Friday, January 02, 2009

High Tea - 28 December 2008

Botanical GardenToday we had a glimpse into the life of William Reid; his was a 'rags to riches' story. In 1836 he worked his passage to Madeira (for the sake of his health), started out as a baker and saw Botanical Gardenthe opportunity to cater to the rich visitors to the island; finally planning, but not seeing completed, the Reid’s Palace Hotel.

In the morning we visited the former estate of the Reid family, the once private park and gardens now the Municipal Botanical Garden. The gardens afford great views over the city, which we enjoyed between the heavy showers.
Botanical GardenBotanical Garden
For our afternoon outing, we shouted ourselves afternoon tea at Reid's Hotel. This has been rated as one of the best hotels in the world, and it certainly has a superb position on the cliff top overlooking Funchal.
High TeaView from the terrace
Despite checking that afternoon tea would be served on the terrace, it was unfortunately in the dining room, we just happened to choose the wrong day. But even so, we were on the upper level and had a sea view, as well as looking out over the elegant dining room. Like any 'English' afternoon tea, we enjoyed delicate sandwiches, scones and cakes; all quite delicious, and a tribute to the canny Scot.

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