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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

London - Breakfast with a View at Duck & Waffle

I must admit I'm dubious about combining a view with food. Restaurants with views are rarely to be recommended and I can't bear poorly conceived, overpriced food,  so why bother? I'd rather book a free slot at the SkyGarden (which I blogged about here) possibly stopping at the bar for a drink rather than making a reservation at either of their restaurants. I can't abide waiting in line so I've never been up the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State. 

So why recommend a restaurant with a view in London?
If a place is convenient and there's a lovely view I'm quite happy to go which is how I ended up at the bar at the Duck and Waffle one afternoon. On the 40th floor of the Heron Tower close to Liverpool St. station, the Duck and Waffle is (for some reason) open 24 hours a day. It may be booked solid for lunch and dinner but it's a great place for  drinks at the bar or  for breakfast during the week. As you can see below you can see the Gherkin from the bar, the staircase takes you down to the fusion restaurant Sushisamba..
The advantage of going earlier is you'll avoid the crowds of flash/cash banker boys and dolled up young suburban girls in stripper heels and micro-minis taking selfies in the bar and giggling in the toilets. Ok, now you understand the only time you'll want to go is on the earlier side, and yes I know I'm a snob!
Here's the eponymous Duck and Waffle!
And a rather deadly but delicious short rib Benedict  Yes, short ribs and hollandaise sauce, more fat than anyone needs. I was hoping the fruit place made it healthy!
I have to say I really like breakfast here, despite being fully booked the place wasn't busy on the two times we went. The view is spectacular, I like the booths and the breakfast is interesting. Given the location I thought it was a reasonable value, the food was good, and the service was acceptable. It's a great place to bring out-of-town guests and a fun start to a day out in London.
Tip: You need to be reasonably dressed to get in, no flip flops and they do turn down some people in sneakers. I thought half the people  in the bar  looked appalling so their dress  policy isn't particularly discerning but I did see some tourists turned away. 
J. and G.who joined us for breakfast at Duck and Waffle. There was so much glare from the enormous windows it was hard to take a good photo. 

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