar, India, and South-east Asia.

Like many of the coasts the sea is rising and on one part of the coast we found these wonderful shapes of tree stumps washed by the sea.

I enjoy the sight of the filoas trees which line most of the coast and the wind sings in their branches.

Along the coast there are plenty of places to pull up and relax in the sun and have a picnic.

We delighted at watching a colourfully-dressed ladies outing arriving by bus and taking their picnic onto the beach. We thought of all the weeks of excitement – choosing the best sari to wear and what to prepare to eat.  We could imagine the afternoon’s warmth, laughter and friendship by the shore.

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