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Caminho do Lombo do Salão - Nº 13, 9370-174, Calheta

Where To Eat Next: 10 Favorite Restaurants Of 2022

(…) Socalco Nature Hotel, Madeira

As the head chef of one of Madeira’s major hotel groups, Octávio Freitas is used to overseeing food made for some 700 rooms’ worth of people. His passion project, Socalco—which he calls “my heart, my dream”—operates on a much smaller scale. The name means “terrace” in Portuguese, a reference to the landscape that surrounds the eight standalone bungalows and ten hotel rooms in a block. The vineyards and organic gardens are mixed together—sustainable agriculture in practice—and both are producing well. The chef’s aim is to combine rural tourism, a restaurant and farming into a single experience. Motivated guests can help with agricultural chores, join cooking classes (or live-stream them from bed) or just enjoy the restaurant. The dinner menu changes every day but generally begins with house-made slow-fermentation bread, and continues with three courses and dessert, focused on products from the garden, local fishermen and nearby farmers. It’s all very good, and even better when you remember that Freitas calls it a restaurant with rooms and adds that “the main course is to sleep here.”

28-12-2022 in Forbes
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