Halloween may be a holiday that seems like it’s stuffed exclusively with child’s play, but for the young at heart, or even just those with a serious sweet tooth, the spooky season provides plenty of excuses to indulge. And so this month, we’re devoting this newsletter to all things sweet. That means dessert, of course, so we’ll be whetting your appetite with news from the Pastry Library at One&Only The Palm, as well as picks and pairings for dessert wines at One&Only Cape Town and a recipe for Gingerbread Skeleton Cookies from One&Only Ocean Club. We’ve also got the inside scoop on the deliciously relaxing Chocolate Synergy Massage at One&Only Palmilla. And let’s not forget about the little ones completely: At the KidsOnly clubs at many of our retreats around the world, we’re celebrating Halloween with spooky games, ghoulish crafts and even more sweet stuff. Reservations at One&Only resorts can be made online at oneandonlyresorts.com or through your preferred travel professional.
|Bespoke baked beauties |
|Customise your sweets at the Pastry Library, the dessert bar-cum-chef's laboratory at One&Only The Palm, Dubai.|
Top French toque and culinary innovator Yannick Alléno may oversee the savoury side of things at STAY, the imaginative gastronomic restaurant at Dubai's One&Only The Palm, but it's his dessert deputy, pastry chef Marie Wucher, who runs the show when it comes to all things sweet.
Born into an Alsatian family of hoteliers and restaurateurs, Marie has lived and worked around the world in her mere 25 years, training in the kitchens of such renowned names as Gordon Ramsay and Joel Robuchon. Now working at One&Only The Palm since its grand opening two years ago, she's created the hotel's one-of-a-kind Pastry Library. This interactive area, which opens into the main dining room, invites you to play an integral role in the creation of whatever dish you select from her indulgent dessert menu, selecting the final ingredients and observing Marie and her team as they prepare your perfect plate. If you'd like, you can even come around the marble counter and lend a hand.
With the Pastry Library, the chefs are aiming to "to re-invent the classical code of service and offer more than just a traditional dessert," explains Yannick. "I consider the dessert a precious object."
Precious to be sure, but not so precious that you shouldn't eat it. For as exquisite as every one of Marie's classically French-inspired contemporary culinary creations are, they're even more delicious. Bon appetite.
|Discover decadent dessert wines and pairings with One&Only Cape Town head sommelier Luvo Ntezo. |
We love Cape Town for it culture and history as well as its boutiques, boites and beaches, but we also love it for its food and wine, not least of all the gourmet creations and incomparable tri-level wine loft, at One&Only Cape Town. There, the handsome Luzo Ntezo (named the Best Young Sommelier in South Africa for five years running now) curates a collection of some 5,000-plus bottles of beautiful bubblies, exclusive vintages and old- and new-world reds and whites.
Of late, Luvo's become enamoured of a growing number of top-flight dessert wines too, and so here he shares some of his favourite tipples to enjoy after your entrée, plus the perfect food pairing with each.
Chateau D Y'Quem 1989
Gold straw in colour, with a candied fruit character that showcases sherbet, this French wine has floral undertones and rich caramel and vanilla flavours, but it remains quite crisp in finish.
Perfect Pairing: Chocolate desserts of all types.
Kracher Gruner Veltliner Trokenbeerenauslese
This iconic, dark straw-coloured Austrian wine carries a complex fruit character, with flavours ranging from pineapple to lychee to peach.
Perfect Pairing: Anything with fruit.
Klein Constantia Vin de Constance
South Africa's master wine. Famously known as a remedy for those with a broken heart (as per Jane Austen), this naturally sweet wine is fresh, structured and elegant, with multiple fruit undertones.
Perfect Pairing: Gourmet cheeses and other savoury end-of-meal delights.
Luvo also oversees our ever-popular series of Food & Wine Evenings, the next of which, with Ken Forrester Wines, just happens to be on 31 October, Halloween itself. Booking seats at this delightful dinner would make for a decidedly grown-up form of trick or treating, don't you think? Treat yourself to a most wonderful night of gourmet and oenophile adventure.
|The sweet side of the spa|
|Experience the Chocolate Synergy Massage at One&Only Palmilla and let sweetness soothe you. |
We’ve always known chocolate tasted good, and lately we’ve absolutely devoured every word of any scientific study that suggested that eating it, especially the dark kind, might actually be good for you, too.
More recently though, we’ve been especially gratified to learn that you don’t even necessarily have to eat the stuff in order to experience its healthful benefits. As it happens, when incorporated into a therapeutic massage, the oils derived from cocoa beans can actually improve your skin’s wellbeing, increasing its hydration and blood flow. This same oil can also induce an overall positive mental state.
With this in mind, we offer the Chocolate Synergy Massage at One&Only Palmilla, our luxe oceanfront retreat in Los Cabos, Mexico. Incorporating time-honoured Mexican healing traditions—not least of all those of the Ancient Mayas—this sophisticated treatment uses top-of-the-line ESPA products, a host of additional indigenous ingredients and various massage techniques to deliver outstanding and long lasting results.
This unique, must-try therapy begins with a footbath, followed by the application of an herb compress and the warm chocolate oil. Next comes a combination of Shiatsu, Lymphatic Drainage and Sports massages, as well as Quenviquido, which slowly releases adhesions of the connective tissues. (For an extra-special experience, you can select to enjoy a four-handed massage, with the expertise of two therapists.) The spa ritual ends with a blissful bath soak in your own private garden, which will return you to reality feeling entirely rested and completely relaxed. Best of all, unlike eating a bar—or even just a piece—of chocolate, the pleasures derived from this experience are entirely calorie-free.
|Tricks, treats and fun for kids of all ages|
|Entertain the little ones with a crop of Halloween-themed crafts, games and sweets at One&Only KidsOnly clubs around the world. |
Once we become parents (and grandparents), much of the fun of Halloween is in watching all the joy our little ones get out of their costumed celebrations. And a beautiful beachfront holiday shouldn't mean that you, or they, have to give any of that up. So this year, the KidsOnly clubs at One&Only retreats are celebrating Halloween in style, with a full slate of festive features that bring the "boo" to the beach.
At the KidsOnly Club at One&Only Reethi Rah, in the Maldives, this entire week leading up to Halloween will be filled with spooky-decorating, apple-bobbing and pumpkin-carving. And then, on Halloween night, we'll convert KidsOnly into a haunted house, inviting everyone inside for a friendly fright and to get into costume for a trick-or-treating tour around the island resort, making stops at stations manned by members of the Reethi Rah team.
The day of Halloween itself will also see KidsOnly Club celebrations in Cape Town and Los Cabos, Mexico. At One&Only Palmilla, there'll be time for costumes and movies, as well as pumpkin keychain-making and spooky tattoos (of the temporary type), while at One&Only Cape Town kids can create their own costumes, decorate cards for Mum and Dad and make masks and hats to wear during a special trick-or-treat hunt around the hotel.
Last but not least, at the KidsOnly club at One&Only Ocean Club, kids can help prepare two Halloween treats: pumpkin ghost cupcakes and gingerbread skeleton cookies. The easy-to-follow recipes will even let you and your little loved ones can continue the fun at home.
| ||One&Only Recipe of the Month|
This delicious Halloween delight from the kitchens at the Bahamas’ One&Only Ocean Club will leave you satisfied from head to toe (or, as it were, skull to metatarsals).
Skeleton Gingerbread Cookies
• 113 grams salted butter (room temperature)
• 100 grams sugar
• 1/4 teaspoons salt
• 1 egg large egg
• 160 ml molasses
• 420 grams flour
• 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF)
2. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter & sugar until light and fluffy
3. Beat in eggs one at a time following by the molasses
4. Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl
5. Gradually add the flour mixture (dry ingredients), beating until well incorporated.
6. Wrap the dough in cellophane and leave to rest for one hour in the refrigerator
7. Roll out dough on a floured surface to a thickness of 1 cm` and then make the skeleton shapes using a skeleton cookie cutter
8. Place on a greased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 180ºC (350ºF) for 10 to 12 minutes
9. Remove from oven and cool
Escape with One&Only
Always in the world's most supreme locations, One&Only resorts make the perfect summer retreat for families, friends and couples alike. Discover complimentary nights, special rates, extraordinary dining and spa experiences and save up to 25% with summer offers at One&Only resorts across the globe. Simply click your desired destination on the map to view special offers from each property.