What a wonderful island! Funchal in Madeira offers a great climate, history, creditable wines and superb food. There is a wealth of eating opportunities to cater for every taste, pocket and time of day. There are cosy bakeries, shelves groaning with both sweet and savoury treats for breakfast and late morning snacking. Bars and cafés cater for those looking for either light or more substantial lunches. And then there is dinner. One is spoilt for choice when it comes to evening meal opportunities.
This is a celebrated casual restaurant and just a short distance from the centre of Funchal. It is indeed a chalet and named after the Vicente family of photographers who, historically, owned this Quinta. It was the current owners who transformed it into a restaurant.
The Chalet offers lunch and dinner as well as afternoon tea. I think its particular strength is its bill of dinner fare, with plenty of local specialities such as the black scabbardfish, considered a regional delicacy. Fishermen from Madeira Island use deep-water lines to catch these black fish. The delicious Espada com Banana is perhaps one of the most popular dishes made with this, the ugliest fish one might ever encounter.
Estrada Monumental nº 238
William Restaurant at Belmond Reid’s Palace Hotel
William Reid was the son of a Scottish crofter, who arrived in Madeira in the 1830s. He made his living by renting property to wealthy visitors but died before his own Reid’s Hotel was completed. This most famous of all Madeira hotels was designed by the architects George Somers Clarke and John Thomas Micklethwaite, and opened in 1891. Its list of noteworthy guests includes Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, David Lloyd George, actors Roger Moore and Gregory Peck, and novelist George Bernard Shaw.
Dinner at William Restaurant is memorable. Its Michelin-star credentials glitter with every perfectly presented dish, they sparkle with every crafted plate. The chef teases with flavour and intricacy of construction. This restaurant has become something of an institution, and a visit to this sun-kissed island would not be complete without dinner at William Restaurant. It’s a must-do on every food-lover’s wish list for Madeira.
If dinner isn’t on your agenda, then one can still enjoy Belmond Reid’s Palace Hotel. Afternoon Tea, served daily from 3.00pm to 5.30pm in the Lounge and on the Tea Terrace, is a popular event so best to book in advance. Their tea menu is outstanding and complements their classic spread of finger sandwiches, scones and pastries.
Open for dinner: 7:30pm to 10pm, Tuesday through Saturday
Phone: +351 291 71 71 71
Belmond Reid’s Palace Hotel
Estrada Monumental 139