Tuesday, May 19, 2015

London From Above: Brunch at Duck & Waffle and a Visit to Sky Garden


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.

Ever.

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 clich├ęd 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?

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29 comments

  1. Both venues are new to me, thanks for the heads up!

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    1. Well worth a visit, Ruth! Sky Garden is super child-friendly.

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  2. Amazing - I am TERRIFIED of heights though so doubt I'll ever go to either of them!! :(

    Rosie xx

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    1. Oh no, Rosie! Definitely not for you, then ... the lift in Sky Garden is okay, because it's windowless, but the one at Duck & Waffle would definitely make you feel nervous/uneasy! Nevermind ... plenty of other places with delicious food and more less eye-watering views! xx

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  3. Gorgeous photos! We're going to the Sky Garden tomorrow... Can't wait! :)

    Charlotte | The Midnight Blog

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    1. Thanks so much, Charlotte- that means a lot coming from you, as I think your photos are so beautiful! Hope you have a lovely time at Sky Garden. Should be a little less busy for you! :)

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  4. Wow....I must definately visit the Sky Garden next time I'm in London.

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    1. You definitely, should, Jacky! You have to book (free) tickets online well in advance for the weekends, at the moment, as it's pretty popular, but if you go on a weekday, I'm sure it'd be a little easier to book a time slot.

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  5. TWO stunning views of London in one day?! Beaut! My tummy did a big gurgle when I read 'runny egg with truffle shavings' - heaven! We've just decided to finish our honeymoon with a few days back in London and we must remember to visit these two places.

    Polly xx
    Follow Your Sunshine

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    1. You totally should, Polly! Great places to celebrate. :) xx

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  6. The views from the Duck & Waffle are incredible - I nearly gasped out loud when I scrolled down to the photo of your table from your last visit. I can only imagine that I'll be a squealing, excitable mess if I ever visit in person!

    x

    p.s. lovely group photograph at the end - definitely one to treasure.

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    1. Thank you, Charlene!!!

      You must visit soon ... the menu there is amazing, and the food definitely lives up to the hype, IMO! x

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  7. So I have been to Duck & Waffle multiple times but never the Sky Garden. Is it worth it, or will the crowds drive me crazy?

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    1. It was nice, and I think worth a visit before you go ... you have to book tickets beforehand, but it's free.

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  8. Oooh two rooms with a view! I've not been to Sky Garden yet and I've heard mix things. I will need to see for myself.
    Lots of love,
    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

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    1. I really liked Sky Garden, for the beautiful views and architecture of the building itself. I think the experience is a little overrated, perhaps, but it was still worth a visit. xo

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  9. The Full Elvis looks amazing! I'm yet to visit Duck & Waffle but it's on my to visit list. As for the Sky Garden, Paul managed to book us in just after it opened, I was very impressed with his organisational skills and the views ;-)

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

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    1. YES, I remember your post, Suze! It's why I wanted to go in the first place ... get yourself over to Duck & Waffle ASAP! xo

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  10. I've wanted to do both these things for ages. The food at D&W looks amazing. I want it all, especially on a sunny day like today. If only I wasn't at work....

    K.

    www.wonderingthrough.co.uk

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    1. Hey Kelsey! Yes, you should definitely make a visit - the visit and the views are spectacular, especially as the weather is gradually (fingers crossed) clearing up! You might have to book ahead for a visit on a weekend, but brunch is my favorite time to go. :)

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  11. Ahhh so glad the sun came out and you got to enjoy the view (and take food pics) in all its glory! NEED that banana brulee and duck eggs en concote in my life - look AMAZING! Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    www.andreaspassions.com

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    1. I know, I still fantasize about that Full Elvis ... it was SO good!!! xxx

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  12. Finally went to Duck & Waffle while my mom was visiting! I'll be posting about it. I'm mega-jealous of your Full Elvis. Sweet Jeebus, that's glorious.

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  13. OMG! Is the Duck and Waffle baby friendly? I need to go here!!

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    1. Hi Amy! I'm sure it is, but you might want to ring up/email beforehand to check! They might seat you in the "inner" bit of the dining room as there is a bit more space, but I'm sure they could accommodate!

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    2. I love our boy, but it does make going anywhere a bit of a challenge. We can't just visit somewhere on a whim! I'm going to keep the Duck & Waffle in mind for a Sunday morning treat when we're living in London Town.

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  14. I like your blog it is really very interesting and entertaining. I appreciate to your idea it is really unique. A part of london airport cabs.

    ReplyDelete

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