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 News - 08-Oct-2013

Strictly Come Dancing Judge Bruno Tonioli Recharges His Batteries In Mauritius

Mauritius may be one of the smaller nations in the world but it makes its presence felt within the global media. This quiet island paradise has, in recent months, been heavily involved in the marketing of the Vanilla Islands travel destination brand, which was created through an affiliation of island nations including the Seychelles, Madagascar, and La Réunion.

Although Mauritius has joined the affiliation created to pool forces and jointly market the region in a bid to increase tourism, the island has also been making its own unique impact on potential visitors. A recent visit from Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli has pushed Mauritius back into the public eye, especially amongst UK viewers of the popular television show.

Strictly Tropical

The decision to travel to Mauritius was not a spur-of-the-moment idea for the Italian-born choreographer and TV personality. The workload that Strictly produces each season means that for 12 or 13 weeks the judges have to be available for their weekend of judging duties as well as TV appearances throughout the week on Strictly: It Takes Two. Most of the judges take a break before the series begins as well as after the finale and this year Bruno Tonioli made the decision to charge up his pre-judging batteries in Mauritius.

This was not the first time that Bruno has visited Mauritius, but for the effusive dancer and judge this was his first trip to the southeast of the Indian Ocean island. He decided to base his holiday at a resort sited below the volcanic remains of Le Morne Brabant Peak, a stunningly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site. The mountain was famed as a refuge for runaway slaves in the early part of the 19th century, with many leaping to their death rather than allowing themselves to be caught and returned to a life of slavery. La Morne mountain has since become a poignant monument to the abolition of slavery on the tropical island.

Delicious Diet

Ever the dancer, Bruno admits that while he finds the food in Mauritius delicious, he has to miss out eating lunch in order to avoid piling on the pounds. He found himself indulging in the huge ‘help-yourself’ breakfasts provided by the hotel then surviving on just fruit until his evening meals.

Being somewhat of a gourmet, he enthused about Mauritian cuisine and the different cultural influences. Remarking that although some dishes are inspired by English and French cuisine due to both countries having control of the island at various times, there are also Indian and South-East Asian influences on the tasty local cuisine. His uncharacteristic use of the hotel's gym was a necessity he said, with a rueful smile, to avoid putting on weight after enjoying the fantastic Mauritian meals.

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