If you follow me on instagram (if not you can HERE) then it may not have escaped your notice that a couple of weeks ago I was lapping up the sunshine on the honeymooners holiday island of choice – Mauritius.
And didn’t it look Uhhhmazin’? Like totally instagrammable. The dream instagram place. In fact it was so instagrammable that I got bored instagramming it because each post screamed ISN’T MY LIFE AMAZING & LOOK I’M IN PARADISE and that’s just a bit annoying isn’t it? I think I may even have lost followers because of it (sob). I mean look…
Ugh so boasty and #livingthedream
So yeah I went to Mauritius and it was good. Better than good, it was great. Wonderful even. As such I thought I’d share my thoughts and photos which I’ve decided to split up into
two a few posts for you all to feast your eyes on.
I mean I was just going to do two posts, one of the hotel and one on Mauritius but I got a bit carried away and before I knew it I’d typed OVER 1500 words on JUST THE FOOD ALONE. (I like food). I mean, way to bore the socks off my readers eh?
Anyway this post (I can’t believe I’m actually going ahead with this idea?!), is just about the food at the hotel we stayed in, in Mauritius. And when I say stayed in, I mean we utterly existed in there for four solid days before we even thought about venturing out and seeing the island. Yup. The hotel was so bloody comfortable and luxurious and indulgent and relaxing that it totally encased us in the laziest of holiday moods and it was all we could do to lift our heads off our sunloungers to order another cocktail. Heaven.
So prepare yourself for an onslaught of food pictures BUT first a bit of background on the journey to heaven aka – The Lux* Grand Gaube, Mauritius…
We arrived at 1pm in the afternoon after a 11hour flight through the night from the UK. We flew direct with Thomson and they were the only airline we found who went direct. We could’ve gone via Dubai but we could really be arsed with dilly dallying around in another airport for an hour so Thomson was our only option. The flight was comfortable and went by faster than expected!
I watched Maze Runner on the plane which was ohmygod so scary! Well, not really. But it was full of suspense and ‘EWWW WHAT IS THAT’ and ‘NO DON’T GO IN THERE’ moments. And then it got to the end which was a bit weird but still, worth a watch.
FYI I just want to point out that the boyfriend is pulling a stupid face here and that’s not really what he looks like – I’m not going out with an actual moron or anything.
Anyway we arrived at the Lux* Grand Gaube, hot & sweaty (blanket scarves & duvet coats aren’t really suitable attire for Mauritius in February). We were also shattered, my hair was getting bigger and frizzier by the second from the humidity and I’d done that headjerk thing when you fall asleep sitting up about 457 times on the 1.5 hour drive from the airport. I was MORE THAN READY to just kick back and be on holiday.
The good news is the Lux* Grand Gaube & their staff totally understood this. We got off the transfer bus and were welcomed into a well-manicured garden, handed a (slightly warm) fruit cocktail and serenaded by a man playing a guitar. It felt hella fancy (I’ve NEVER been serenaded on arrival at a hotel in my life) and I was like, umm yeah this’ll do for me.
Fruit cocktails necked we were then told we that wouldn’t need to do the boresome checking in bit, standing around in reception for an age but instead could go straight to our rooms to freshen up (and possibly shave my head). No lugging of our bags either, no. Our suitcases were whisked out of sight and to our rooms by the uber-efficient hotel porters. Oh yeah.
The room itself, in my opinion, was faultless. I was really happy with everything about it.
The bed was huge & ridiculously comfy, the view stunningly beautiful, the shower powerful and complete with complimentary spa-worthy shampoo/conditioner/body wash and on top of all of that the drinks from the minibar were ours for the taking at no extra charge.
I actually did one of those internal screams of happiness when we walked in and then ran around doing a happy jig before diving onto the bed when the hotel lady left. Way to play it cool bro.
One lil, minor point I’ve left out so far was the fact it was, erm, *my birthday* on the day we arrived and booking a holiday for my birthday is about the smartest thing I’ve ever done. It’s just the best way to see in another year. DOOOO IT. Especially if your birthday is in February. It’s like the saddest month of the year to have a birthday, other than January.
Anyway – The LUX* compounded my decision by making a bit of a fuss over little old me for my birthday celebratings. I received a birthday card from the staff as well as a chilled bottle of sparkling wine and a coconut cake to enjoy. It was really, really lovely, it’s just nice when people make a fuss over you on your birthday isn’t it?
I mean especially as NO-ONE through passport control or the airport had even noticed it was my birthday despite having my birth-date written in black & white in front of them on several occasions. I even kept doing this crazy eyed stare whenever they looked at my passport, willing them to look at my birthdate and make the damn connection. LOOK AT THE DATE. WHAT IS TODAY???? LOOOOOOOOK. but still I got nada. So I was really touched the Lux* made a deal of it…even if they’d had a heads up from my well trained boyfriend.
So that was our intro to the Lux* Grand Gaube and I’ve gotta say, first impressions were guhooood. We were impressed. It was everything you’d expect from a 5* resort and it was only going to get better…
So on to the Food…
We were on an all-inclusive package just because it was an easy option. The cost is also never much more than going half board or self catering. For me, when staying in a hotel it’s kind of no-brainer because it means if you’re hungry (which I am all the time) you can help yourself or just order up and you also don’t have to bother with carrying money, you can just stuff your face with all the food and down all the cocktails and write down your room number at the end.
^^^Cocktails with a side of frankfurter.
And it should be noted too, that to escape the luxurious confines of the Lux* Grand Gaube you have to do a 15 minute trek up the driveway and then there’s not an abundance of restaurants to choose from in the Grand Gaube area.
So truth be told, we, erm…ate at the hotel every. single. day. (apart from some samosas we had from a street stall on our ‘tour of the North’ – which I’ll tell you ALL about in another post)
I know, I KNOW what awful Brits abroad we are not venturing out and sampling the culture of Mauritius and eating in local establishments. I honestly feel horrible about it, I do. And I know I said going all-inclusive is a no-brainer but that’s not because I don’t like to eat out. I do. That’s my favourite thing to do (umm have you read my blog?)
I love researching restaurants and discovering new places. Normally it’s a new restaurant every night on holiday for me but this time it was all a bit too much like hard work. And ain’t nobody got time for hard-work on holiday in MAURITIUS. So judge me all you want but yes, we ate at the hotel every day & night and I ain’t even sorry.
Now let’s all move on from the horror of my confession and have a chat about what is was we ate.
The Lux* Grand Gaube has three restaurants to choose from – The Abalone, The Beach & The Banyan Tree – plus the hotel buffet, so dining really did’t feel repetitive and boring like you might have thought.
Instead I almost felt like, OHMYGOD WE’VE ONLY EATEN HERE ONCE AND THERE’S SO MUCH MORE ON THE MENU I NEED TO TRY AND WE’RE LEAVING IN THREE DAYS. #foodanxiety.
To overcome this issue we made sure all meals consisted of at least three courses where possible.
On the first dreamboat night in paradise we didn’t actually eat at any of the restaurants mentioned or the buffet instead opting for the ‘romantic meal’ booking by the pool (which my sneaky boyfriend organised as a birthday treat.)
A little table for two with candlelight and a view across the pool, it was romantic as hell, so romantic in fact, that we even got married without even realising it…
^^^ ‘scuse the dark photo, was still trying to work out my camera setting at this point.
Apparently the Lux* are pretty obsessed with marrying everyone off. “Mrs Ezekiel this, Mrs Ezekiel that”. To be perfectly honest, it really started to wind me up as the week wore on. I mean, a modern day women. A strong, independent, modern-day woman and I resent being married off before I’ve actually decided to marry off. I mean, can’t a gal keep her own name!
Perhaps it’s the honeymoon vibe of Mauritius that leads the Lux* to believe everyone MUST have just walked down the aisle, who knows? Ahh well maybe it was good practise for when I do get married…
Which is way off, just incase you were wondering…
But anyway back to dinner – we had to pre-order our food for the romantic dinner and I have to say it was my least favourite meal of the week. It wasn’t exactly bad it just wasn’t very memorable and I couldn’t really see it either.
You know what romance is like, low level lighting and all that. I did get to test out my flash though and embarrass my boyfriend no-end.
^^^The only half decent pic I got, I seriously need a bit more practise with my camera.
So that was our fist meal and despite it not being the best meal of the holiday it was a lovely intro to the Lux*. Even more so because I got ANOTHER birthday cake!! And you can’t really complain about that can you!
The rest of the week we tested out the other restaurants.
We favoured the Banyan Tree restaurant for lunch as it was located by the ‘adults’ pool where we spent most of our time. Also I should point out that it is only open for lunch. The cuisine is local, so a mix of Indian, South-East Asian & Creole. i.e. very delicious!
My favourite dish was the steak and the oodles of noodles (such big portions!) we really good too! In addition the complimentary spring rolls deposited on our table at each sitting were AMAZING and the breeze through the trees just heavenly.
If you’re looking for somewhere to escape the blazing heat in the middle of the day then the Banyan Tree is an ideal spot.
Borrowed a couple images from the Lux* insta as I realised I didn’t take nearly as many photos as I thought?
The next restaurant we tried was the mediterranean restaurant, imaginatively called ‘The Beach’ and it’s located at the end of the main beach. It was also noted as the general fave on old TripAdvisor and it definitely proved the most popular with hotel guests.
It was almost impossible to get a table at prime-lunching time so it’s worth going later in the afternoon to avoid standing around in the blazing heat, waiting for a table.
If you’re not the waiting kind, you can order pizzas-to-go from here and eat them on your sun-loungers. Personally I didn’t rate the pizzas much, I guess living in London has got me spoiled (I’m looking at you Franco Manca, Pizza Pilgrims, Home Slice, Pizza East).
However the burger was really tasty – a big juicy patty with all the trimmings, mature melted cheese and not even a soggy bun. Now that’s my kind of burger!
I also had a portion of the goats cheese ravioli (on a different day guys – I’m not an actual eating machine!) which was delicious. It was a big portion too which shocked me as usually ravioli portions consist of 4 squares of pasta and that always upsets me.
And I can assure you they both tasted as good as they look in the pictures below. I’m salivating just looking about them again.
The third & final restaurant we ate at was the Abalone restaurant which sits on the beach under the stars – romantic, holiday, honeymoon vibes galore. They specialise in fish but do have a couple of non-fish options so it’s worth going here even if, like my boyfriend and I, you’re not big seafood fans.
^^^Can you feel the love?
For The Beach (mediterranean), the Abalone and the romantic poolside number you have to book a day in advance and this is 100% the case. It’s a tad annoying having to do this as it’s nice not to have to plan so much on holiday – especially what time you’re going to have dinner – but it’s a must so you don’t end up at the buffet every night.
For the Banyan you don’t have to book but as I said earlier it’s only open for lunch.
When we hadn’t pre-booked a restaurant for dinner we ate at the buffet. This is also where we had breakfast each morning and on the whole I thought it was excellent.
Personally, I’m not much of a fan of hotel buffet breakfasts. I feel they always try and do the whole Full English thing but always fall short (the bacon is always a bit weird and don’t even get me started on chicken sausages, what the actual??)
However the mountains of fresh fruit, fresh to order pancakes and waffles and huge offerings of brie and goats cheese was enough to keep my belly as big as my eyes and I may have washed all this down with a pain au chocolate dipped in Nutella. Soz not soz.
The buffet dinner was even more impressive. Each night boasting a different theme; we sampled the Mauritian, Indian and Asian spreads – which are essentially all the same and get a ten out of ten for me.
For the curry lovers among you I doubt there will be any complaints. We couldn’t get enough of the food on offer which included super tasty chicken tikka bites, succulent spiced lamb chops, relishes and chutneys that literally blew our minds and were bursting with flavour.
Popperdoms, roti breads as well as veggie, fish & meat options plus a separate pasta dish or alternative option just incase you weren’t down with the evening’s cuisine theme.
^^^^ Stuffed and sleepy (possibly a little sunburnt too) after one too many rounds at the buffet!
On the Indian night, in particular, my boyfriend and I had a bit of a panicked chat about how we thought we might have to go up more than three times to try everything that was on offer and that the other hotel guests would then judge us.
Rest assured we made those three trips (possibly four, I lost count) and chucked our deuces up to anyone who even remotely gave us a disapproving look. I think my boyfriend ate 15 chicken tikka wings alone. I mean, what a guy. Gluttony at it’s best.
I guess the only minor problem with devouring all this food of an evening were the consequent food-comas we lapsed into post dinner, meaning that most nights we were in bed and asleep by 11pm.
Now that’s a holiday.
…Although there was that one night when we ate dinner early and then ordered room service at mid-night because, well, because we had a menu and a phone in our room.
We went for one Spaghetti Bolognese to share (coz pasta at midnight is always such a great idea) and a little ice-cream dessert to follow. FYI I *might* have come back from Mauritius a stone heavier but oh how it was worth it.
Three restaurants, a well stocked buffet table and round the clock room service what more could our tastebuds possibly want for. Why free ice-cream of course!
And luckily this was something the Lux* offered as part of our all-inclusive package. Yup we could help ourselves to as much free ice-cream as we wanted from the ICI truck by the beach. Naturally we indulged in this treat errrrday because umm. HELLO FREE ICE CREAM.
And it was home-made, not that I would have cared or noticed if it wasn’t but you know, sounds better doesn’t it.
My favourite was the orange flavour (complete with Oreo cookie stuffed in the top which made it taste the same as a chocolate orange) but the passionfruit was also really, really good. My boyfriend on the other hand, lost his mind over the pistachio flavour.
Another facility we made the most of was the Lux Cafe which dished out daily coffees also for free!! Everything from lattes to luxaccinos and iced coffee which in 30 degree heat with 85% humidity is like a basic human right.
And the Lux* provide this all as part of your all inclusive package. Fist bump, high five, bro punch, round of applause etc etc.
So that was that. We came, we saw, we ate…a heck of a lot of food. It was great and although I miss the feeling of being able to smugly say, errrgh ma gaaad, I found this GEM of a local restaurant, I don’t regret a thing.
I mean food on tap, what’s to regret?
Sure it’s been expensive buying a whole new wardrobe of clothes in the next size up but then meh, I can obviously afford it, I holiday in Mauritius baaaaby. (<<<<obviously a joke, I am so broke I’ve been eating homemade ham & coleslaw sandwiches ever since I returned as Pret is now wildly overpriced. Not that I’m complaining, sometimes you just can’t beat the classics, can you?).
I’ll be sharing more details about the hotel soon & also the trips we did take out of the resort to see the rest of the island. I’ll do my best to keep those posts a little less lengthy although I can’t promise anything. I hope I didn’t bore y’all too much!
Thanks for reading!