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We ate in East yesterday evening, and had a good meal. To some extent I think it was an untypical evening for them – we were in Funchal overnight, and as a result most passengers were ashore. Certainly the restaurant was almost empty; while we were there (7:30 to 9:15 or a bit later) there we only saw about three other tables in use. That said, it might have been busier early, both because this would allow diners to enjoy a full evening in Funchal and also because they were offering a 50% reduction in the cover charge for people eating at 6pm.

We enjoyed the meal very much. It was the first night of a new menu (apparently they have four menus, and they run each one for three nights), and it didn’t seem quite as ‘pan-pacific fusion’ as the menu we’d looked at a few days earlier. This one included steak, lamb shank and pork, for example, while the previous menu majored in fish dishes. But the food was certainly good. We were given a couple of chicken dim sung pieces as a ‘pre-appetiser appetiser’; then we each had a starter (vegetable terrine in my case, chicken goujons in Val’s); then we both had a pumpkin soup; and for main course Val had lamb shank (‘very tender – falling off the bone’, she says) and I had pork tenderloin medallions, stuffed with a nutty vegeable mixture and lying on a bed of ‘wilted spinach’. With the meal we also drank a glass of wine, Australian shiraz for Val and New Zealand sauvignon blanc for me. We finished off with dessert, and a calvados for Val and a Japanese malt whisky for me. Total cost was £48, of which £16 was the drinks; the remainder consisted of the cover charge of £15 each plus a small bottle of Perrier each as well – they don’t seem to do free water in East. Service was very good, and the presentation was excellent.

After that we got the shuttle bus into town (hurray! for P&O’s ‘free shuttle bus’ policy!) and strolled up and down the harbour front, before finding a bar and having a glass each of Portuguese red wine. Then back to the ship by 11pm.

This morning we’re up early (we had to set the alarm clock) to be ready for our excursion (“Levada Walk”) at 9:15 or so.

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