Dining at the Duck & Waffle had been on my bucket list for almost as long as this blog has been running.
The reason? The restaurant (so named after their signature dish of crispy leg confit, fried duck egg, and mustard maple syrup served on a waffle) is located on the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate – one of London’s tallest buildings. So, as you can imagine, the views across London are incredible!
I’ve also been following their page on Instagram for a while now, and the beautifully- presented dishes they’ve been posting photographs of look so good you can almost taste them.
Great views and delicious food is a pretty perfect combination in my book.
The main reason it took me so long to make it there is because I don’t live in London. Not even remotely close. Actually 272 kilometres (169 miles) away, or at least two and a half hours by train.
Much as I wanted to visit the Duck & Waffle, I wasn’t about to book a weekend in London solely to dine at a restaurant. Especially since the return train fare and overnight hotel would probably cost me around three times as much as the meal (and that’s saying something; the Duck and Waffle isn’t cheap!)
However, I do fly out of the airports in London from time to time: when the London flights are dramatically cheaper than the regional ones (and I can get a suitably cheap advance train ticket) or when there are simply no regional ones available to the destinations I want to travel to.
My recent trip to São Miguel, in the Azores, was one of those situations. The only airline running flights from the UK to Ponta Delgada was Ryanair, and the only airport they were running them from was Stansted.
What’s more, our return flight home arrived into London in the early hours of the evening, which – by the time we’d got through passport control and allowing for delays – was too late to catch a train home to Shrewsbury.
So we had to stay in London overnight, which meant that it was the perfect opportunity to finally tick dining at the Duck & Waffle off my bucket list.
As you can imagine, tables at the Duck & Waffle get booked up ridiculously far in advance. Brunch and lunch spots were all full, as was dinner, and I think the only reason we managed to secure a breakfast spot so close to the event (I booked a month beforehand) was because it was a Sunday. And people don’t like to get up too early on a Sunday morning. My boyfriend Stu included.
He moaned when I woke him up at 6:45am and he moaned continually during the chilly 20-minute walk there from our hostel.
However, the moaning stopped as soon as we got in the lift.
Probably the fastest lift I’ve ever ridden in.
Hurtling up to the 40th floor in a glass lift at five meters per second (approximately 12mph) isn’t for the faint-hearted. My stomach lurched as soon as we set off, and when we reached the top my ears were popping.
But the views were worth every heart-stopping second.
I’m not sure whether it was as a result of me casually mentioning on the booking form that I was making the reservation as a birthday treat for my boyfriend, but we ended up with one of the best tables in the house.
We were looking down upon Shoreditch High Street; the route we’d just taken to get to the restaurant, and the traffic was TINY!! We were also looking down on the Gherkin, which stands 180 metres above the ground!
We’d booked the table for 7:45am and it was the perfect time to watch the last few rays of sunlight rising above the horizon.
Stu ordered a typically British House Breakfast (Lincolnshire sausage, two eggs – any style, dry cured bacon, grilled tomato, mushroom, hash brown, Cheddar and buttermilk scone) with black pudding and a pot of earl grey tea, and I ordered Colombian Eggs (scrambled eggs, tomato and spring onions, sourdough toast and avocado) with a side of smoked salmon and an Americano.
We were both pretty pleased with our choices, but we only just managed to finish eating before it all got cold, because we were far too busy snapping photographs every few minutes. I actually asked Stu to snap this one of me before we started eating (because who wants to see photos of half-eaten dishes, right?), and the reason I look so awkward was because he was standing by the camera instructing me,
“hurry up and smile, I want to eat my food!”
We were getting reading to pay up and drag ourselves away from the view when the lady who had been serving us brought out a plate containing the cutest little birthday cake and candle, and the words “Happy Birthday” written artistically in chocolate sauce in front of it.
They clearly had paid attention to my casual remark on the booking form, and it was such a lovely touch to end the meal.
How much does a meal at the Duck & Waffle cost?
I paid for the whole meal as a birthday treat for Stu, so the entire bill set me back £48.38, but you can obviously half this amount if you’re only paying for yourself. A 12.5% service charge is automatically added to your bill at the end, so there’s no need to leave a tip. It’s not cheap, but for a special occasion I’d say it’s definitely worth it.
Address: 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Nearest tube station: Liverpool Street
Open: 24 hours a day
Phone: 0203 640 7310
The dress code is defined as “casual elegance.” Jeans are allowed as long as they’re not ripped, but baseball caps and athletic trainers are not permitted. I just wore skinny jeans, my Keen Fremont boots and a nice cold shoulder top from Whistles, which I dressed up with a bright red necklace (to compliment my hair).
They also state quite clearly on their website:
“No large cameras, changeable lenses or video equipment allowed without prior authorisation,” hence why all photos in this post were shot on my Huawei mobile phone.
Where we stayed
We stayed overnight in London on a Saturday, so unfortunately accommodation prices were at their highest. The only place we could find nearby that was less than £100 per night was The Dictionary Hostel. We had a private room (I really didn’t fancy staying in a dorm on a Saturday night in London) with a shared bathroom for £85. Breakfast is actually included in the price, and because it’s served until 11am on a Sunday, we snuffled some away for lunch. Dinner was a Boots meal deal, consumed on the train home.
Have you dined at the Duck & Waffle? Is it one of the experiences currently on your bucket list? Or does the idea of being that high up scare you stupid? Let me know in the comments below!
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