Duck & Waffle
It seems that everyone and their cat has been to Duck & Waffle, the bar and restaurant 40 feet high above the city that's open 24 hours. Everyone other than me. I'd been to the fantastic Sushi Samba the floor below on a date but had yet to head upstairs and sample the diurnal delights. Until now. After hitting up The Empress for a birthday meal, my friend Harry and I weren't quite ready to call it a night and a spontaneous decision based on it being 2am in the morning saw us haring over to the Heron Tower in a cab and being whisked upstairs in the blink of an eye. We were just after drinks and were happily ensconced by one of the many windows whilst we sipped on what has to be one of the best cocktails I've ever tasted. The Marmite Black Velvet is a silky little number - a Guinness and marmite reduction served with champagne - that was so inexplicably sumptuous and moreish, I had to order a second. Harry went for the Dark & Stormy twice that comes in a brown paper bag for all your prohibition needs. But two each at two in the morning was enough for both of us and so we called it a night, but not before vowing to return and sample the rest of the ingenious creations on the list.
Sometimes seeing old friends calls for a pub. And pizza. And where better to go than a place that combines the two? The Lauriston in Victoria Park Village is an eye-catching black fronted building that you can barely miss. We soaked up the evening sun with one of their wood-fired pizzas (aubergine, courgette, peppers and mushroom with added chicken) and the meat deli board (parma ham, bresaola, cotta ham, Milano salami, olives, bresaola, toasted bread and oils and vinegar) before ending up inside and catching the first half of the football. With a shot of tequila for good measure. Naturally.
You're spoilt for choice on Broadway Market - from bars to delis, fishmongers to butcher shops, there's always somewhere worth checking out. Stories is one of the best brunch spots going - slap bang in the middle of the street, with prime people-watching real estate out front and a cool, airy eatery inside. We'd spent the crazily hot morning cleaning out the old house and getting ready to hand the keys back after two years there. In need of a breather and a beer, we grabbed a table inside and refuelled. The Bloody Marys are build your own (and not bad at £5 a pop) and the brunch menu's available til 4. Ash went for a quinoa and tahini salad with halloumi whilst I went for old favourite avocado on sourdough with chilli flakes, poached egg and cripsy bacon. Brunch of kings, for sure. And washed down with a bottle of ice cold Krusovice, you definitely can't go wrong at Stories.