I'm an all-or-nothing type of person; I don't do things by halves. Blame it on my American enthusiasm, but I basically want everything to be the best ever - like, all the time. So when my friends made the long journeys from their respective corners of the US, I wanted them to have the best time.
So I took them to brunch at Duck & Waffle - a restaurant on the 40th floor of Heron Tower which, despite being blogged/Instagrammed/toured to death - saves itself from clichéd status because of its genuinely innovative and delicious food, not to mention its unsurpassed views of the city.
I was in a rotten mood when we headed out - mainly because it had begun to pour outside. Not drizzle, but pour. By the time our cab dropped us off to the entrance and we began our ascent to the top in the glass elevator, though ... the clouds parted. It looked incredible.
On my last visit to Duck & Waffle, John and I sat at this table:
Can I just say? Anyone who walks into the restaurant and has an air of, "Ok, cool, whatevs," about the view is such a dummy. There's just no point in playing it cool. In fact, I think I literally clapped my hands together when the hostess said, "We reserved a beautiful table for you!" and showed us to our gorgeous booth, which directly faced the Gherkin.
We ordered coffee and spent forever deliberating over the menu - alternating between reading the mouth-watering descriptions (peanut butter, bananas brulee, and chantilly cream, anyone?) and glancing up at the spectacular view in front of us.
Finally, we settled on this:
For me, the Full Elvis: waffles with the aforementioned peanut butter, bananas brulee (you can crack the sugar on the top of the banana with a spoon, just as you would do with creme brulee - HOW COOL IS THAT?!), chantilly cream, and "all the trimmings".
Kara fell head-over-heels for her duck egg en cocotte, with its soldiers to dip into the runny eggs and truffle shavings. And would you blame her?
Then, of course, we all had to share this - Duck & Waffle's signature dish:
It was even better than I'd remembered!
After having our fill of the amazing food, we sat around talking (the staff there are lovely - they leave you alone to chat and enjoy the view, until you're ready to leave ... of course, it probably helped that we were there on a fairly quiet weekday!) before making a pit stop for photo opportunities in the reception/bar area.
Then, thinking that we hadn't had enough of the gorgeous views of London yet, I marched us toward 20 Fenchurch Street, the home of Sky Garden, where we underwent some serious, airport-style security checks before being transported to this magical place:
It was fun to look out the windows and to retrace our steps from the day before ... our walk from Borough Market, to Tate Modern, to St. Paul's, then Covent Garden ... we realized (from above) that we'd walked a lot!
Finally, I usually avoid posting photos of myself/friends/family on this blog, but couldn't resist this ... which will definitely be framed and looked upon for years ahead.
Love these girls and their smiles. The best, the best, the best.
Have you been to Duck & Waffle or Sky Garden? What did you think?