Do you have that one place you’ve been meaning to visit for absolute years? Perhaps it’s a place a friend recommended, or somewhere you’ve seen in a magazine and had your hopes set on visiting?
For me, that place was Duck and Waffle, the restaurant found on the 40th floor of London’s iconic Heron Tower. My friends have been going on about it for ages, and I constantly see gorgeous photos popping up on Instagram of the food and the views – as it’s the UK’s highest restaurant, those views out across London are pretty spectacular, which was just one of the reasons why I wanted to go. The second reason was far less logical: I really just like the name. After all, ducks are adorable, and I love eating waffles, so surely that meant I would enjoy the restaurant too?
Well, after almost three years of passing the Duck and Waffle tower almost every single day, I decided to bite the bullet and book myself, and three friends, in for a pre-work breakfast to celebrate my 25th birthday!
Breakfast at Duck and Waffle
Hurtling up to the 40th floor in a glass lift isn’t for the faint-hearted. Your stomach lurches, your sense of balance feels all off, and you find yourself reaching for the nearest pole to keep yourself upright. Luckily, that sensation only lasts a few seconds. Before long, your focus cannot fail to fall on the unfolding London landscape ahead of you.
By the time you get to that 40th floor, it takes a second to realise how high up you are. And then you see it: the top of The Gherkin building poking up right next to you. Yep. You’re high up.
We booked in for breakfast at 8am, and were surprised to find the restaurant in full swing when we turned up. There were city workers getting their caffeine fix, business partners discussing contracts…and then us four, purely focused on stuffing our faces with all the food before we had to rush off to work.
We were directed towards our own little booth, and provided with complimentary sparkling or still water while we browsed the menu. (Note: if you’re after a window table, it’s best to turn up in a pair, as pretty much every two-seater table was situated around the perimeter of the room.)
Unlike what you might expect from swanky city restaurants, the menu was pretty inclusive, offering everything from pastries to yoghurt and full English breakfasts. You even have the option of ordering the classic Duck and Waffle, made up of crispy leg confit, fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup – all atop a warm, soft waffle.
The variety was overwhelming. I could easily have had about six different dishes, had I a) the time, b) the money, and c) the metabolism. But in the end I opted for the Colombian eggs (£11), which included organic scrambled eggs mixed with tomatoes and spring onions, plus a side of avocado and one small slice of toast. Of course, I had this alongside a pot of English Breakfast tea for one!
I was feeling pleasantly content with my Colombian eggs…until my friend’s bananas brûlé (£10) turned up! This beast of a breakfast featured a waffle dripping in hazelnut and chocolate spread, vanilla ice cream and peanut crunch. Oh my gosh I am salivating at the very thought of it.
What really impressed me about having breakfast at Duck and Waffle was the super-fast service. In hindsight, this makes lots of sense. After all, if you’re serving breakfast to city workers, chances are they’ll be in quite the rush. We must have sat down around 8:10am, and by 8:45am we were ready to pay and head off to work!
It wasn’t the longest, most leisurely breakfast I’ve ever had, but we knew that from the offset. It was a chance to get a taste for Duck and Waffle’s delicious European and British cuisine, all while getting a great excuse to stare out at that 40th-floor view.
Now I’ve experienced the delectable delights of breakfast at Duck and Waffle, I’m going to make a promise to myself: to not leave it another three years before I return!
Duck and Waffle, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Nearest tube station is Liverpool Street
Open 24 hours a day
Phone: 0203 640 7310
Have you been to Duck and Waffle? If so, what did you think of it? Or maybe you really want to go? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!