Finally the beautiful setting of the Belvedere has cooking to match the view. Marco Pierre White has taken it over, spruced it up and installed a competent team in the kitchen. Much improved décor can be seen in the high-ceilinged main room, with beautiful flower displays to match. Marco himself sitting was two tables down from us with Rocco Forte on our first visit, admiring his handiwork. Service was courteous and efficient, bread served warm, either very good brown or white rolls (15/20). Tagliatelle with langoustines had tender langoustine, good pasta and an excellent sauce made from the juices of the shellfish (15/20). My Bresse chicken was excellent, served with a very good peas risotto and a simple jus (16/20). My wife had a tranche of salmon, which was timed just right (15/20).
The lemon tart was superb (easily 17/20), with light pastry and lemon in fine balance with the sweetness of the filling. This was served with a fine lemon sorbet. Coffee is very good (16/20). The wine list, which is in very small print, has reliable selections like Guigal Cote du Rhone at £18, and Hugel Pinot Gris at £30. There were some more exotic bottles for visiting millionaires e.g. Chateau d’Yquem and a Domaine Romanee Conti at the usual absurd mark-ups. As can often happen, the cooking a few months after the opening seems to lack the edge of the first few months, but this was still 15/20 territory. In the summer you can sit out on the terrace and look out over the park, but remember to ask for this when booking.