London never ceases to amaze me when it comes to areas that I haven’t fully explored. I had been over to the Barbican Conservatory as part of Discover Madeira hosted by Traverse Events. They’d transformed this vibrant jungle of plants and greenery into a wonderland to encapsulate the ‘Spirit Of Madeira‘. I was lucky that one of my good blogger friends Ana from Faded Spring was also attending the event too so we went in together.
As someone who’s never been to Madeira, it was great to learn more about the place as a holiday location from the various stands within the venue. They had set up a traditional Madeira ride, known as a Wicker Toboggan which is effectively a basket on a sled that is operated by two ‘drivers‘ and it has no brakes so it’s up to the drivers themselves to slow it down with their feet. This is definitely one experience that wouldn’t pass health and safety reg’s here in the UK.
Virtual Reality headsets were a prominent feature throughout the evening and through these, I got a real taste of what the islands were like and they are pretty spectacular. From the breath-taking mountains, to the bustling street life – I definitely could see myself holidaying there in the near future.
There was plenty to do at the event and we got chatting to a few of the stands that were littered throughout the venue. First up was the Belmond Hotel chain who were chatting to bloggers about the Reid’s Palace, a luxury hotel located on top of a mountain that overlooks the island and of course that crystal clear blue sea.
Caco & Co were also there to show off some traditional Portuguese bread. Myself and Sam actually had this with our Spaghetti Bolognese the night after which I soaked in Garlic Butter to make Garlic Bread which was so tasty. We also tried a traditional Madeira drink called Poncha which was made up of Aguardiente, which has a volume of alcohol between 29%-60%. Trust me, one glass of this and you’ll be on the floor. It’s normally mixed with fruit juices, which luckily dilutes the alcohol a little. I can’t say it’s a favourite of mine but it’s certainly one drink to have if you’re playing catch up or if you’re wanting to try something new.
I also met some lovely people including some journalists, bloggers and even a tour operating company based in both London and Los Angeles. It’s fantastic to go to an event like this and come away with not only the experience of the event but potentially some great contacts for the future. As an aspiring travel blogger, it’s great to learn more about the islands that I would potentially be able to visit and showcase on my blog.
What do you think of Madeira? Have you ever been to the island? Let me know in the comments below.
*Disclaimer – I was invited to this event. I was not obligated to write a blog post. All words are my own.