June was a breathtakingly beautiful month on North with overnight rains leaving the island fresh and green each morning. The trade winds have shifted and are now blowing in a south-easterly direction which will bring milder temperatures with very little rain for the next few months.
We were excited to welcome Wayve Kolevsohn to the Island as our new sommelier. Wayve comes from a Michelin-star background and her refined style and incredible knowledge combines beautifully with the laid- back and casual Island environment, resulting in a typically ‘North’ experience – the classic contrast between rough and smooth.
The wine and drinks offering on North is far beyond what is considered the norm and we endeavour to create a bespoke and truly exceptional beverage experience, which extends as far as uniquely personalised minibars for each one of our guests.
It has been said that North Island has the most generous minibars in the world with a snack for every taste. Jars of sweets, and homemade treats from nougat and cakes to cookies and fudge will tempt the most determined of dieters, whilst a selection of fresh and stewed fruits, yogurts, and granola are the perfect refreshing snack after early morning beach walks. Freshly-baked crusty bread is replenished every day and can be tossed into the picnic basket with an assortment of pâtés, cheeses and pickles (all conveniently close by in the pantry fridge and just waiting to be sampled). Nuts, crisps, pretzels and truffles are on hand to quell any midnight snack craving and a blackboard of in-villa dining suggestions offers daily choices for something more substantial. We can even offer bespoke generosity as our chefs will happily offer to tailor each minibar to the guests’ specific tastes – the personal touch that is so typically North Island.
The beautiful faces of North Island
We strive to be as self-sufficient as possible on North Island in keeping with our sustainability ethos. North Island is home to a dedicated team of craftsmen who keep the villas and other structures in shape, ensuring that everything looks its best, and runs smoothly.
This in turn guarantees that all of our guests have a flawless luxury hospitality experience. In and amongst these skilled carpenters, plumbers, stone masons and electricians are our two resident mechanics, Santa and Akila. They hail from Sri Lanka and spend their days servicing all of the mechanical equipment on the island. From the landscaping equipment to the golf buggies on standby at each villa, and even the outboard motors on our fleet of full-equipped diving, fishing and excursion boats.
A Birder’s Paradise
Some 59 bird species have been recorded on North Island: 13 resident species and six seabird species, with the remainder being migrants of varying degrees of rarity. The most notable of the resident species is the Endangered Seychelles white-eye which we reintroduced onto North Island in 2007.
Just 25 of these birds were introduced at the time, at which point it was one of the rarest bird species on Earth, and in very real danger of extinction. The latest population count (conducted in November 2014) took the total to between 93 and 101 individuals on the Island! This is a remarkable conservation success story and one of which we are justly proud. As the Noah’s Ark Project progresses, and still more of the Island is rehabilitated to be home to only indigenous vegetation, we anticipate further growth in our white-eye population.
A number of very rare migrant bird species have been seen on North Island during the last year, including a corncrake – only the fourth-ever recorded sighting of this bird in the Seychelles. Angelin Saunders, a longstanding member of the North Island team, is a serious amateur ornithologist and can often be seen patiently filming hatchlings in their nests. Ang usually has a young hatchling in his care and is currently looking after ‘Fifi’, a moorhen chick that was abandoned by its mother. Fifi was given her first swimming lesson by Ang who, as the former coach of the National swimming team, is supremely well qualified to help a waterbird take to the water!