Brunch Club: Duck & Waffle, EC2N
As we were all pretty busy in March, the sixth Brunch Club gathering took place on 23rd April 2017 at Duck & Waffle, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY. This was something that we were all very much looking forward to and had to be booked months in advance. At the start of the year we’d set aside a few dates in the hope that we could get a table to enjoy Duck & Waffle’s brunch menu and that famous view across London. As you might imagine, we were super excited when our booking was confirmed!
Lori: The freshest orange juice in the history of ever, served with ice and a wedge of orange on top. So good! It may have tasted even better due to the excitement of the view though.
Lou: I opted for a breakfast tea – and was a little underwhelmed by it (teabag!) but the pots, cups and beautiful milk jug did make me feel slightly happier – and the tea stayed warm for ages.
Eleanor: I had a flat white, which for £4.50 plus service may be the most expensive coffee I’ve had, and while far from the worst, it wasn’t particularly noteworthy. It was more of a latte than flat white also.
Ed: I also went for the breakfast tea, which I thought was fine, nothing too special. They have quite a small selection of tea, only English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Chamomile, and Fresh Mint. Tea and non-alcoholic drinks are not what you come here for and that’s fine!
WHAT WE HAD
Lori: I was planning on going for something like the house breakfast (as I love hash browns and black pudding), but the confirmation that I could indeed have gluten free waffles meant that it had to be the Duck & Waffle. This delicious confit duck comes with a fried egg on top and a little jug of maple syrup and mustard seeds to drizzle over it. The ‘brunch pudding’ of a Full Elvis waffle between the four of us and a wonderful mimosa was an absolutely splendid idea.
Lou: Signature Duck and Waffle followed by a sweet ‘Full Elvis’ waffle and the best mimosa I have ever had – genuine sunshine and sparkle in a glass!
Eleanor: *insert Homer drool* I mean, you can’t really go to Duck & Waffle and not have the Duck & Waffle! It was amazing. I’m not usually a fan of duck but seems I’ve never had good duck before. This was delicious and with the fluffy waffle, fried egg, and maple & mustard sauce, a taste experience. Yum.
Eleanor (cont’d): And then the Elvis Waffle, we went for GF so we could share between the four of us and it was insane – creamy, peanut-buttery, waffley heaven! Everyone else commented they couldn’t have eaten a whole one but I would have given it ago!
Ed: As the vegetarian of the group, I did not have the duck, instead I had the Toffee Apple sweet waffles, which was delicious. Two lovely waffle quarters, slices of caramelised apple with a delicious praline ice cream, also very pretty garnish. I would have loved a savory vegetarian waffle alternative, but the sweet waffles were delicious. After this we shared a ‘Full Elvis’ which was absolutely spectacular and perfect for sharing.
Lori: This is the first time I’ve been able to have waffles in ages, and they did not disappoint!
Lou: Very impressed by the choice available!
Eleanor: *DOUBLE WAFFLE KLAXON*
Ed: WE DID IT!!!
WHAT DID WE CHAT ABOUT?
Lori: The view (we talked about the view a lot!), the impressive rock salt displayed near our table, the lovely flatware, the wonderful food and, of course, Drag Race.
Lou: The incredible view. The incredible orange juice. The incredible food. Places we might visit in the future.
Eleanor: Drag Race. Waffles. Drag Race. Grandparents. Drag Race.
Ed: The view was INCREDIBLE, so we talked about that a lot, We did a lot of people watching as well. As our first Brunch Club since the new season of Drag Race started, we had A LOT to chat about.
SERVICE, ATMOSPHERE, TOILET STANDARDS/QUIRKS
Lori: The lift is very fast and the view from it is amazing (although, definitely not one for those who are afraid of heights!). The bar area is wonderfully decorated and we ordered drinks here while waiting for our reservation and admiring the view. Although we only had the table for 1.5hrs, we never felt rushed and the food arrived quickly enough that our usual 2 course brunch was perfectly do-able.
Lou: Service was excellent with warm and friendly staff who never intruded. The place felt smaller and busier than I had been expecting, but not in a negative way – it felt more fun, perhaps, than a stuffy restaurant. We were sat near the open kitchen and the open fire pit in the kitchen so it was quite warm. I wasn’t impressed with the toilets, although the hand-wash smelt amazing.
Eleanor: Very dark toilets, nice lightbulbs but impossible to tell if the stalls were occupied. All the staff were wonderful, food came out super quickly which was a real benefit when the table was only booked for 1.5hrs. It did take a while for plates to be cleared after we finished each course but this just left more time for chatting.
Ed: The staff were all very friendly, and we never felt rushed or unwelcome. We also didn’t feel out of place or that we needed to be on best behaviour because it was a posh place (which was my slight concern!) The one off note was the toilets, which were impractically dark, small and odd, like they were toilets from a different restaurant all together.
Lori: I went to visit the London Transport Museum’s Acton Depot, as they had an open weekend, and then to Camden to meet up with Eleanor again for a fantastic circus performance.
Lou: Took advantage of the weather and a free afternoon for a mooch through the City and onto the beautiful conservatory – I didn’t even know there was one!
Eleanor: A wonderful walk around the Barbican and finally visiting the conservatory with Lou and Ed, then up to Camden for pub then circus. Busy day!
Ed: Lovely wander through the city and the Barbican, looking around the conservatory, another place I’ll return to, what a hidden gem!
Lori: I’d been here once for dinner and wasn’t as impressed as I thought I’d be, but it was a perfect venue for brunch. The lovely clear weather meant we got an excellent view, and arriving a bit before our reservation left time for photos. The food was really good and the whole experience was definitely worth the price tag. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up.
Lou: Worth arriving early for your table to take advantage of the views and have a drink – once in the restaurant it isn’t always possible to get up to the windows to take snaps. Also. That lift! So. Much. Fun. My ears are still popping!
Eleanor: I mean, the view! It was just extraordinary and worth the extra cost of food. The food itself was delicious and made the whole experience just wonderful. I’m trying to work out the next celebratory occasion so I can come back. Top tips: 1) Bookings open exactly two months before and open at midnight so set a reminder if there’s a specific date you have in mind. 2) If you book a table for two you will get a window seat.
Ed: So the whole experience of visiting Duck and Waffle was very impressive, it was a very well-organised, slick operation. One other reminder that they do have a dress code of “Casual Elegance” and they state on their website, this means no trainers and no ripped jeans. This was fine and none of us felt restricted by this. What a lovely brunch! Thank you to Eleanor for booking the table so far in advance! All in all, such a great experience I’ve booked to go back already!
The image of Duck & Waffle at the top of this post is via locappy.com. All other images were snapped by Brunch Club members on their phones, so excuse any blurriness as we were all rather excited about eating the food.