Casas da Levada
A group of rural houses with an enviable position on the western promontory of the island. The interiors are rustic but elegant, with polished concrete and lots of exposed wood, and on the grounds there is a large infinity pool backed by an honest hobbit bar built into the garden. The gardens, scented in spring with apple blossoms and purple candles scented with Madeira Pride, are home to ducks, chickens, rabbits and a small flock of sheep — it’s a bucolic dream.
The house’s kitchen is stocked with everything I need for a substantial breakfast, including fresh eggs and bread delivered warm every morning, and one night the utensils are in full working order when a private chef, Filipe Janeiro, arrives to cook for me, using a feast of native ingredients, including the island’s famous black scabbardfish, accompanied by a local verdelho wine.