Ladies and gents, I have finally had brunch at Duck & Waffle. I’ve never been the leader of the pack when it comes to restaurants, much preferring to let others check it out first and report back, but fours years after the restaurant opened its doors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is a long wait. Since then I’ve dribbled over Dan Doherty’s Instagrams (enjoying countless virtual sunrises/sunsets too), let my stomach rumble over review’s like Jaime’s and imagined what my brunch order would be a good few times. Finally, four of us found the perfect excuse for the brunch treat, Lucinda’s birthday.
You can only book up to two months in advance and it does get booked up. This actually works well for those hard to secure, needs planning weeks in advance sort of catch ups, but is a bit tormenting when it’s quite a long time until you actually get to go there. That said, time flies these days (is it really June next week?!) so before I knew it we were hurtling our way up in the glass lift to the 40th floor of the Heron Tower.
Once my ears had popped and I’d steadied my feet from the ride, I had chance to take in my sky-high surroundings.
The bar greeted us with sparkling chandelliers and the kind of blue tiles I wouldn’t mind putting down in my own home. The contrast with the large graffiti wall lets the place get its stamp of trend-appeal. It’s a great place to grab the first Mimosa of the morning, like Lucinda and Ben, who had eagerly arrived a bit early for our booking (or I was running just a tad late and thirst had got the better of them…)
Our table was ready on arrival and we were taken around the corner to be seated.
I was fully expecting a huge restaurant, but Duck & Waffle is rather modest in size. It partly explains why it’s so popular and always fully booked at brunch.
I expect the second reason is the delicious and at times slightly daring menu (crispy pigs ears anyone?). The four of us had pretty much decided on what we were having before we arrived. Three duck and waffles and one full Elvis were ordered. They turned up after just enough time to catch up and feel super hungry for our dishes.
Which is a good job when you have a waffle, duck leg, a duck egg and a shot of mustard maple syrup placed in front of you.
Then there’s the ‘Full Elvis’, which was mine of course, that the waiter had warned would be an effort to finish and cheerfully brought to the table with a wink.
A whole soft waffle, topped with peanut butter, jam, banana brulée, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and chantilly cream. It was epic and I managed to eat almost all of it but I thought I should let James try some 😉
The final reason it’s on a lot of brunch wishlists is THE VIEWS. Forty floors up at the edge of the City grants some pretty amazing sights across the city and a great close up of the Gherkin.
It was the London Marathon that day and I think we had one of the best views of the runners going past. Sure, it’s not the same as the atmosphere on the ground but it really does give you a sense of the scale of the event!
The vastness of the capital is pretty apparent from this view too.
Life gets dwarfed by the sky scrapers that surrounds it and the quiet countryside you can just about glimpse seems so far away.
We decided that our experience wouldn’t be quite complete without a farewell drink at the bar. Three Mimosas and one Celeriac & Bee Pollen Bellini were ordered.
I was clearly embracing being the odd one out, choosing a slightly savoury cocktail of celeriac juice, bee pollen liqueur and Prosecco, over the classic freshly squeezed orange juice and champagne. But I enjoyed the unexpected flavours and it reminded how much talent there is in London when it comes to creating original cocktails. It’s part of their ‘Drink your greens’ menu and I could easily have worked my way through a few more.
Duck & Waffle is definitely the kind of brunch for a treat, a celebration or to impress a visitor with the views and food. The service was good and efficient, the food was delicious. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth adding it to the list for those views alone. I’m still pretty keen to go back for sunrise and more waffles.
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Have you had brunch in the sky at Duck & Waffle? Have you found a favourite place for brunch I should try next?