You’ll get a bird’s eye view of the open-air Victorian pool from this first-floor vantage point, and, even if you’re not taking a dip yourself, watching the swimmers glide back and forth should be enough to work up your appetite. Indeed, The Lido, lovingly restored by the owner of the Glassboat restaurant in the city centre, is one of the only places where you can enjoy the surreal sight of well-dressed diners mingling with bath robe-clad clientele who’ve come straight from the pool or spa.
Don’t be put off by the sight of Birdfood on the menu – this is the tasting menu prepared by head chef Freddy Bird (£40 per person). Bird is a keen and knowledgeable forager, and makes use of the ingredients he finds in the daily-changing dishes, many of which are cooked in an impressive wood-fired oven.
Starters (around £9) can include wood-roast scallops, quail or squid, while mains (around £20) feature the likes of iberico pig's cheeks slow cooked in Austrian cider, hake cooked in the Galician style and roast Aylesbury duck fattee.
The Lido also specialises in tapas dishes, which are perfect for sharing whether you’re sitting above or beside the pool. Try the Syrian lentils (£3) or the chorizo and morcilla (£6.50). Caviar even makes an appearance on hot buttered potato bread toast (10g for £36 or 20g for £72). Among the puddings, the tarta de Santiago with brandy cream (£6.50) comes highly recommended – just try not to feel too guilty about eating it while others exert themselves in the pool.