Thursday 5 May 2011

Saturday Brunch at The Lido Cafe, Brockwell Park, south London

Housed in an airy Art Deco building next to Brockwell Park's outdoor swimming pool, the Lido Cafe can get very busy on a Saturday morning. If you want one of the prime sturdy wooden tables out on the sunny, palm tree-lined terrace, you should book ahead and even then you might find the sheer number of punters means the service is sluggish and haphazard. Breakfast is served up until about 12.30, when the kitchen prepares to kick-off lunch at around 1pm. The fine full English breakfast (£8.65) features near-perfect scrambled egg, a good sausage, decent bacon, a pile of nicely-cooked and seasoned mushrooms, plus grilled tomatoes, accompanied by two huge slices of warm sourdough bread and butter. Other options include an excellent eggs benedict (about £6.50), featuring two precisely-poached eggs topped with chunky ham and creamy hollandaise sauce. A mug of good, but very strong, coffee is about two quid. Excellent value, the Lido Cafe attracts local bohemians and exercise nuts from the nearby gym. If you aren't in a hurry, brunch in this atmospheric cafe will put you in a happy, holiday mood. 8/10