Locarno spring flavours: gourmet experience at Hotel Belvedere, stunning views and colourful camelia

This winter was not very cold and harsh however it was very active for us. We visited several winter resorts and multiple cities under the snowy conditions. Eventually, it gets to a time, when you miss spring and warm weather too much. So what can one do?

You head to the sunniest part of Switzerland-Ticino! In particular the colourful Locarno– where spring starts in Switzerland! The weather was amazingly sunny all the long weekend. That encouraged us to visit several places, even the ones that were under heavy clouds during our last autumn visit!

To put all the cards on the table, this was not our only incentive to visit Locarno. Actually, we were heading to the most delicious gourmet experience at Hotel Belvedere Locarno and its restaurant La Fontana Ristorante & Bar.

Hotel Belvedere, gastronomy and marvellous location

The gourmet fine dinning  at Hotel Belvedere Locarno

La Fontana Gourmet experience The Gourmet experience including a 5-course tasting menu dinner at La Fontana Ristorante & Bar was out of this world! This fine selection of dishes satisfies all taste buds and includes seafood, fish, and meat. The meal lasted 2 hours, and the presentation was a feast to the eyes. The chef is very innovative in his approach and brings together distinctive flavours and ingredients in a delicious combination. I am more experimental in my gastronomy approach, so I loved the shrimp tails with bitter chicory and red Porto. While Alexandra, being a classic carnivore adored the veal fillet with artichoke flan. The cod fish with taggiasche olives and clams was very distinctive. Yet my top favourite, was the beef cheek cappellacci with foie gras and truffle. The combination of flavours that this dish had, made me fall in love with it. The finale was the marvellous chocolate ricotta dessert!

We tasted dishes from à la carte menu during other dinners. That included a distinctive variety of Mediterranean and Ticino (Italian) inspired dishes as well as meat cuts & fish. The local ingredients of Ticino further refine the tasty recipes. Our personal favourite was the “Chitarra La Fontana”, a special home made spaghetti alla Chitarra with prawn ragout, artichokes, olives and pork cheek. The dish gets its name from the way the pasta is made. The pasta dough is cut over strings and rolled from under just like playing the guitar strings. If every dish has a story, this would be one of the best.

For meat lovers,  the “Chateau Briand La Fontana”, is to die for. It’s the perfect couple dish to share as its quite generous! The presentation of the course is mouth watering, and enhances the appetite. The meat is cooked to preference and is so soft.

For dessert, the “Cioccolato e Pera” is an excellent choice to finish the meal.

Dessert at La Fontana Ristorante & Bar

The La Fontana Ristorante & Bar has also a wine cellar that displays wines mostly from the region and the pairing recommendation with the courses is excellent!

La Fontana has an open kitchen. The assembly and partial preparation is done infront of your eyes, behind the protection glass. Watching the chefs moving in & out like in a bee hive and decorating the dishes with a surgeon precision was a great enhancement to the meals presentation.

To further enhance the experience ambiance, the hotel restaurant has a live music performance on Sunday evenings. It adds to the romantic and cosy ambiance of the place.

The gourmet experience is part of the gourmet package, which includes a 2 nights stay for a couple in a double room at Hotel Belvedere Locarno, a nice welcoming bottle of Prosecco and sweets and  a gourmet gift that consists of couple of bottles wines from the region, a pack of risotto rice, and a risotto recipe.

The hotel leaves you with a taste of the region – a gesture to take home and keep indulging in the flavours you encountered here!

Hotel Belvedere culinary experience starts at breakfast

Breakfast at Hotel Belvedere LocarnoBreakfast at Hotel Belvedere is rich and tasty with a generous buffet display of cheese, charcuterie, pastries, fruits and more. The eggs station is at the open kitchen and can make your favourite eggs dish.

Normally breakfast is served indoors but on a sunny spring day, we managed to have a table on the outside terrace facing the Hotel Belvedere historic fountain of 1815. Such relaxing and chilled experience to enjoy a hearty meal and start the day.

The breakfast experience made us rush our afternoon plans to come back to the fountain terrace before sunset and enjoy a cocktail sip from the Hotel’s bar.

The convenient location of Hotel Belvedere

The hotel location is exceptional, just on a hill side overlooking Locarno and its bay, so morning coffees and evening teas were part of our long weekend rituals.

The location of the hotel was a key enabler for us to visit many gems and distinctive experiences in Locarno.

Just at the door steps of the hotel there is the stop of the historic funicular that goes down to Locarno town or up to Madonna del Sasso.

The gems of Locarno and its views

Madonna del Sasso, Locarno’s masterpiece

Madonna del SassoVisiting Madonna del Sasso is a must. This beautiful marvel is a landmark of Locarno. The views from its terrace or from the view point next to the cable car station are breathtaking. Touring Madonna del Sasso is a wonder to the eyes with its ornamented interior and religious designs that fill the halls and ceilings.

To reach Madonna del Sasso aside from the funicular, you can also take the steps path right from the Hotel Belvedere Locarno upwards toward the church following the steps of the ancient pilgrims. 

Cardada & Cimetta above Locarno, Lago Maggiore, and the clouds

The beautiful views of Locarno go even further and higher. From above Madonna del Sasso you can take the cable car to Cardada. A fantastic platform awaits with a marvellous view over not only Locarno but big part of Lago Maggiore. We have been here before in October for the “Autumn colours festival”, and it was cloudy at that time. This time we were more lucky with the weather. The sun was shining and beautifully sparkling over the waters of  Lago Maggiore.

Cimetta swingHaving reached this far, we continued toward Cimetta. A lift takes you in the open air to the peak of the mountain. The views here can be easily described as breathtaking, both from beauty and from height stand points. A cherry on the top (literally) is the swing installed at the mountain. With a little push you will be swinging freely far above the lake and attempting to touch the clouds.

Locarno spring menu:  blue lake promenade, Camelia park and the ever colourful downtown

Piazza Grande LocarnoBy funicular or bus or few minutes downward walking from Hotel Belvedere Locarno, you reach Locarno town center and its lakeside. We highly recommend a walk on the pebbles of Piazza Grande, the central square of Locarno. What’s distinctive about it, is its oval shape surrounded by colourful buildings that are settled onto  open circular arch passages that display the different shops of the town. A visit to Locarno without a walk on its promenade is not complete. So make sure you have time to enjoy that. In one direction of the promenade there is the Camelia Park. It was the right time to visit, as Camelia flowers just started blossoming and were getting ready for the Camelia festival on March 29-April 2 2023.

Camelia LocarnoColourful buildings, blossoming flowers, blue waters, breathtaking views, all were the ingredients that make Locarno a great place to start spring. But most of all, the gourmet experience at Hotel Belvedere Locarno had all the fresh ingredients to make our stay a fantastic gastronomy experience. It brought out the flavours of Ticino and the famous Mediterranean feel of Locarno and the region in an amazing manner!

Addio Locarno!

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