As befits a café attached to one of south London’s best-loved outdoor swimming pools, the Lido Café is light-filled and very chilled. The interior design is smart and airy with stark beech and white furnishings, opening out on to a decked area overlooking the water, and punctuated with potted palms and blue parasols.
The monthly menu is short but designed with love, care and boundless enthusiasm for seasonal British produce, stretching from the breakfast menu of eggs benedict, fry-ups and blueberry buttermilk pancakes, to light lunches (Severn & Wye smoked salmon and rye bread, charcuterie platter with pickles, salads) to sophisticated evening dinners (grilled harissa mackerel with crushed jersey royals and samphire salad; cardamom confit free-range duck leg with English asparagus).
Fishcakes on creamed spinach didn’t stand out, but a burger with all the trimmings on sweet brioche was perfectly balanced. Alternatively, you could just pop in for a seriously good coffee, a wicked slice of cake and a few lengths of front crawl. At weekends, the place is inevitably awash with swimmers and dry-side diners but during the week, the lido offers a tranquillity that can be hard to come by in London.