COMPLEXD WOMAN: DELLA THIELAMAY

Portraits by Frederique Rapier 

 Name: Della Thielamay

Age: 27

Occupation: Entertainer

Current Residence: London

I am Mauritian, Chinese, Indian and French. My diverse heritage meant that food, language and my general cultural experience has always been very rich. I have many memorable moments of dinning table experiences with family speaking over each other in French, Creole and English. It’s as hectic as my daily life where an average day does not exist.

I’m a singer who loves singing gospel music and a pianist who dabbles in acting and commercial modeling. I love performing and I am grateful that I get to do what I love on a daily basis, I feel fulfilled and in control everyday, but sometimes the industry removes that sense of sureness.

Shoot for Getty Image 

I am mixed raced and when I go to castings seeking mixed raced models, the stereotype is always light-skinned black girl hopefully with an afro. The industry in the UK isn’t as up to speed as it is in America where they do celebrate ambiguous ethnic mixes. There have been many times where my heritage has been a hindrance, but I am proud of my Mauritian, Chinese, Indian and French heritage because it makes me pretty unique.

Portrait by Carly Billing

I suffer from Crohns disease, which is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease that affects my energy, diet, digestion and has very severe symtoms. I champion for the National Association for Crohns and Colitis as often as I can and hopefully with raising awareness and fundraising I will help thousands of others as well as myself. To avoid attacks I try to stay positive and led a stress free life. I strongly believe that by making the decision to choose a career that I love, it has helped me to cope with living with Crohns. My main aim is to be happy and pursue my long-term goal of becoming a Musical Director.

Shoot by Getty Images 

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EDITOR’S DIARY: PETITE ANSE GRENADA

It’s my second week in Grenada with seven members of my family, so to make sure we kept the peace and unity, we went to events, spaces and places that everyone could enjoy. Over the weekend the Sunday lunchtime barbecue at Petite Anse Boutique Hotel was the perfect choice for a combination of family, food and fun and while travelling up to the North Coast of the island we got a chance to see the breathtaking exterior of Grenada’s mountainous terrain.

Back in 2010 we ran a feature in Complexd Travel on Petite Anse Hotel on page 66-69 of the Caribbean issue. After a brief visit in 2009, I was mesmerized by the unrivaled view of the Caribbean sea and neighboring islands Carriacou and the Grenadines. After anchoring off the southern coast of Grenada, owners Philip and Annie, who at the time were sailing around the Atlantic for fours years, spotted a piece of land with a private beach and had the right amount of determination and courage to build a charming hotel where no one had dared to go before.

‘We didn’t choose Grenada, it chose us!’

The drive from Grenada’s capital St. Georges to Petite Anse in the parish of St. Patrick was a long journey, but things got exciting when we drove deeper into the countryside and roads that were once lined with palm trees became lined with juicy ripe mangoes. They looked juicy and tasted even juicer when we got the chance to sample a few offered to us by a group of young men prodding the trees with sticks. It kept our bellies at bay in anticipation of the barbecue ahead.

Obscured by tall trees and vegetation there was no sign of the coastline until we walked onto a nicely paved pathway and under a neatly trimmed bush, which revealed the stunning view that I was captivated by on my first visit. Kids jumped in and out of the pool, clusters of people congregated around the bar, and restaurant and a group of dedicated domino players had set up table right in the middle of everything. It was like gate crashing a family gathering, but upon entering we were instantly embraced as part of the clan.

Every Sunday Phillip and Annie host the barbecue with a choice of Chicken; Fish; Ribs and Pork, served with classic barbecue sides like potato salad and fried plantain thrown in for good Caribbean measure. Their new chef Maxwell joined the company a few months earlier, but was already well acquainted with the large Texan grill, which the couple sourced on Ebay. The focal point was the stunning view from the restaurant balcony, but the restaurants vintage furnishing - collectibles from Phillip and Annie’s Worcestershire home in England added to the warm family friendly atmosphere.

I was genuinely pleased to hear from Phillip and Annie that business was going very well since they opened in 2009. With a fair share of visitor from Europe, North American and weekend visits from locals, they place their success on being a family-oriented business and go out of their way to be hosts rather than just hotel owners. Guest are even invited up to their plantation home for cocktails and a taste of country life as-well as a guided tour of the land where all the produce for the restaurant is grown.

They acknowledged that adapting to life in Grenada was fairly easy because of the friendliness of the people and their willingness to support the local community. During our time at Petite Anse we didn’t just enjoy the food and beautiful surroundings, we got a chance to experience what a regular Sunday might be like for a large Grenadian family who cook, share and laugh together and that intimacy is what makes Petite Anse so unique.

‘In life there are wants and needs and although we may not get everything we want, we have everything we need to life a perfectly healthy life’

- Phillip & Annie – www.petiteanse.com

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EDITOR’S DIARY: A TASTE OF CINNAMON

Catch me in the Caribbean and I’m out every night of the week whether it’s for a bite to eat or social drink. Yesterday afternoon we visited Mount Cinnamon resort to check out a new weekly cocktail and canapé night called M2 Mondays. Event’s Manager Sarah Caroline, who recently moved to Grenada from New York aims to inject some of that 24/7 buzz into Grenada’s social scene and co-launched the night with the help of Sales & Marketing Manager Jadine Ferguson.

Entranced by the cool surroundings and vibrant decor, we were eased into relaxation by the endless trickle of the water feature and decided to stay well after the bar dried up from the successful outcome. Before settling down for dinner at the resorts restaurant Savvy’s, Jadine took us on a tour of the luxury villas and one-bedroom Hacienda suites, which we needed the aid of a golf buggy to view due to it’s location on a lush hillside offering panoramic views of Grand Anse beach.

Each villa had a homely feel, one of the features being the elevated beds, which level guest up to a perfect horizontal view of the beach, while the colourful interior complimented the blue sky, lined by tropical flora that framed each private balcony.

The most impressive property on the premise was the luxury 3 bedroom home, which sat proudly above the villas, boasting an entrance only accessible by a wooden bridge built over the private pool. Air conditioned and tastefully furnished the property was spacious and open plan with each room owning a private living room in addition to a communal living space. Beach collectables composed by artists adorned the walls adding to its Caribbean feel, while it possessed the comfort and warmness of an English cottage. The most well thought out aspect of the design was the breath-taking views in each room of a white sandy beach that cradled the rich blue ocean.

By the time it came to dinner we were as comfortable around Mount Cinnamon as a frequent guest. The staff were friendly and talkative and we enjoyed hearing the funny tales of barman Sheldon Vincent. The accents of colour in the dinning area were consistent with the furnishing of the villas, lounge and pool area, making it a semi-formal dinning experience.

To start we had shrimp cocktail and a light salad tossed in Thousand Islands dressing, the influence of the British owner Peter de Savary. For the main I choose tenderloin steak glazed with a mango chutney sauce and cooked to perfection by Chef Roy. We chatted, laughed and unwound, occasionally checked on by the attentive barman Sheldon, until we finally finished the night with a mousse made with organic Grenadian chocolate.

Mount Cinnamon defines itself as ‘contemporary luxury meets the ultimate Caribbean experience’ and that description is spot on. We lounged around sharing stories with guest, staff and locals undisturbed by the formality of hotel etiquette, but did so in a sophisticated and stylish setting.

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EDITOR’S DIARY: THE ART GALLERY

If you work hard and save enough, living on an island gives you the opportunity to buy land and build your dream home with an enviable view. Driving around the island always turns into a spot the amazing house game as we stare in awe at the scale and opulence of some of the newest builds. These are homeowners seeking quality of life, but Developer Perry Douglas and Artist and Interior Designer Petal Douglas, CEO’s of Beyond Luxury Vacations decided that this experience need not only be reserved for the Caribbean homeowner.

With a collective of villas across the Caribbean, Beyond Luxury Vacations provides a package holiday in the comfort of a home setting. Imagine staying at the Art Gallery villa in Grenada, arriving to a fully stocked fridge, enjoying delicious Caribbean-gourmet food cooked by your own chef, a private yoga class, or a refreshing swim without any interruptions or inhibitions.

I met up with Concierge and Brand Manager Lucille Sylvester for a tour of the villa. Upon opening the front door you are thrust into the view of the bay by a cleverly elevated entrance and surrounded by the charm of Caribbean chic. The kitchen flows into the lounge and the lounge into the verandah, which is the selling point of the house.

Inspired by Caribbean plantation homes, the accents of colour and paintings around the house reflect the right amount of light that is slightly muted by the dark wood furnishing created by local Grenadian craftsmen. With the interior Petal focused on sustainability, so that they could provide local workmen with employment opportunities. Lucille added that it was suitably named Art Gallery because it represents the other artist who are involved, from the hand crafted furnishing to the beautiful paintings on the wall, some of which are painted by Petal and available to purchase by guest.

CEO’s and Creative Director’s Perry & Petal Douglas have taken everything into consideration and maximised on the stunning view. I already got a taste of modern interior design in Grenada, but visiting the Art Gallery villa  was like experiencing authentic island life with a touch of class. Using his expertise in the investment industry and experiences around the world Perry wanted to develop a concept that accommodated the traveller who works extremely hard and wants the very best out of a vacation, peace and tranquility, plus the opportunity to be apart of island life.

Considering this concept it was clear to see why Lucille originally from London, was so enthusiastic about presenting the property and her role as Concierge. Having lived in the UK she understands the feeling of being in the freezing cold and dreaming of the Caribbean and being in the Caribbean and not taking advantage of what it has to offer. Overseeing the bookings, guests and maintenance of the villa, she also makes it her responsibility to ensure that the on site chef, gardener and villa assistants are as well-informed as an experienced tour guide. ‘I frequently take staff out on a motorized dingy tours around the island and do lots of outings so that when the guests arrive they can suggest the best experiences for them. I believe it is very important for us as host to enjoy and embrace our island so that we can share it with others’, she passionately proclaimed.

With a diverse range of guest originating mainly from the USA, Canada, Europe, specifically the UK, Germany and Austria, Lucille notices that everybody who chooses a holiday in Grenada generally has a curiosity for life. She admits that sometimes the word luxury is mistaken for unattainable, but with Beyond Luxury Vacations the word luxury refers to the charm, authenticity and hospitality. ‘When a family stays at our homes we find out from each family member what they like doing and create a tailor-made experience for them intermingled with relaxation and the chance to embrace the natural surroundings’. She advises that it’s much more than fancy thread counts, unique one-off furniture and amazing art. All the services are executed with a sense of authenticity/Grenadian pride  and always a smile – it’s about an unforgettable experience for you and your family.

Find out about their Villa’s across the Caribbean here

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EDITOR’S DIARY: THE AMAZING HOLIDAY

What do you do when you’re on a holiday that consists of seven family members? How do you keep everyone happy in the same place and at the same time?

Well you spend a day at LaSource, an all-inclusive resort, which sits on the southern tip of Grenada. Its five minutes away from the international airport, but the ambiance is so peaceful and quiet you can hear a pin drop. That is of course until ex-kick boxer and fitness instructor Andy starts the aqua exercise (Aquacise) session and the gasping of exhausted beach loungers fills the air.

We arrived just in time for Aquacise an activity Duty Manager Ginelle says is the most exciting offering among the 30 activities to do throughout the day. Observing from the cool and comfortable surroundings of the terrace lounge complete with over-sized furnishing which added to it’s grandeur, I watched as Andy instructed his troops to jump and flick their heels to their bums in the water. The aim is to help guest tone the muscles but judging by the stunned expressions it was exercising their facial muscles instead. There is an activity every 15 minutes and a wide variety to choose from. The men played rounds of snooker, table tennis and used the facilities at the gym while my female relatives joined me for the Caribbean dance class. The music shot up to the peak of the high ceiling and the sounds of the dancehall beat echoed through the resort. As we took our positions Andy appeared yet again with bags of energy and a loose waistline that put all us women to shame.

When we did reunite it was to have a tasty lunch from a choice of two restaurants and drink cocktails (my favourite being the non-alcoholic ‘Grenada Mama’ – a blend of every exotic fruit under the sun). We huddled under a straw beach cabana on Oscar’s Beach Bar choosing from a menu that served up lambi, roti and fried fish, staying true to island cuisine. After lunch we lounged in the shade to digest and had a swim in the private beach, formed by the ocean trickling through large boulder rocks to make sure it was always calm and pristine.

We swam, tanned, exercised, ate, drank, laughed and joked to our heart’s desire. When I was fed up of the sun I sought my solitude in the terrace lounge complete with a large bookshelf and lots of reading material. We walked around in our sarongs feeling completely at home and couldn’t help but notice the strong presence of British holidaymakers. Ginelle had mentioned earlier that it is becoming more diverse now that Elite Island Resort has taken over the running of the resort, but it was nice to speak to Mr. Taylor who envisioned LaSource and share a drink at the bar with him. With a bold domain name like theamazingholiday.com you can be assured that what you get and experience is nothing short of amazing. The staff members are attentive, and friendly and for a family day out it is the perfect recipe that ensures that everyone can get a taste of something they like.

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