We are fans of this popular, long-established Madeira business which has a number of outlets in Funchal and so successful that it needed to move its friendly patisserie and coffee shop on Rua d’Adjuda to much larger premises along the street a few months ago, so we were delighted to learn that they were expanding in downtown Funchal.
The location is great. It’s on the seafront, a stroll from the harbour and close to the Se (Cathedral). The shop fitting and furnishings are elegant and the facilities are superb. We have visited four times since we found it (which took some doing actually, as research online to track it down kept taking us to ancient postings about a completely different cafe at a different address which closed years ago under unfortunate circumstances). I hope this has not adversely affected Grand Cafe Penha d’Aguia’s early months of trading at the new Avenida do Mar site and that the unfortunate misdirection has now been sorted out.
We did find it however and discovered that the staff are friendly, the chef is good and the food is great. I don’t eat meat but that hasn’t been a problem. My partner and I both had the delicious mushroom risotto one day and on other visits I had fish (Dorada I believe) and he selected from the varied meat dishes on offer - with wine and beer needless to say.
We took friends alighting a cruise ship for a strengthening coffee and Pastel de Nata (a traditional Portuguese custard tart) en route to the cable car one morning which was delightful. I haven’t mentioned the fantastic ice cream selection on display yet, nor that the Grand Cafe develops into a more sophisticated venue as the day progresses and the cocktail bar comes into its own.
So it’s all good stuff, with people-watching, a view of the ocean, pleasure boats and cruise ships. I could do without the taxi rank, but people have to make a living don’t they?
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