Cost – 36.00€ (Nov 2018).
Parking and Access – Unfortunately I have no idea of the parking facilities. However, it is possible to drive up to the entrance and drop people there. It is then level access through to the Tea Terrace. The toilets were some distance from the terrace and down some stairs but a lift is also available.
Background – We visited Reid’s Palace Hotel for Afternoon Tea as a package from a cruise ship in 2017. However, the experience was not what we had expected and some friends recommended we try again but this time booked direct with the hotel.
When we booked another cruise to the Canary Islands and Madeira, we decided to take their advice and booked through the hotel’s website for a return trip.
I’m glad to say everyone was correct and we are very glad we returned.
Contents – Five finger sandwiches each (avocado with tomato, prawn, smoked salmon, cheese and egg with cucumber). A medium sized fruit scone, a mini pot of strawberry jam and a mini pot of blackberry jam, a small dish of cream (possibly clotted) and a pat of butter. Eight mini cakes between the two of us. One of each of mini fruit tart, a green macaroon, a cube of brown sponge, a mini pie with flaky pastry, a red, soft fruity cube with coconut around it, a round ginger sponge, a peanut finger and a cube of coffee and chocolate layer cake. The tea was made with loose tea leaves.
Options Available – I am unaware of any options available for this Tea.
Comments – Just one year after our visit to Reid’s Palace via a tour from a cruise ship, we were returning to Madeira again. As before, we were on a cruise onboard the ship Queen Elizabeth. However, this time the ship was staying in port overnight so we decided to try Afternoon Tea at Reid’s Palace again but this time we booked directly with the hotel.
Booking was very easy. There was a simple form to fill in on the hotel’s website. The hotel then replied less than 24 hours later and our Tea was booked.
We arrived in style on a motorbike and sidecar combo as we had been on a fantastic tour of the island of Madeira with Madeira Sidecar Tours (which we also booked direct and hugely recommend). We had booked a late Afternoon Tea at 4.30 and arrived at 4.15 outside the front entrance. Perfect!
Once inside, we were asked to wait in an area next to the Tea Terrace as the earlier 3.00 Teas were still finishing and the tables being reset.
Everyone was being seated in the order we had arrived as the tables became ready. It didn’t take long and we were soon seated at a table right in the middle of the Tea Terrace overlooking the gardens and the sea beyond.
The Tea Terrace is a lovely terrace high above the sea. It has a black and white tiled floor
and a high roof with big lanterns.
It was set with several tables, mostly along the railed edge, but with some bigger tables against the wall of the building. It was lovely!
As on our previous visit we could see Funchal harbour and our cruise ship from the terrace. This was to cause some disconcertion at one point when our ship suddenly pulled out of the berth! Luckily, we quickly realised that the ship was simply moving forwards to another berth that had been vacated by another cruise ship earlier. There were several people from our cruise on the Tea Terrace and the ship’s movement did cause some brief anxiety and amusement!
As before, the table was nicely laid with pretty blue and white china. However, this time the china was a delicate porcelain with a pretty blue and gold flowered pattern.
The cutlery and the linen napkins were the same as before but this time we also had a bright silver tea strainer each!
There was also an interesting collection of sugars on the table!
We were given a menu each from which to choose a tea. We both chose the Reid’s hotel special blend.
We also ordered one glass of champagne (not for me, I rarely drink alcohol).
The glass of champagne arrived quickly (poured at the table), followed by a teapot and two jugs. The jugs contained milk and hot water and both the jugs and teapot matched the rest of the china.
This was followed by the arrival of a three-tier cake stand containing sandwiches, cakes and a plate with the jam, cream and butter. We were told the scones would be brought when we had finished our sandwiches.
The sandwiches were on a mix of white and brown bread. They were fresh and moderately well filled. I was not very keen on either the avocado or the prawn sandwiches. As we were finishing the sandwiches, we were approached by the waiter who offered us some more. We were then brought another plate of five sandwiches.
The fruit scones were brought out as we finished the sandwiches. They were on the small side of medium and were freshly cooked.
This time there was enough of both jam and cream.
Again, as we finished the scones, we were offered a second scone each. Needless to say, we accepted and had another scone plus a further supply of jam and cream.
Finally, we moved onto the cakes. All of the cakes were fresh and tasty though it was not always clear what the flavours were! All of the cakes were quite small and there was only one of each between us, which is something that annoys me, as you may know! I particularly enjoyed the green macaroon, which was lovely and sticky, and the mini pie, which had delicious flaky pastry, although we were not sure what the filling was!
The tea was of a good strength and there was plenty of it. Our teapot was refilled for us without having to ask.
Service this time was provided by several waiters, who moved around the terrace amongst the tables. They were all helpful and pleasant, unlike our previous experience.
The view from the terrace was lovely. It felt grand and was a real experience. As we finished our Tea, the sun was starting to set.
We then walked back to the harbour under the twinkling lights of Funchal.
This was much, much better than our previous visit and is one I would happily recommend.