Mauritius – A stride back into the past: Eureka
Have you heard of La Maison Créole Eureka located in Moka, the main area of the Moka district? A stately house which the famous Archimedes exclamation (Eureka!) inspired Alexis Jules Eugene Le Clezio when he discovered the house of his dreams! This estate, at the heart of the novels of the famous writer with dual French and Mauritian nationality, J.M.G Le Clézio, seems to rest, protected by Montagne Ory. This massive colonial Creole house, entirely made from wood, dating from 1830, with 109 doors and windows and 40 rooms, will make us travel in time for a short while. Some of the structural beams are made of tambalacoque wood, this very tree whose seeds were eaten by the dodo. An architectural masterpiece especially designed for our tropical climate: countless openings overlooking the gardens, two large verandas, one for winter pointing north while the summer one faces south of the island.
A kitchen, built separately from the house to prevent the risk of fire, and which dates from the time when the estate was the property of a French family, named Montmirail. Fine furniture from La Compagnie des Indes can be found in the massive rooms, as well as 18th Century porcelain also from La Compagnie des Indes. A table inherited from the capture of an English vessel: each room, each piece of furniture is a step back in history! Each photo is a recollection of this period, reminiscent of ancient times. If you close your eyes, you can dive into the lives of the eminent families who have, most certainly, lived their best life there.
The house is surrounded by a huge garden of lush greenery. The air is pure while the nature is generous: mango trees, almond trees, palm trees, mulberry trees, longan trees and other awesome plants, quatre épices tree, cinnamon tree, as well as various endemic plants. The Moka River runs through the estate with its refreshing waterfalls. While venturing by the riverbanks, you might come across water lilies, ferns, water hyacinths and brèdes songes (taro leaves). A bit further away, Eureka offers fantastic hikes along its ravine.
Tasty Creole dishes can be enjoyed there: rougaille (tomato-based dish), pickles, gateaux piments (typical Mauritian snacks), curry or other exotic sweet treats, papaya or mango jams, all specialties from Mauritius; A cup of tea sipped in the shade of a veranda while listening to the chirping of birds. A journey into the past, privileged moments in a green setting: Eureka awaits you and as the friendly Jacques de Maroussem, owner of the place, says so well: “You must above all come and see for yourself, because it’s only then that you will savour the real thing!”