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How to enjoy a weekend like a local

in the Highlands

Immerse yourself in the rhythms and routines of a room

Are you sick of all those emails and notifications? It’s time for change of scenery. In the misty highlands of Reunion, in Saint-Louis to be precise, there is a little hidden haven of peace which is all about the land and traditions, purity and simplicity. In Les Makes, gaze in wonder at the raw poetry of the landscapes and expand your mind by meeting the locals. Get away from it all for a weekend in the mountains of Reunion Island and live like a local in the countryside.

The flavours of “kaz”

After exploring the village, night falls quickly. It’s time for an aperitif! On the table, a bright array of Creole tapas bombards our senses. Fritters, samosas, accras and bonbons piment are all taste sensations. When we ask her, Rose explains each of her recipes. We listen carefully, while sipping a scented rhum arrangé from our glasses. As the guests swap anecdotes and share their experiences on the road Rose serves us her piping hot green papaya gratin. The rest of the meal is a procession of carys and rougails each more tempting than the last. Some people ask for more rice and peas but we’re only interested in the boucané baba figue…

Head in the stars

On the advice of our Creole chef, the evening continues with our head in the stars at the Astronomical Observatory in Les Makes. Far from the light pollution of the city, the clear skies of the Highlands provide the perfect conditions for an introduction to astronomy. First of all we learn to read the night sky with the naked eye, before moving on to binoculars and then telescopes. The constellations of the Southern Hemisphere reveal their secrets in a moment of pure poetry.

Natural beauty

While we might not look so good in the morning, the opposite is true of the landscapes in the Highlands! After a quick breakfast, we take the car and head towards Fenêtre des Makes, a magnificent viewpoint overlooking the cirque of Cilaos. Under a misty sky the island’s biggest peaks, including Piton des Neiges and Grand Bénare loom before us. Silence quickly descends for a moment of contemplation. Leaning against the ramparts, everyone seems lost in their own thoughts. We end our trip with a walk in the forest, through the massive Japanese cedars.

How to "rale un gazon" with the family

Rose and her children join us in the late morning for a traditional Creole picnic. In Reunion Island, picnics are an institution! And they always start with the inevitable hunt for the best spot. Carrying our pots and cutlery we find a kiosk on the forest road in Les Makes. While some people start cooking on the wood fire, we patiently learn to sort the brèdes – leaves and stems from different vegetables. They will be served with the chicken cari and boucané bringelles on the menu for lunch.

Lunch is ready !