Breaking good: Lido Cafe brunch

Written by on 16 September, 2018 in Food, Reviews - No comments

Sacha Harrison embraces brunch at The Lido Cafe

Hangover cure, an excuse to eat two meals in one, cocktails before noon, millennial remote working, it’s not difficult to explain why brunch is, apparently these days, best. But I’m at the Lido Café in Brockwell Park to see why this poolside spot does it so well.

My pal and I are in the company of a sausage dog and a poodle, both welcomed to sit with us on the outdoor terrace. I ask for an almond milk latte whilst my friend opts for a cucumber, apple and mint concoction as well as an iced, decaf, soya latte.

Tall orders but they come swiftly and prettily presented. We wimp out on the cocktails but I spot a good looking “Rhesus positive” Bloody Mary on its way out.

Peeping out from the palms, I turn around to take a look at our lovely art-deco oasis, sun-dappled in the morning light. Not sardine-packed with the South London public in all their under-sumcreamed glory, it’s a peaceful, relaxed, quieter morning. The pre-work swimmers have been and gone, so its just a handful of swimmers gently lapping the pool and a few kids contemplating the shallow end.

It’s a Thursday, but secretly feels like a Saturday without the queues. There are South London yummy mothers with their toddlers, prams and iPhones, swimmers, gymmers and laptopped freelancers (like us) milling over freshly brewed coffee. It feels akin to the cafés I remember in Sydney with a healthy-lifestyle crowd who like a swim in the morning and a good brunch to set them up for the day. The eggs and avo type who aren’t afraid of the sourdough. As you would want and expect, its relaxed, cheerful, bustling and friendly – our dogs are a big hit with the mums and toddlers.

Most importantly, the menu steps it up a notch. I’m thrilled to see there’s more than just standard café fare although of course they do an elevated bacon bap (£5.25), which we do order. Think brasserie-style upscale brunch-ness – the bacon comes crispy and streaky in a soft bun complete with a side of ketchup. It’s decidedly moreish.

I’m gluten free but on, this occasion, I let it slide and order the spicy sobrasada on sourdough toast with heritage tomatoes and a poached egg (£8.95). The eggs are poached perfectly and the watercress on top adds a peppery dimension.

If I had all day and a larger wallet, I would have also ordered the huevos rancheros and maybe a side of French toast dripping with maple syrup. For those who wake up later in the day or perhaps a little hungover, I can vouch for the veggie burger with twice-cooked chips. And, yes, there’s homemade granola for those who don’t get the whole brunch thing. There’s always one.

Brunch at the Lido Café is served on weekdays and weekends from 9am to 2pm.

Brockwell Lido, Dulwich Road, SE24 0PA | 020 77378183 | www.thelidocafe.co.uk | @thelidocafe

About the Author

Nick Buglione is the worst kind of foodie in that his gastro ambitions are frustratingly rarely matched by his culinary skills. Eating out he is as happy with a dirty burger, comforting cafe fry up or a Michelin-starred menu. Nick will be bringing even more recipes, reviews, news and cheffy interviews from the pop-ups, restaurants, street stalls and cafes of Brixton as well as bar and pub reviews and the occasional cocktail. He'd love people to get involved, can be contacted at nick@brixtonblog.com and please send all and any general foodie news to food@brixtonblog.com.

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