The Lido Cafe

Brockwell Lido, Dulwich Road , London, SE24 0PA

  • The Lido Cafe
  • The Lido Cafe

SquareMeal Review of The Lido Cafe

“Halcyon blue water, fresh air and genuinely good food” are some of the reasons why readers make a beeline for this beautifully restored art-deco lido on the edge of Brockwell Park. You can still brunch on eggs Benedict with a glass of fizz while triathlon trainers do their stuff nearby, but the space has also become a charming evening destination. In winter, fairy lights and the gun-metal reflection of the pool create a cosy vibe, while in summer the terrace is highly sought after. The menu wins plaudits of its own – our starter of breaded pig’s ears with truffle mayonnaise was a crispy, unctuous delight, and venison haunch with celeriac and beetroot gratin was suitably wintery, rich and hearty. Drinks are given proper thought too (note the interesting wines of the month and the Beavertown IPA), while service is cheery and personable.

The Lido Cafe is recommended for

Breakfast | Brunch

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Herne Hill Station 246m

Brixton Tube Station 1km

Address

Address: Brockwell Lido, Dulwich Road , London SE24 0PA

Area: Herne Hill

Opening times

Mon-Fri 9am-3.30pm Sat-Sun 9am-12.15pm 1.30-4pm Mon-Sun 6-9.30pm

Nearby Landmarks

Brockwell Park 393m

Ritzy Cinema 1km

Details

Telephone: 020 7737 8183

Website:

Cuisine: Modern European

8.0

Food & Drink: 8.0

Service: 7.0

Atmosphere: 7.0

Value: 7.0

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

The Cheese platinum reviewer 07 March 2013

It's all too easy to stack up a fat bill at brunch. Soon as jazzy coffee, London weighting and (medicinal) Bloody Mary is involved, prices have a tendency to rocket. Not here though; I can think of no jollier place to spend a lazy, late morning than whiling away the hours at Brockwell Lido cafe. Laden with kids? You won't be alone, and the noise of whinnying children is somehow drowned out by the eternal grind of the coffee machine. Looking slightly ramshackle after a heart-stoppingly cold dip in the lido? Not to worry, as plenty of folk are equally fresh of face, and all the more vibrant for it. There may be the odd brunch fuelled by fizz here and there, but it was our experience that everyone's too busy feeling at home as they stuff their chops to care about seeing or being seen. Indoors and outdoors are different beasts entirely. Saturday morning was chaotic and flirted with anarchy in the confines of the cafe itself – brilliant if you're with children (or ‘over-sharing’, still-tiddled friends) that border on the feral. But al fresco? Oh, what sweet sanctuary! So it was nippy as hell (4 degrees in the water,) but you can't underestimate the calming qualities of that peaceful, still backdrop: halcyon blue water parted by the occasional bobbing head, and that's pretty much all that clouded our view. Looking to the horizon, on one side was a wall of flats and on the other, a vast expanse of unbroken sky rarely glimpsed in the city. Less than 12 quid bagged us posh (but not insubstantial) eggs with a glass of bubbles or a mimosa. Lush it was too. But take heed of the menu: eggs benedict's ‘the one with the ham’, silly… As someone that can't stick fish in the waking hours, i stand corrected for mugging myself by ordering the peaty ol' royale. How lovely that, despite my casual mistake, our waitress was clearly open to a switch. I suspect a lot of people need to join me for a quick lesson in egg etiquette. (Simple solution: read the menu, peops: it's laid out for us dunces). On a sweeter note, pancakes were generous and soused with syrup, soft blueberry bursts and a crisp, smoked bacon topping. Wondrous new levels of moreishness. I loved our meal here. In less than an hour, the lapping water, fresh air and genuinely good food had me feeling renewed. I'm sure it dissolves into a bun fight when the weather turns (in which case catch it while you can, on a mean-spirited winter's day) but I'm more than happy to give it a bash. And if the illusion of a restorative brunch is shattered, I'll simply slide my mealtimes to accommodate a dinner here with a garnish of the odd splish and splosh.