Mauritius has been shaped by colonial rule. Becoming a French colony in 1715, the island was administered by the French East India Company until it was captured by the British in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. On this full day private tour you can explore a well-preserved Franco-Mauritian colonial house, learn about Creole cooking techniques and, on visiting a local market, the ingredients used to create this traditional island cuisine.
Your driver-guide will collect you from your hotel for this private, full day tour. The morning starts with a visit to Port Louis’ Central Market, which has been the heart of the local economy since Victorian times.
Here your guide will introduce you to a range of ingredients, from neat cones of turmeric powder to mustard seeds. Many of these originally arrived with the slaves and indentured workers who arrived to work in the sugar plantations and tea fields. Under the direction of your guide, you’ll pick up some ingredients to use at Eureka later.
From here you’ll drive to Eureka, a well-preserved home built in the 1830s at the foot of Mount Ory. It was originally built for Mr Carr, a British aristocrat, before being bought by a second-generation Franco-Mauritian family. It’s now a museum, offering an insight into the island’s plantation history and the colonial families that lived on the island.
One of the largest colonial houses in Mauritius, Eureka is appointed with antiques and furniture imported by the French East India Company. The kitchen is still fitted with an open fire and hand-soldered pots and pans hang from the whitewashed walls. A rare photograph collection documents life on the island during the early 19th century.
Your tour of the house and gardens will finish in the courtyard outside where you can make a simple sauce or snack using the ingredients from the market.
You can watch a demonstration of how to prepare, before getting involved yourself. You’ll then sit down for a traditional Creole lunch, which might include rougaille (a tomato stew) or fresh coconut cakes.
You’ll then have some time to wander among the waterfalls and palms of Eureka’s gardens before being returned to your hotel.