Reid's Palace showcases flavors of Madeira

Megan Smith READ TIME: 3 MIN.

Madeira's Reid's Palace, set atop a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is highlighting some of the authentic attributes of the island by using local products to create memorable experiences for its guests. From new cocktails like the "Maderini," using the namesake Madeira wine, to new spa treatments utilizing locally produced aloe vera balsam and Madeira wine grape seed oil, these new products and treatments provide guests with genuine Madeiran experiences to further enhance their stays at this legendary hotel.

The largest island in the Portuguese archipelago, Madeira offers a variety of landscapes - a mountain chain, rainforests, the highest sea cliff in Europe - and its geographical location provides for a consistent climate. Because of this temperate climate, fruits and produce are quite unique to the island. Madeiran fruits, such as the strange passion fruit shaped like a banana, little plums of S�o Jo�o, small Madeira cherries and the typical "banana prata," a small, local variety of banana are all served during Reid's Palace's breakfast buffet. During lunch, the local delicacy "Bolo do Caco" is served, which is a homemade bread using sweet potato and served with garlic butter, replacing the common bread and butter. The island of Madeira serves as a popular year-round resort, noted for its desirable weather, , Madeira wine, flowers, and embroidery artisans, and it has continued to flourish since its discovery in the early 15th century.

The history of Madeira winemaking dates back to the 16th century and continues to be recognized due to the island's unique winemaking process. In honor of this well-known wine, the team at Reid's Palace has created a variation of the dry martini, called the "Madeirini," replacing vermouth with local Madeira wine. Top quality vintage Madeira wines are also being mixed with premium vodkas to create other delicious cocktails. Madeira provides an oceanic climate with tropical influences and a variety of terrain. The island's environment, in combination with the exposure of wine to extreme temperatures and oxygen, accounts for its stability and characteristic robust, lasting flavor.

Inspired by the Portuguese word "Funcho" (meaning fennel), Reid's Palace has developed a refreshing new cocktail called the "Funchal Tonic," consisting of gin, tonic and perfumed with fennel juice. Guests lounging by the pool can also enjoy drops made of eucalyptus and fennel, while they enjoy the sun and views of the Atlantic Ocean and Funchal. Funchal also happens to be the name of the capital of Madeira, due to the abundance of fennel growing in the area.

In the Spa, a new "Reid's Palace Signature Treatment" has been launched, using locally produced aloe vera balsam and Madeira wine grape seed oil. Dedicated to the rejuvenation of the body, mind and soul, Reid's Palace Spa offers an indulgent menu in tranquil treatment rooms, each with an ocean view and private terrace. To reinforce the local culture, the treatment rooms are decorated with local Madeira embroidery and wicker work baskets.

The hotel has also organized a seminar for the staff, with the support of the local agriculture authorities, to raise awareness of the use of organic and local products and how it will improve the local ecosystem and economy. Organic products like chicken, vegetables and fruits, sourced from local suppliers, are already being used in some of the hotel restaurants.

To experience these Madeiran flavors, travelers can book a stay or request more information via Room rates at Reid's Palace start at Euro 385 (approximately USD $575*) for a classic double room.

by Megan Smith , EDGE Assistant Travel Editor

Megan is the Assistant Travel Editor for EDGE Publications. Based in Australia, she has been published in gay and lesbian publications in both America and Australia, and she has been on assignment as a travel-writer for Let's Go travel guides in Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii.

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