Hello hello, I am finally back! After what seemed like an age of my evil dissertation demanding all of my attention, I am free and back to blogging~ I have missed you all and I think a light post to ease us all (me) back into the flow of things is in order:
A while before my dissertation deadline Abbie and I went for brunch together in London. Who doesn’t love brunch? Brunch is my favourite meal of the day, simply because it’s like breakfast (which is an amazing meal), but I don’t have to wake up early to eat it! …Or so I thought until Abbie asked me if I wanted to go for brunch on Sunday and booked at table for 9:30am at the Duck and Waffle. I’ll admit I almost cried at how early this was. We also planned several shoots to do to make use of our early start and a less busy London to work in. So our brunch/breakfast was a lovely start to a very productive day in London.
At the Duck and Waffle, reservations open two months in advance and bookings go pretty quickly. The reason? The restaurant is situated on the 40th floor of a building on Bishopsgate, a five minute walk from Liverpool St Station. It grants its customers with some breathtaking views whilst they enjoy their food. Another wonderful thing about this place is that it is 24/7. The means whether you want midnight nibbles, afternoon cocktails or just a nice lunch, the Duck and Waffle as you covered. At the weekends, brunch starts at 9am and goes on till 4pm.
When you first step out of the lift to the 40th, you to a very pretty, but also small, bar. We waited here, admiring the view, whilst our table was prepared and were then led into a squarish room to your left, which is about the size of a regular restaurant.
My first thoughts regarding the inside of the place was that it was very small. For some reason I had imagined a large open space, crammed with many tables of people eating brunch, looking out through glass windows to London below. Although it was not what I was expecting, the size worked in the restaurants favour and made the place feel a bit more intimate. The layout and design of the room were nicely done. I was really happy to find that our table was by the window, so we had an awesome view of the skyline, and that the tables weren’t too close together.
One thing I didn’t quite expect was the slightly commercial vibe I got from the whole place. The difficulty in booking a table and the ‘restrictions’ on the website regarding a dress code had made me thing the place would be quite formal. However, the place was actually very relaxed, lots of families who would get up from their tables and walk to different parts to take photos or pose on empty tables for shots. This isn’t bad in itself, but I did see a couple of people look a bit irritated when a people would decide to take a family shot right next to their table as they tried to eat. In terms of the “Casual Elegance” dress code, which said things like “no ripped jeans” and that “the staff will deny entry if they feel you are not suitably dressed” was obviously not the case for the morning time as there were many people in ripped jeans, trainers and general casual wear. So if you plan to go, don’t feel pressured to wear something super fancy! Abbie and I dressed smart casual, but I would have considered wearing something less smart if we hadn’t have been doing a blog shoot straight after eating here.
Another part of the restaurants restrictions was that large cameras with changeable lenses weren’t allowed. So just to be safe my dslr stayed put in my bag and I made do with my phone. Although as there were so many people walking around taking photos of the view and each other, I do wonder how much more of a distraction a dslr would have been. In terms of the view, it was amazing. I couldn’t stop staring out at the beautiful skyline and the tiny toothpick people below. The view alone was staying, even without food.
I have heard promising things about the bar at the Duck and Waffle, apparently their cocktails are amazing. But it was 9.30 on a Sunday morning, way to early for me to drink. We settled for grapefruit juice which suited us just fine and was enough to whet our appetite before brunch.
After seeing so many pictures of the beautiful layout of their food, I was pretty stumped with what to get. I wanted the waffles, purely for aesthetic reasons, but it was too early in the morning for sweet food. I wanted the classic Duck & Waffle, but again it was early and it looked a little too heavy. In the end, I opted for the Smoked Salmon Royale. This was basically the usual eggs benedict with smoked salmon, but on waffle instead of english muffins. Of course, being the Duck and Waffle, they used duck eggs, which were gloriously rich and cooked perfectly. My food was really tasty and I enjoyed every mouthful.
Abbie got the Columbian Eggs, which was avocado, toast, and scrambled eggs.Whilst it too was beautifully presented and she really enjoyed it, she did admit it wasn’t the most amazing dish. Yet at this point we were both pretty happy with our food and the brunch would have been great if this was all we ordered. However, we agreed to get a small side of bread to accompany our main dish. Not only was it late and delivered after we had finished our main brunch, but the bread was seriously lacklustre. The bread, though also freshly baked, was pretty crusty (and by that I mean hard). It came with olive oil and fresh unsalted butter, which did nothing to help the taste. Together they made an unappetising, pretty tasteless addition, that tainted the wonderful flavours of my salmon royale. Maybe if the butter was salted, or we had been given balsamic to accompany the olive oil, we would have enjoyed the side more.
It is possible that we had hyped up the place too much in our heads; taking away the novelty of being super high in the air and eating brunch, it was fairly average. It wasn’t the best brunch we had eaten, but it was still good and the price wasn’t too bad, especially for London brunches. I can’t say I would go specifically with an intention to eat there, (although I am curious about the rest of the menu), but I would consider going again at a different time of day to see the view. I’m sure its beautiful around sunset.