Sometimes you’ve got to live the champagne lifestyle on lemonade wages.
As a student, I have a limited budget, but every once in a while you’ve just got to treat yourself and the best way to treat yourself in my opinion? Well, with food of course! And when better to indulge yourself then when you’re staying with some old friends in London.
Usually I just treat myself by buying an extra snack (a mega Twix if anyones asking) alongside my weekly shop but this time we decided to pull out the big guns and head for a gastronomic experience in the skies at Duck & Waffle.
Duck & Waffle is located way above the ether on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower and is reached by a 24-second glass lift ride which I can hazard a guess would not be too fun on a raging hangover.
The first thing that will strike you about Duck & Waffle is of course, the view. With floor to ceiling windows which look out onto the city below, you can watch the world go by while sipping on cocktails at the bar or tucking into brunch in the restaurant. While we were lucky enough to have booked a brunch sitting on a clear and sunny day, I’d love to come back at any time of year, in any type of weather to see how the light shifts and changes and since D&W is open 24 hours, you can wander along for a bit of midnight voyeurism if you can’t catch your 40 winks. I’d personally love to witness some lightening and thunder while snacking on some pigs ears.
A bloody good Bloody Mary according to Natasha…
The gorgeous Cris…
and the wonderful Natasha
The second thing which will strike you about Duck & Waffle is the food. The brunch menu is renowned for its classic dishes with a twist and while I was tempted by almost all of them, in the end I only had eyes for the restaurants namesake which was calling out to me to try.
Introducing the duck and waffle…
While I must admit, that I was skeptical about the somewhat unconventional taste combination, but I was easily converted. I think this is one of the tastiest dishes I’ve had the pleasure to eat in a very long time. I nibbled my duck leg until it was bare of all its meat, lets put it that way. The duck and waffle is the perfect mix between naughty and nice; a playful dish.
The confit duck leg manages to be both melt in the mouth and perfectly crisp, while the fried duck egg pops with a liquid gold yolk which seeps around the plate while the waffle provides a sweet and soft bed, waiting to be smothered in the mustard maple syrup.
My esteemed company opted for the duck egg en cocottee which came with soldiers standing to attention and the sriracha spiced ox cheek benedict which I was rather jealous of.
This is the kind of food which will momentarily silence you and your friends before you all end up bursting into action, insisting that everyone ‘must try this’ before sharing forks laden with food.
I also ordered some BBQ-Spiced crispy pigs ears which came in a wax sealed paper bag, oh how royal! Pigs ears are a delicacy which is usually reserved for canines, but one we humans have seriously underestimated it seems! I’ll be eyeing up Frankie and Jorgie’s treats next time I’m home then…
While we had intended for the visit to be a one course affair, a group of girls are oh so easily coerced into ordering dessert when together and when the sweet menu was surreptitiously left on our table, our hard resolves made an audible crack.
Desserts ordered we waited for our dishes to arrive only to be greeted by this huge cheese board. Alas, it wasn’t all for us as Natasha had ordered a board with three cheeses which she got to select with the help of a cheesy waiter.
The finished product…
While there is sometimes no better way to finish a meal than a cheese board, my sweet tooth had a hankering for some sugar, baby so Cris and I shared a vanilla baked Alaska while Jess went for a pistachio and dark chocolate macaroon sandwich. I’d never had a baked Alaska before so this was a dinner of firsts, while it doesn’t beat a classic sticky toffee pudding for me, I’d probably order it again if/when I return to D&W.
Jess’ macaroon sandwich was envy inducing, I’d order all of the above if I were you!
The view at D&W is pretty spectacular – no one can deny that – but while I love a good view, it was the food I was really there for so I’m happy to confirm that the food is the main event here. I am still thinking about my duck and waffle and would rather like an excuse to head back to the Heron for another taste of the good stuff. The atmosphere of the restaurant and bar is buzzing with not a hint of pretentious snobbery, just a laid-back luxe vibe which resonates through the witty, cheeky and nouveau classic menu.
If you post any pictures of your trip on Instagram or Twitter, the lovely chefs, Dan Doherty and Tom Cenci will happily chat away with your about your experiences at their top-notch restaurant, a nice little touch which signals that D&W really cares about what their customers think.
If you’ve got something to celebrate, fancy a late night snack or just want to have a drink while joining the mile high club then I’d definitely recommend Duck & Waffle if you’ve got a head for heights.