Tag Archives: London Fields Lido

All these swims that I’ve swum

24 Jan

Snowy London Fields Lido

The swims of 2012 can be categorised in many ways. The cold ones, the really cold ones, the flippin freezing ones, river, sea, lake, long, short, salty, crystal clear, murky, races, training sessions, wetsuited, swim suited, (sadly no birthday suited), quick dip, marathon, honeymooning, even pre-wedding. But each one can all be filed under the following; fun, revitalising, invigorating and addictive.

hive beach wedding swim

Hive beach, Dorset. Pre-wedding, swim suited, quick dip, salty, freezing.

doom bar swimming padstow

Doom Bar, Padstow. Honeymooning, wetsuited, salty, training, very cold.

Treyarnon Bay

Treyarnon Bay tidal pool. Honeymooning, wetsuited, crystal clear, salty, very cold.

Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond

Hampstead Heath ladies pond. Swim suited, frequent, leisurely, cold.

Ouse Nice Tri Swim

Ouse River, St Neots. Wetsuited, race, murky, be-swanned, lurgy filled. Thanks to Glidergoth for use of the photo.

Lake Bala Tri Swim

Lake Bala. Race, wetsuited, twice in 2 days.

Llangollen Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon, Llangollen. Flippin freezing, wetsuited followed by swimsuited, crystal crystal clear, deep.

tooting bec lido

Tooting Bec Lido. Wetsuited and/or swimsuited, training, Thorpe watching.

Dart 10k swim start

River Dart, Totnes to Dittisham. Very cold, wetsuited, race, marathon, salty, murky, choppy, squelchy.

St Margaret's bay swimming

St Margerets Bay, nr Dover. Swim suited, quick dip, channel aspirational.

Marlow swim

River Thames, nr Marlow. Wetsuited, race, busy.

Thames Hampton Court

River Thames, Hampton Court to Kingston, very very very fast current, wetsuited, race.

Snowman tri swim

Lake Mymbyr, Capel Curig. Race, wetsuited, flippin freezing, busy. Thanks again to Dave Johnson for the photo.

What does 2013 hold? More of the same, I hope!

L.ove I.t D.ip O.utdoors

16 Aug

Come sun…

sunny london fields lido

…or snow

snowy london fields lido

You can’t beat swimming outdoors. London Fields Lido heats the water to 25 degrees year round, so there’s no excuse to dive right in.

We’re very lucky in London, we have a shoal of outdoor swimming opportunities, and you can even choose between heated, non-heated, pool or pond (although I’ve yet to find a heated pond…imagine that!)

tooting bec lido

Tooting Bec is surely big daddy of the lido scene. 91 metres of uninterrupted, naturally chilled swimming space. A-mazing.

ian thorpe tooting bec lido

Especially when the Thorpedo decides to pop in for a masterclass. Thanks Ian!

kenwood bathing pond

But what could be better than a dip in one of Hampstead Heath’s bathing ponds? Perfect after a log day’s work on a sunny late summer evening, especially when followed by a big slice of cake from one of the many local hostelries.

Here’s a handy guide to all the Lidos in London

Shoreditch Bakes

1 Apr

Pitfield cakes

There’s a lot of baking going on in Shoreditch. No joke, I know it’s April Fools, but tis true. One of the newest kids on the block is Pitfield London, on Pitfield street. I cycle past every day and have to try very very very hard not to crash on the way. If you’ve seen their window display of massive, delicious looking meringues you’ll know why. Have a look at these bad boys!

cherry tart pitfield london

Big sis (she of jam, relish, and marmalade fame) was in town this weekend, and as a couple of cake aficionados, we had to go and test the Pitfield wares. A cherry almond flan type cake (above) for big sis, and a beautiful hunk of carrot cake for me (below). Carrot cake is my favourite type of cake, and is the acid test for any establishment. This one didn’t disappoint – moist, spicy with plenty of sweet cream cheese icing. Win!

carrot cake pitfield london

Of course where else do you take big sis when in town than London Fields Lido? We had to justify a second cakey stop of the weekend somehow. I racked up an hour with the gang at the Red Top Swim class, and big sis swam a kilometre too. Hurrah, we definitely deserved a stop at the home of the whoopie pie – Violet Cakes on Wilton Way.

Sunny London Fields Lido

It was difficult to choose just one cake – Violet has so many treats to choose from. Pistachio and rose whoopies, ginger molasses cake, red velvet cupcakes, choc chip cookies (and there is so so much more). Help! We began by treating ourselves to a cinnamon bun each washed down with the finest flat white. Breakfast fodder, if you will. A rhubarb cupcake to take away? Don’t mind if I do…big sis opted for the chocolate version, with salted caramel frosting.

Violet cakes cinnamon bun

Nice one sis, come back soon!

Snow Sports

5 Feb

London Fields Lido

The last 24 hours have been pretty interesting. Snow had been forecast – lots of snow. Lots of snow for London anyway. Still, Mr Cakes and I, and a couple of East-side friends ventured over the river to a housewarming party in Sarf London. It’ll be fine, I said, we’ll totally be able to get home, no problem! This is London, right? Except it also just so happened that all trains to our destination were cancelled due to engineering works. Come 11pm it was time to call a cab (rock n roll I know, but there were swimming lessons for 3 of us the following morning and a doggy to get home to aswell) Yeah fine, we’ll send you a cab. It’ll be about 20 minutes, okay? You know how this goes, 30 minutes later – no cab. Then we look out the window at the 5 inches of snow on the ground and wonder what on earth will happen next. Let’s give it another 15 minutes, and then think about plan B. And that’s when our saviour turned up, in what can only be described as a monster truck. There is no photographic evidence of what happened next, you just have to believe me….

And so we were driven home in a bright red, Mercedes G-class 9 seater truck which our taxi driver (and truck owner) reliably informed us was used by the Nazis as a tank in the war – although not this particular one, obviously. He tuned the radio to Smooth FM, cranked it up, us girls in the back had a good old sing along to Abba and Micheal Jackson while taxi-man told Mr Cakes he reminded him of someone….who is it…? Oh yes, an older Chris Evans! And said he was a sharp guy! As one of our number put it he was a snow super hero – ‘the sweeper’

There is a baking point to this story. I couldn’t go empty-handed to the party, and dutifully baked some housewarming fruity nutty cookies.

I got the recipe for the fruity (and nutty) cookies from the bbcgoodfood website. Believe it or not these chunky, crispy on the outside chewy in the middle morsels contain marmalade! Perfect if you’ve just made a batch just like big sis did earlier this week. The Lady Marmalade post is here if you missed it.

They also contain most of the same ingredients as the energy bars I’ve been trying to perfect over the last few months, which got me thinking – what about energy biscuits instead of energy bars? I think these would be perfect – not too crumbly, not too gooey, full of nuts and fruit and super calorific goodness. When the snow has melted and the air temperature isn’t so flippin cold and we get out on a weekend cycle ride I’m going to road test a couple of these bad boys for their energy credentials. And besides, Kraft are now flogging biscuits as a healthy breakfast option, so they must be okay for triathletes, right?

Don’t believe me? Try ’em. Although next time I’m going to decrease the ginger and increase the cinnamon. Just a personal thing.

After all that we did make it to our swimming class this morning, we ran through the snowy streets to the Lido where snow lined the edges of the pool, and mist rose from the water obscuring the view as you swam. It was almost magical!