I have recently had the enormous privilege of visiting the Seychelles with my family. Only a short 4-hour flight away, the Seychelles island group is made up of 115 islands to the northeast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, and is perfectly idyllic!
We took the early flight out of Abu Dhabi with Jemima increasingly excited about spending time on the beach and her mission to try ‘’sturf borting’’. Sadly, that didn’t really come to be after she developed a sudden fear for the size of the waves and the fact that there were (apparently) sharks in the water :)
It would have been easy to simply have stayed put in the wonderful Four Seasons hotel: the white sandy beaches, the endless water sports and the luxury villa with its own private pool... However, there are far too many things to do on this island, that we simply had to explore! Here are a few top tips for family travelers:
1. Hire a car
They drive on the ‘’correct’’ side of the road, so be warned if you’re visiting from the UAE :) Mahe is lush and mountainous, you’ll need your wits about you on some of the tiny, twisty roads - sometimes I’d wonder whether or not our diddy car would make it up those hills!
There are so many hidden beaches and coves all over Mahe. Take a picnic and just find your very own private beach for the afternoon or even make a stop at one of the many mini markets dotted along the roads selling some wonderful local snacks and beverages. But more on food later!
You’ll find plenty of craft shops selling anything from fish shaped placemats to every conceivable style of jewelry made from the bounty of shells, coral, and coconuts available on the island.
4. Visit the capital
Victoria is a bustling little town - it’s actually one of the smallest capital cities in the world! Not only does it retain its charming provincial atmosphere, but it also boasts a number of intriguing sights, including a bustling market, manicured botanical gardens, and attractive colonial buildings.
But you're reading this for the food, right?!
Oscar and Jemima’s is, after all, a foodie company so it would be foolish for me not to mention the incredible array of fresh and wonderful tasting dishes that are readily available here. I was a tad worried that Jemima would turn her nose up at the unusual plates of food, but I was, thankfully, wrong!
Fish and chips were pretty much her favourite food on this trip, but not the greasy type you’ll find all over the world, this was freshly caught steamed snapper with breadfruit chips - healthy as anything and devoured in seconds! Coconut fish curry was also a firm favourite, minus the chili of course ;)
Originally a haven for pirates, the Seychelles national cuisine is also characterised by the influence of different regions of the world, resulting in varied flavours. Creole cuisine combines the exoticism of Indian and Asian dishes with the sharp flavours of the Orient, as well as some subtleties of European culinary culture - especially within the top hotels! And the abundance of fish and seafood available at your doorstep is incredible, from tuna to barracuda and lobster to octopus... your seafood to-do list just got longer!
But here are two of my favourite local dishes that I strongly urge you to try at home:
Simply boil your octopus until tender (about 1 hour), then mix together a simple salad of red peppers, torn lettuce, spring onions, and sliced tomatoes. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil and honey.
So simple and yet so delicious!
Just fry off some onions, ginger, garlic, chili’s, and mustard seeds in olive oil with 1 tsp. of turmeric powder for 10 minutes. Then add some coconut milk and boil away before adding some firm white fish, curry leaves and maybe some fresh prawns.
If you liked these recipes, please consider signing up to one of our meal plans before the end of Ramadan as we are donating 10% of all our revenue to charity.