I finally did it. Hauled myself out of bed before sunrise and breakfasted amongst the amazing views of Duck and Waffle. Not only did I get myself out of bed, but managed to tempt Mr Kiwi along with me (though for some reason he thought we were going to a pub for a pre-work brunch? It goes to show how crazy he is, because he did it anyway) up 40 floors for brunch among the clouds.
Recently (after much reminder temptation from the likes of Angloyankophile and JessOnThames, and knowing that sunrises are getting earlier and earlier) we booked an intimate table for two as a Monday morning pre-work treat, to start the week off in a slightly more fun way than our usual porridge al-desko. Over the weekend prior, having watched the weather predictions with horror at Storm Irene threatening to drop a weather system on all the commuting Londoners the very morning we were meant to be enjoying the sunrise, we breathed a sigh of relief when we emerged from Liverpool Street Station to a windy, but fairly clear sky. That was a long, pre-caffeine sentence, my apologies.
A year ago (nearly to the day amusingly enough - hello procrastination
and warm duvets) a gaggle of giggling bloggers and I assembled for a mid-morning
catch-up, trying out all of the signature dishes - the duck and waffle, a gluten-free 'Full Elvis', an ox cheek ragout doughnut and a round of coffees in this sky-high restaurant. Upon my return, we fancied trying a few different dishes on the ever-changing menu.
Once we were seated (Mr Kiwi breathed to me "how DO you find these places?" I shrugged and told him that's one of the few upsides of living with a blogger) we popped in our orders of a pot of tea for the Englishman & a flat white for the Kiwi - because we couldn't let our respective stereotypes down - as we perused the menu. I was fairly certain my no-frills meat eater was going to go for a full English breakfast but I couldn't decide.
After landing on the ox cheek eggs benedict, but not being able to have it due to unavailability I panic chose my safe option of the cheeky salmon benedict, served on waffles with perfectly poached eggs. It was a good call. The Scottish salmon was full of flavour, the waffles beautifully light and crispy whilst the interiors were mallow soft, the hollandaise a soft, creamy blanket and then we had the eggs.
Oh, Hello #eggporn. Now that's how Monday mornings should be.
Opposite me a coil of pork & herb sausage, organic eggs cooked of his choosing, streaky organic Duroc bacon, grilled tomatoes, a field mushroom, sourdough toast and a hash brown were so delicious I caught my date with his eyes closed in happiness. Having snagged the Scottish brown pudding from his plate and swiped a bite of sausage, I can definitely confirm that it was delicious.
We're still not sure who won the battle of the breakfasts even now. I voted strongly for the rich, luxurious spin on eggs royale but Mr Kiwi insists it was the beautiful ingredients of his breakfast that won the day - not to mention the perfect bacon. We'll call that one-all.
One thing I don't really understand is the slightly awkward seating service we've had each time - the first time we couldn't expand our booking by a person and this time they wouldn't allow us to sit on the west side of the restaurant floors - both times despite clearly empty tables. In fact they let the 2-person tables I had had my eye on sit empty for the duration of our visit. Our waiter was lovely and efficient, and nothing was a problem.
As a side note, Mr Kiwi's incredulous face was worth the whole visit when we were asked if we fancied breakfast dessert. "Breakfast? Dessert? What madness is this?" Welcome, welcome to the world of brunch!
Unfortunately we decided that is was better to get a headstart on the morning rush hour to our desks this time, but we'll be back to Duck and Waffle soon. That full Elvis dessert concoction is calling my name... (nb. due to the layout of the room, if you're hoping for an
uninterrupted view it is best to pop along in pairs - the majority
of bigger group tables were central to the room - though the bar next door has good views as well).
Are you willing to get out of bed early for brunch or a luxurious breakfast?