Having eaten at The Cumberland Hotel’s Ventana Grand Cafe before, we knew we were in for a treat.

So we were delighted to be invited back to sample the new summer menu.

The restaurant is also now the proud owner of a second AA Rosette, secured under the guidance of head chef Mateusz Nowatkowski and manager Cristian Seres.

At the request of the restaurant’s regulars, many of the menu’s favourites are still featured on the summer menu, in a different guise. The lamb shank, for example, is served with apricot cous cous instead of mashed potato.

The restaurant was certainly busier than the last time we visited in January, but still had the same relaxed, welcoming atmosphere.

Bold, stylish decor in dark reds, greys and black contrasts beautifully with the clean white of the hotel’s lido deck and the bright blue swimming pool which the restaurant overlooks.

Comfy armchairs with cushions replace the usual formal dining chairs which, along with the funky, yet chilled background music, adds to the relaxed feeling of the restaurant.

Under the guidance of the knowledgeable waiting staff, we chose the crispy duck, bean shoots and watercress salad (£6.75) and handmade salmon fishcake (£6.75) to start, followed by the mint and English pea risotto (£10.45) and gammon steak (£12.95).

But first up was the deliciously warm handmade rustic bread served with Spanish extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic di Modena (£1.50pp), which we tucked into while we waited for our starters.

Each an extremely generous-sized portion, both starters were declared delicious. The duck was fabulously tender and very tasty, perfectly complimented by the crispness of the white radish, spring onion and mirco coriander leaves, all set off beautifully by the soy and sesame dressing.

By husband’s fishcake, served with a creamy sautéed baby spinach and sorrel sauce, was also well received, and well-worthy of the “chef’s recommendation” note on the menu.

Our main courses arrived after a suitable break and were strikingly presented on oversized crockery.

My risotto was creamy and flavoursome, with a slight peppery tang – the perfect warming, yet summery dish for a wet July evening.

My only disappointment was that I was too full to finish the dish.

The gammon – again a generous portion – was cooked to perfection and very succulent. Accompanied by deliciously crispy julienne fries, a fried duck egg, chargrilled pineapple and kettle boiled peas.

Usually a steak fan, my husband admitted it was well worth making the change.

Despite being suitably full, we were tempted by the delicious dessert menu – which again came with suggestions from our waiter.

I went for the pavlova (£4.95) and my husband opted for the sharp lime and coconut cheesecake (£5.25).

The pavlova, served with cream and covered with beautifully sweet strawberries, was huge and, despite being melt-in-the-mouth delicious, I had to admit defeat half way through.

My husband fared better with his cheesecake, which had a crumbly biscuit base and refreshing top layer.

Fantastic food with a relaxed, friendly ambience – what more could you ask for?