A PLACE AMONG THE PALMS

Destination of the World News - - DESTINATIONS SEYCHELLES -

The afore­men­tioned Café Dauban harks back to the Dauban fam­ily of France who once owned the is­land from the mid-19th cen­tury. “Roth­schilds of the In­dian Ocean” had de­vel­oped plan­ta­tions on the vol­canic is­land, as well as sev­eral prop­er­ties that have been painstak­ingly pre­served un­til to­day. The re­sort itself, how­ever, strays from the colo­nial style of the listed Grann Kaz re­cep­tion build­ing, for a more chic, ocean-fac­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. My stay was in a King Ocean­front Villa, which as the name sug­gests, is quite a re­gal dwelling right up on the shore. Thanks to some nat­u­ral fo­liage, there’s plenty of pri­vacy in the sandy “front yard”, with a deck for loung­ing im­me­di­ately out of the slid­ing French win­dows. In­side, the stu­dio villa is cen­tred around the invit­ing 300 thread-count king-sized bed, with a sur­pris­ingly spa­cious, white-fix­tured bath­room – and an out­door rain shower to bathe at one with the el­e­ments. And if you’re a real wa­ter baby, don’t over­look the beach­front vil­las with the plunge pool op­tion. Fol­low­ing my close en­coun­ters of the un­der­wa­ter kind, I was happy to un­wind be­tween the villa and my per­sonal slice of beach­front be­fore sam­pling some din­ing op­tions. With seven on-site restau­rants, it would be a challenge to sam­ple ev­ery menu high­light within a short stay, but Fri­day nights present a hand so­lu­tion in the form of a “Street Food Night”. Fol­low­ing a torch light­ing cer­e­mony that seems to in­volve the en­tire re­sort’s staff, the pool area and ad­ja­cent restau­rants (La Pizze­ria and Lo Brizan) are trans­formed into a food fes­ti­val with handy bites and dishes from var­i­ous cor­ners of the globe. The va­ri­ety of cui­sine re­flects the di­ver­sity of Cre­ole cook­ing, with panAsian, Euro­pean and African in­flu­ences; sushi, pizza, bar­be­cued meats, a noo­dle bar, and even a Mex­i­can taco sta­tion for flavours from fur­ther afield. The fol­low­ing morn­ing, still semi-stuffed from the night be­fore, I made sure to scope out a more for­mal venue in the shape of Por­to­bello, Labriz’s Ital­ian fine din­ing restau­rant, which has a com­pre­hen­sive à la carte break­fast menu. My one short­com­ing, how­ever, was not book­ing a seat at the Sakura, a taste of Asia, open for din­ner only – aside from pri­vate cook­ing classes.

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