Our honeymoon in the Maldives

It’s already been a month since we got married. Whaaaaaaaat? How did that happen?

We had a gorgeous wedding that lasted 5 days and we were surrounded by our amazing family and friends that flew from all over the world to be with us. A month before, we had booked our honeymoon to the glorious Maldives.

Here’s a quick Sneak Peek of a typical afternoon with us on our honeymoon.

Being in the rush of the last month leading up to the wedding, we didn’t really give it too much thought and tucked it away as something to look forward to after the wedding.  There were so many options on where to book online but thanks to my amazing high school friend, who now works in Male, we found the best resort and honeymoon package at the most competitive rate.

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We were so happy but exhausted when the wedding was over. I even got sick the night before we went on honeymoon and ended up spending the night at the ER. It was nothing serious but a clear sign that I needed to get some rest.

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We flew from Paris to Male through Dubai. And finally after what felt like forever, we arrived in Male. We had to take a tiny sea plane from the capital to our hotel, the Finolhu, Baa Atoll resort. It was really fun to see the plane take off and land on water. The view on the multiple islands from the sea plane was priceless.

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Fun fact: Trans Maldivian Airways has the largest number of seaplanes in the world. The pilots told us how they would fly these beauties all the way from Canada to the Maldives. That’s over 16 hours of flight. Pretty fascinating knowing that these beauties usually only have around 3hrs of flight autonomy #mindblown

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The hotel was fantastic and our water villa with an infinity pool over the lagoon was a DREAM. I can barely realize that we spent 7 days in this place. I mean, look at this!

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The view from our bathroom. UGH!

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We took a buggy everyday to go to the pool and restaurants.

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And nearly every evening, we would see Blacktip Reef baby sharks swimming in shallow water and hunting for their dinner. They swim very close to the shore and it seems intimidating at first but they are harmless to us and eat only small fish. It was a real privilege to admire them (from far, of course) up so close in their natural habitat.

Look, how cute these baby sharks are :

 

We would spend our days either in our villa pool or in the beach club. The Finolhu hotel boasts of it’s 1 OAK BEACH CLUB and pride themselves on being the place to be as they host weekly retro pool Parties with great in-house entertainers and apparently exclusive extravaganzas featuring appearances from the world’s top performers and hottest DJs. I mean, Robin Thicke and Paris Hilton DJed there the weekend at the end of our stay #justsaying

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We also hung out with a French footballer and his wife – who were staying in the water villa next to us. It was pretty incredible. I mean, what is our life? #YOLO #celebritieslife

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The food was pretty good too – featured here the local Maldivian chili or the hottest-chili-that-you-can-never-touch-with-your-bare-hands-or-you-will-die type according to the locals. I thought it was ok. I love me some good chili so I was quite happy to taste it.

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Lunch Buffet!

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Fresh seafood is life!

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July is the perfect season to visit the Maldives because it is their “off” season. It is supposed to be their rainy season but it rained and stormed on only 2 days. The Maldivian weather also changes very fast and so usually the rain doesn’t last too long.

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This was a long stretch of white sand surrounded by the water on both sides. The GORGEOUSNESS, I die!

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We walked across the sand bank to get to their Crab Shack restaurant. It was so worth it!

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This Maldives is, hands down, the best destination we have been to for relaxing. It was the perfect place to spend our honeymoon to recuperate and reminisce on our wedding day. There was literally nothing to do there, in a good way. You are in the middle of nowhere, on a small island and while that seemed like a scary prospect on the first day to me, it was very effective in slowing down our rhythm and making us rest and enjoy the slow pace.

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This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip and the island was SO BEAUTIFUL that no words nor pictures can do it justice. We can’t wait to be back again in 5 years, hopefully for our anniversary! Cheers to that!

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We miss you already!

So long maldives

Mauritian Pudding Maïs (Sweet Polenta Cake)

“Pudding maïs” is a Mauritian staple sweet treat. This tea time snack is loved by both adults and children alike and is an amazingly easy treat to make with only a handful of ingredients.

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This treat brings back so many wonderful memories of my primary school days with my sister. We used to get small triangular slices of this pudding as an afternoon snack from the street vendors. Mauritians are very attached to this delicious treat and relish it with their afternoon cup of tea.

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“Pudding maïs” is a dish that requires very few ingredients but lots of patience (and elbow grease). Some people also like to add soaked raisins (sultanas) in the pudding or to top it with almond flakes. I also like my “pudding maïs” less on the sweet side but you can make it as sweet as you like.

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Enjoy!

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Mauritian Tamarind Rice (Poulisadon) – A Step-by-Step guide

If you have never eaten tamarind rice before, boy you are in for a treat!

Tamarind rice or Poulisadon as it is commonly called in Mauritius is a vegetarian meal that is usually prepared during the religious fast. Poulisadon is usually accompanied by an eggplant dish, greens, coriander chutney and hot tamarind sizzling peppers. I couldn’t find any peppers for this time but all the other fixings are here and my, are they good!

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Easy Pear, Lemon & Blueberry cake

If you are not big on baking or you are just lazy like me, then this cake is for you.

As we wrap up 2016, I decided to reflect on all the things that I accomplished this year. I told myself that instead of writing down New Year’s resolutions (that I’ll realistically never accomplish), I would focus on the things that I have already started and take it a notch further.

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Mauritian Egg Rougaille

This is the perfect dinner to make when your pantry is as empty as your stomach.

The rougaille is a traditional recipe from Mauritius and Reunion island. Reunion island is famously known for its “rougaille saucisse” but the rougaille has been part of Mauritian cuisine forever.

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Mauritian Piments Farcis

Ah the taste of these stuffed chilies….

Piments Farcis is usually served as delicious gajacks (appetizers). For this recipe, I have used Turkish chilies that are milder in taste and roomy enough to hold all of this tasty filling. If you are using a spicier chili, make sure you remove all the seeds and soak it for 10 minutes in water. This is very important else it will be impossible to enjoy your piment farci as the taste will be very spicy.

Here’s what you will need:

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Once the filling has cooled down, stuff the chilies generously. Also how adorable are these bowls? I got them from a market in Tajikistan. I am clearly in love with them.

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Piment Farcis are great appetizers for events. You can change the filling by making it vegetarian (cheddar/mozzarella diced cheese, corn, chopped shallots) or substituting the tuna with meat.

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Look at these babies. So good!

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If you have some remaining batter, you can use them for making “croquettes” or tempuras. I have used shrimps here but you can use cheddar cheese, onions, eggplant, zucchini, potato, the possibilities are endless…

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So yummy!

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