Thames Lido, Reading: ‘One whiff of baking bread and I’m out of the pool faster than a greased eel’ – restaurant review | Felicity Cloake

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Surely no self-respecting critic visits a swimming pool cafe without testing the water?

I’ve rarely turned up anywhere so reluctant to take the plunge. Winter has chosen today finally to get its act in gear, which is poor timing given that this is probably the only review I’ll ever do that demands semi-nudity. Surely no self-respecting critic visits a swimming pool cafe without testing the water?

To my considerable relief, though, this recently restored Edwardian lido turns out to be more hotel spa than council leisure centre. Steam drifts lazily from raised, Italian-tiled baths (a pleasant 26C, says reception), where only the odd floating leaf intrudes from the world outside: a wooded, rather muddy riverside plot just off the Reading ring road.

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