The Lido offers an experience like no other, writes Sammy Milton
The Lido has been a Bristol institution since its opening in 2008, and has remained one of the most popular spots to visit in the whole city. And it’s not hard to see why – the Grade-II listed building is tucked quietly away down a pretty Clifton street and offers round-the-year swimming, dining, spa facilities and treatments.
Absolutely delighted to have the chance to review its services, my companion and I trotted giddily through its doors last Wednesday evening, grabbed our robes and flip-flops, and embarked on an evening of pure relaxation.
We were offered the swim and dine package (£45 pp), with a luscious treatment generously thrown in. The Lido provides a variety of packages to book, and are very reasonably priced, making excellent gifts for family, friends and loved ones.
Taking full advantage of our time, we went for a half-hour dip in the splendid outdoor pool. Wide and sprawling, it is a wonderful experience. Thankfully it was gorgeous weather, and we spent our time swimming lengths and gazing at the scene around us – the restaurant bar opens right out onto the pool, and there are prettily painted changing rooms that run the length of the outside space. It’s so peaceful you hardly feel in the city at all.
After our swim, we retired to the upper levels for our eagerly-awaited treatments. Once called through, we were separated into our appropriate rooms and told the procedures. I opted for a full body massage, and had a wonderful experience with my lovely masseur Toby. I hadn’t had a proper massage in a long time, and found the whole treatment comfortable, relaxing and fun. My friend had chosen a facial massage, but in an amusing turn of events, ended up getting a full body massage too, and claimed it to be the best massage she’d ever had! I agreed and we retired to the tea room to wind down over some herbal hot drinks.
Completely and utterly relaxed, we moved over to the striking, glass-fronted restaurant to have dinner. We were allowed to pick two courses from the menu, so we both went with a starter and a main. I went with wood-roasted scallops, still in their shells and marinated in sweet herbs and garlic butter (£11.50). They were divine – wickedly garlic and tender. My friend ordered gazpacho (£6.50). The chilled soup was refreshing, with a bold flavour and was deemed a success.
Our mains were equally as lovely. We shared two different dishes – grilled lamb with pesto, pine nuts and a pepper salad (£24.50) and Iberico pork loin with apricots and garlic and rosemary fried potatoes (£19.50). The lamb was sweet and fragrant, and the accompanying vegetables were fresh and punchy. The roasted pine nuts added welcome depth and it was overall very impressive. The pork was rich and fatty, with the sweetness of the apricots cutting through, and the potatoes were crispy and well-seasoned.
A suitably lovely end to our evening.
All in all, the Lido offers an experience that is unmatched by others in its field. The staff are wonderfully friendly and professional, the facilities are luxurious and pristine, and the restaurant is in a class of its own. It's well worth a visit – whatever you’re in for.
Oakfield Place, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2BJ
Spa reservations: 0117 933 9530
Restaurant reservations: 0117 332 3970