#566 After a short trip from Oxford to the Martins Heron stop, the boyfriend's brother drove us to the Belvedere Arms for lunch with the family - an excellent choice. The exterior of the restaurant is traditionally quaint, but don't take it as a testament to the glory that is the interior. Plush couches, a nice long bar, exposed wood beams, long communal tables, and plenty of homegrown art. I fell in love instantly.
Once we walked in, we were cheerfully greeted by the bartenders, who then signaled to a chipper-looking waitress. She walked us over to a large, wooden table with half of the seats on a dark, plush couch and the other three on wooden chairs. I'm not sure how the two kids were figured to sit on the chairs, but I got lucky and snagged myself a seat on the couch. Unfortunately, sitting on the couch was not optimal for a shorter person like me. I very nearly fell off the couch multiple times as the only position for conversation height was at the very edge of the couch. Regardless, I made do.
Their menu isn't very extensive, but they offer something for everyone. A nice, succinct starter section, salads, pasta, pizza, seafood, and plenty of meat entrees. I wasn't feeling too hungry, so I opted for a small order of Salmon Fishcakes (£8.45). The larger size costs £3 more, definitely not much considering you get two of everything. I didn't get a chance to try any of the other entrees, so I'll avoid commenting on them. Though, I do know that orders of the Piccante Pizza (£10.45), Cannelloni (£9.95), Tuna Steak (£14.95), and Fish & Chips (£11.95) were put in. Rustic bread (£4.95) and a Garlic Pizzette (£6.95) were also ordered for the table. And, at the last minute, the boyfriend's brother threw in a side order of the Belgian fries (£2.95).
The bread was actually delicious and I loved that it came with an entire roasted garlic clove, as well as olive oil and a special "pan amb oli" sauce. The pizzette fell a little flat for me as there wasn't much flavor, despite plenty of caramelized onions and rocket (arugula). Unfortunately, we were left to entertain ourselves for almost twenty minutes after the appetizers were brought out. In fact, we had enough time to play with the leftover apps, conduct a game of squares, and have the kids color for some time. Much, much too long.
It was fortunate that the food was so delicious, though, because I would have been in a grumpy mood otherwise. My order of a salmon fishcake came with a poached egg, as well as a thick, creamy chive hollandaise sauce. The entire thing also sat on a bed of spinach, sprinkled with capers. I absolutely loved it. The fishcake didn't taste much like salmon, but it was mighty flavorful. I devoured it within minutes. Everybody else seemed to enjoy their entrees as well. If our experience stopped here, I would have been apt to give the restaurant a 5-star rating. However, the waitress completely forgot to put in the last-minute order of the Belgian fries, so the manager comped it and it only made out a couple of minutes before the last of us were done with our food. She also didn't show up again at our table until it was time for dessert. Oh well.
Of course, we also opted for dessert and the boyfriend and I shared the Sticky Toffee Pudding, of which I had never had before. It was scrumptious. The pudding was light and fluffy, yet chewy at the same time. It sat in a sea of caramel sauce and was served with a hefty scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. Delish! I definitely recommend the Belvedere Arms, but the waitress we had should really finesse her service.
Great location after a walk around Virginia Waters.
Good comfy sofas, large restaurant.
Good pizzas, menu quite varied. Nice atmosphere - varied age groups.
Plenty of parking places.
Can get busy at weekends.
This is a lovely pub sandwiched in between Virginia Water and Ascot. It's been renovated in a stylish way - slate floors, leather armchairs, oak tables.
The menu offers a reasonable selection of British classics - roast chicken etc and the prices aren't too outrageous for this area.
You'll find the clientèle range from young locals working at the polo stables to ladies what lunch from the Ascot area. But it's casual and down to earth and if you turn up in jeans you won't feel out of place.
Due to its proximity to Virginia Water it's a popular place to go for Sunday lunch. Weekend evenings are also busy so make sure you book a table if you plan to eat during these times. In the summer the pleasant patio eases the congestion inside.
You can pop in for just a drink, but don't expect to find a table at weekends.
Virginia Waters is one of my favourite places for a relaxing Sunday afternoon walk. Unfortunately, the whole of the country tends to have the same idea on a sunny day ...
A spontaneous stop for lunch could have ended in disappointment. Lucky then, that the Belvedere is absolutely massive. I was very impressed on yesterday's visit quite how well the staff coped with the queues.
They were so extremely courteous, we didn't mind waiting a lot longer for our food.
Credit also to whoever writes their menus; we completely fell for it ... unfortunately, it can backfire when chicken and chips is described in too many words. What arrived was very average, dry and bordering on boring.
OK, so they almost have a captive audience, but the place is so well managed, I will definitely come again. Very nice ambience and we didn't mind to sit indoors on a sunny day.
On our visit we were surrounded by extended families, which is just what you would expect on a sunny Sunday.
Busy little (large) pub, nice ambience, very busy at times, you will probably need to book a table if you want to use the restaurant end at these times. Staff were very friendly and pleasant and knowledgeable about the food, but after ordering things slowed up. Long waits between courses, with the addition of being offered a sweet before we had received our main course. Reading previous reviews and with our experience it looks as though there is a bit of disorganisation with managing the covers. Having said that I always discuss the menu with the waiting staff so there would hopefully be no disappointment with my choice. The starter and main course were both excellent, but we decided to forgo the sweet and coffee because of the long wait we had already had.
Ate in the restaurant again last night. Everything was wrong. I have worked in the business myself and so am particularly critical. I honestly will not go again unless just for a drink or someone else is paying!
Slow and totally disinterested service. Cold chips followed by replacement hot and under cooked chips. Followed by cold cappuccino, returned and duly replaced after a long wait by cappaccino with practically no coffee in it. Offered to re-do but we had lost all interest by then.
Starters and coffees taken off the bill and all vaguely redeemed by a lovely Canadian waitress who had more skills than the rest of them put together.
I must admit that the appearance of the staff has gone down hill and this is repeated in the kitchen too. What a shame as this place has history for me but is not worth a penny of the bill.
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