Madeira on Christmas Day…
I seldom spend Christmas at home. And think I haven’t spent Christmas in Finland for ages, not since my mother died (on Christmas Day 18 years ago…). So, white Christmas has very little nostalgia value for me (I get enough of the white stuff in January and February, thank you very much). And as I’m not in the least bit religious, Christmas has always been more about Santa Claus and food for me. And therefore it is quite fitting to spend Christmas Day having afternoon tea in Reid’s Palace.
Reid’s Palace is a historic luxury hotel in Funchal, dating back to the late 19th century. It used to be a meeting point for the Edwardian high society, and a must-see attraction for passengers on ocean liners on their way from Europe to New York. The renovated interior of the hotel still reflects this era of opulence and glamour:
The hotel is perched on a cliff overlooking Funchal Bay, so the view from the Tea Terrace is quite spectacular:
The other end of the terrace offers an equally beautiful view of the sub-tropical garden.
And then there’s the dress code… Yes, the dress code for afternoon tea is ‘smart casual’. This proved to be a bit of a challenge for me. I may be a snob, but I’m a very low-maintenance snob: my holiday wardrobe tends to be more casual than smart. But I did my best, using the limited wardrobe I had packed to come up with a rather conservative look, except for the totally uncharacteristic pattern mixing.
This experience got me thinking that ‘smart casual’ is definitely a concept I should explore a bit more. So, I put together another outfit, based on the same jacket (as that was the only jacket I had packed) and bag. I look forward to showing it to you…
And of course I have a couple of posts on Madeira coming up in the next few weeks, with some pictures and travel tips.
What’s your opinion on dress codes?