Afternoon tea is something that I always think of as a very British institution and yet, on the recommendation of several family members, I found myself and a friend booking in for an afternoon of sweet treats whilst on holiday in Madeira. Belmond Reid’s Palace in the capital of Funchal is one of the fanciest hotels in the island, famously boasting Winston Churchill among its past celebrity visitors, and even the entrance gently promises luxury. Their afternoon tea is famous for being one of the best in Madeira and when combined with amazing service, it’s an experience that you don’t want to miss.
After a couple of minutes of shameless gawping at the lush interiors, we were led outside to to the Reid’s terrace which offers beautiful views of the hills across the island. The shade offers a respite from the hot summer sun so, along with the cool sea breeze, it’s a really pleasant place to sit.
With a beautiful view over Funchal harbour, it was with difficulty that we tore our eyes away from the landscape and onto the tea menu. Yes, a menu for just for tea. The waiter explained to us in flawless English what the experience would consist of and we selected our drinks carefully: I’m not a tea lover so opted to try the summery raspberry fruit tea while Rachael went for something a more traditional Darjeeling Second Flush.
To begin, we were served a selection of sandwiches on beautifully soft bread: cheese, avocado and tomato, king prawn and smoked salmon and cream cheese. Usually the sandwiches at afternoon tea feel like an afterthought but these tasty combinations really worked without being too messy. Alongside our sandwiches, a mouthwatering selection of cakes waited for us but first, some warm scones were delivered to our table, releasing the most delicious scent along the terrace. They were beautifully light and fluffy, not stodgy in the slightest, leaving us with just enough room to sample the cake selection.
Two hours later, we left feeling full but deliciously pampered and happy with the beautiful surroundings in which we had spent our afternoon. If you’re considering booking afternoon tea at Reid’s Palace in Madeira as a treat, I would highly recommend the visit. Even if you usually travel on a budget, it’s well worth splashing out to feel like royalty for an afternoon.
You can book afternoon tea online at Belmond Reid’s Palace for €33.50 euro per person, with an optional upgrade of champagne for an additional €18.50.
More Things to do in Madeira
Like it? Pin it!