Madeira Island—off the coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean—is a small and beautiful autonomous region of Portugal (which is almost two hours away to the northeast, by airline). You can read more about the island of Madeira in two of my Forbes posts. One is about the island and its history, beauty, wine and food, while the other tells about a recent international underwater photography/video contest.

During a recent visit there, friends and I shared splendid meals and beautiful wines…


We’ll start off with lunch at Bar Clube Naval near the northern coastal town of Seixal.

Lunch at Clube Naval do Seixal, Madeira


A local favorite and truly delicious: grilled limpets—lapas—coated in garlic, butter, salt and parsley.

Also, bolo de caco is local bread made from flour, sweet potatoes, yeast, water and salt, and forms a staple for many Madeiran dishes.

Limpets and fried bread
Lapas and bolo de caco

Followed by snapper—fargo.

Snapper and fries

Followed by dessert—both wild berry and passion fruit cheesecakes.

Passionfruit cheesecake
Wild berry cheesecake


Terras do Avô white wine is made by Seixal Wines, located on the island of Madeira. Made from Verdelho grapes, this white includes crisp, scintillating and racy acidity with a hint of lime, salt, honey and green grass aromas. With limpets—a brilliant pairing!

Terras do Avô wine made from Verdelho grapes
White wine from the Arnsburger grape

Next, a dry white Terra Bona wine from Madeira, made from the rare Arnsburger grape, which is a Riesling cross. These wines are made by Marco Noronha Jardim and Maria-João Velosa and their family; they recently purchased a vineyard on this beautiful segment of coastal Madeira.

Terra Bona terroir

We finished lunch with a hit of William Hinto 42% alcohol rum made from local sugar cane (Hinton is known, apparently, for having imported the first soccer ball to Madeira).

Wonderful local rum


Seixal is a town located on the norther coast of Madeira. Thanks to modern tunnels and elevated highways, it can be reach via car traveling from the capital city of Funchal in less than an hour.


Hotel/Restaurant Quinta do Furão is named after ferrets, which still lurk nearby.

Quinta do Furão – Hotel and restaurant near the town of Santana
Northern coast of Madeira near the town of Santana
Friends, including (on the right) the young and affable Mayor of Santana – Dinarte Fernandes 


Smoked trout-truta fumada—are caught in freshwater from the upper part of Santana on the northern coast of Madeira—and coated with honey from Santo de Serra. Delicious.

Smoked trout with honey

For the main course: marinated beef cheeks with bacon and smoked mash potatoes.

Stewed beef cheeks and potatoes

Apple strudel with Madeira wine ice cream for dessert.

Strudel desser
Friend Sabina drinks poncha, made from local rum, citric fruit and sugar


We paired lunch first with a Pormenor white wine from Douro DOC, located on mainland Portugal. This white is crisp and delicious with honeyed aromas of apricots, candied fruit, flint and grapefruit. Includes a buttery mouthful. It is made from Rabigato, Malvasia Fina and Códega do Larinho grapes and ages in stainless steel.

The second wine was a Quinta da Foz, also rom the Douro region of mainland Portugal. Includes rich ripe red fruit, exuberant energy and has an attractive threesome combination: tannins, spice and fruit are all evident in balance in the mouth. The wine includes the following (foot crushed) grapes: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz. It ages for one year in French oak.

Finally, a 10-year-old Blandy’s Madeira wine made from Bual grapes. Gual is one component of Madeira and makes the wine medium to sweet in body and stature.


The coastal countryside around the town of Santana is lush and stunning and also includes excellent places to explore, photograph or enjoy lunch or dinner with friends.

Thanks for tuning in!

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