Afternoon tea at the Reid's Palace Hotel in Madeira is definitely an occasion not to be missed. The hotel is situated on the cliff tops above Funchal. We booked a table for two on the Terrace. The view from here looking out to sea is one to die for and breathtaking. It was very peaceful and relaxing with live piano music coming from inside. There were plenty of choices of tea on the menu including Darjeeling, Second Flush, Assam and Reid's Blend which is the one I opted for not being a tea drinker. You can buy some Reid's Blend Tea in a caddy to take home with you for €16. The afternoon tea is served on a three tier plate stand with a selection of finger sandwiches..cheese, salmon, egg and prawn avocado and tomato. When you have finished your finger sandwiches they bring you your hot scones served with cream and jam which were absolutely delicious followed by a selection of cakes and pastries. Price per person for Afternoon Tea is €27 and is served between 15.00 to 17.30. Dress code is smart. For anyone thinking of going to Madeira I would highly recommend that you put this on your list of things to do.
Favorite Dish: To be absolutely honest I couldn't say what was my favourite, I just enjoyed the whole experience of the afternoon. Everything that was served was delicious, so much so that we didn't leave a morsel on the plate. You really must try it yourselves!
While I wasn't too impressed with Madeira, I was stunned by its gastronomically excellent restaurants.
Ristorante Villa Cipriani is part of the renowned Reids Palace Hotel but is accessed seperately from the street.
Book early to secure one of those perfect cliffside tables overlooking the sea. They are much coveted and hard to come by. The view is second to none - I have posted a couple of pics but they don't even come close to depicting the perfection of the view here.
Although it belongs to the somewhat stuffy Reids, the atmosphere here is far more casual and relaxing.
The food is Italian and very good, though I did eat better at our hotel (more of that in a seperate posting).
You are almost guaranteed to see a famous face or two here.
"O Fio" - Casa de Cha/Teahouse - it's the full name of this marvellous place between centre of Ponta do Pargo and lightouse located on the west end of island.
Teahouses are traces of English history on Madeira. During the lazy afternoon you can stop in and drink (no necessary at 5 pm:) excellent tea, a small glass of Madeira wine or/and ask for local cake.
In "O Fio" this relaxing atmospehere is also underlined by extraordinary location. On the hill, near the lighthouse (5 min by car) with tremendous view of ocean you can find charming, traditional house with outside walls decorated by colourful flowers. Lovely!
Interior is modern equipped but comfortable. Try some coffee (or tea), Madeira wine and chocolate cake. Here you can also ask for lunch dishes. And... stare at ocean horizon!!
In Choupana Hills I discovered my favourite hotel of all time (so far) and in its main restaurant, Xopana, I found my favourite restaurant.
I ordered the tasting menu on two occasions as it was just so perfect. In addition to the delightful food, each course is accompanied by a glass of local wine, port, or (of course) Madeira wine.
The hotel itself is the very essence of sophisticated (though not stuffy) perfection, and its restaurant follows in similar fashion.
The decor is modern and simple, the food is a mix of European and Fusion, and the service is the essence of perfect attention without being overpoweringly cloying.
After dinner take a snifter of brandy out to the decking overlooking the pool and view Funchal from six thousand feet, watching the twinkling lights of the City and the twinkling stars above. You will be lulled to a perfect sleep by the food, the wine, and the very wonderment of the atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: The tasting menu - a little taste of perfection in every morsel, with wines to match.
One of the best place in Madeira for espetadas (beef roasted on the spit). You cannot miss it. It’s a big place, sometimes noisy, full of people (not only tourists) but really picturesque. Waiters (only men. Someone can explain me why in a lot of Portuguese restaurant you cannot see a waitress?) are very friendly and the meat (with bone or without, both delicious), such such fried “milo”, salads, French fries (they assured not to be frozen) and desserts are terrific. We were there 2 times and we had a great dinner.
Favorite Dish: Beef Espetadas and fried "milo".
Combatentes is a very popular restaurant in the centre of Funchal. The offer a wide range of fresh fish (you can select from the day's catch) and other traditional Madeiran dishes.
Of course you also should try the great wine aswell.
Favorite Dish: Tomato and onion soup!
Located at an altitude of 1600 meters, you can find delicious typical dishes such as the espetada, the famous local acorda and trout. With a fireplace year round. Closed on Christmas day.
Favorite Dish: The acorda is great! Try it!
vagrant is the name of the yact "anchored" between the marina and the path of the main street of funchal by the bay. it's well known because they say it belonged to the beatles once.now it's used as a restaurant, and there yu can dine and spend a gorgeous time.
In 2005 we found a lot of new rather trendy shops in the area east of the Catedral, but also a nice teashop annex teahouse, called the Loja da Chá.
They offer all kind of delicious black, green and herbal teas. You could drink the tea of your choice outside at the small terrace. In the shop you could buy dozens of tea, teapots and many other nice things related to tea.
Favorite Dish: I choose one of the green teas. There were also cakes and sandwiches.
if you are in Santana (and you have to visit it…just be careful to the timetable of the “teleferico”, it isn’t always open) this place can be a nice and cheap opportunity. This bar-restaurant is driven by a family from Madeira who has been living in Paris for 25 years. Food is simple but very good and the people very friendly.
Favorite Dish: cod fish
ARMAZÉM DO SAL
Rua da Alfândega, no. 135, Funchal
We happened on this restaurant, quite by chance, late one evening. I glimpsed the candle lit stairs, of the outdoor entrance, through the doors from the street. As our coffee and liqueurs arrived, by coincidence or fate, so did a delightful live ‘fado’ band to make for a magical end to our day.
A couple of nights later we went back, to have a meal this time. Being first to arrive we thought the night might fall short on the atmosphere of our first visit but, within minutes, the attentive staff and arrival of some 'locals' soon put our minds at rest. The meal was superb and exquisitely presented. This time a guitarist performed live to add to the ambience.
I hope you take the time to look for this restaurant and that you too will enjoy its magic.
Favorite Dish: The 'more expensive than average' tag is when you add all the little extras.
Starters 3-7 euros, Main 12-25euros etc.etc.
In this traditional restaurant, we had a delicious meal with animation.
You can see a group of floklore dancing.
It is pretty nice to watch them dancing and then to dance with them.
Favorite Dish: Baked meat in laurel tree stick, it is delicious.
The "pearl" of the Atlantic keeps the promise of extraordinary holidays with its beautiful scenic setting, mild climate, relaxing ambience, colourful folklore and, last but not least, a most seducing gastronomy
Favorite Dish: .
Madeira's most original dishes excels: the "espetada", a laurel stick spit with carefully seasoned and charcoal grilled cubes of meat. Usually it is served hanging from a special iron device.
this restaurant offers you all that and lot more.
and as you can see on pic we have to go along with they dancing floklore to end a perfect dinner party
the place is breathtaking. It’s like to dine in the ocean. The service can be even rude (not all of them speak English fluently) but the seafood is terrific and you won’t ever forget the atmosphere. Just an advice: if you don’t like spices like me, ask always what kind of spice the cook is going to use because he (or she) is surely going to use one. The first time we went there we order a seafood stew and what I could smell and taste was only coriander (cuentros in Portuguese).
Favorite Dish: Grilled mix was great
Funchal, and especially the hotel district, is full of touristy restaurants. Many of them offer tourist menus for a good price. However, if you don't want to be suck in by the mass tourism, look for a little restaurant outside of the tourist districts and you will be much more satisfied!