Fresh flowers on the table, a glass of Madeira from housekeeper Vera, beaming warmth and generosity from start to finish. Filomena’s architect-designed home is friendly open-plan and dotted with interesting arty pieces. Ground-floor rooms are large with wooden floors, big beds and fabrics sourced on the owner’s Lisbon ventures, while a chrome staircase leads to a romantic suite, a honeymooners’ paradise. Our favourite studios, Piscina and Oliveira, have their own turfed outdoor patch and stunning views of the garden sweeping down to the sea. Gaze oceanward as you breakfast on fresh rolls, exotic homemade jams (physalis, pitanga), fruit salads and pancakes. Speciality Madeiran dishes – picadinho stew, Alentejo chicken – topped off by fabulous desserts, fill the dinner menu. Chill under poolside palm trees or lose yourself in novels on super comfy armchairs. Playful dogs, the odd cat or goat roam too. Funchal city is close – explore its kaleidoscope-colourful morning markets, or dine out at the fantastic fish restaurant with a rooftop bar a short walk away. It’s lovely.