Breakfast at Dawn

I couldn’t sleep, so took myself to watch the sunrise over London.

I don’t usually suffer with insomnia.

I’m one of those lucky people who leap into bed, lay their head down and am away in the land of nod, drooling away with my mouth wide open before I even know it.

So, during my occasional bouts of sleeplessness, I get pretty distressed. I wake up in the middle of the night. Stare at the ceiling for a while. Will myself back to sleep. Count sheep. Meditate. Grumble. And eventually reach for my laptop.

On one of these nights I whispered (not very quietly) “PSSSST… ARE YOU AWAKE?” to my snoring boyfriend. Weirdly, he woke up! And then couldn’t sleep either.

Suddenly I had someone to talk to, so we stayed up for a couple of hours chatting away, wrapped in blankets.

By about 4am we started to get hungry. I wanted a cup of tea and some hot buttered toast, but the cupboards were bare and we’d run out of milk.

“I have an idea! Get dressed!” I said.

We pulled on jumpers and hurtled off along London’s dark and empty streets.

“Where are we going?” He said.

“East.” Was my mysterious reply (complete with raised eyebrow and mystical hand movements).

We got out of the car and climbed into a Willy Wonka lift, complete with flashing floor.

“This had better not be a nightclub” he said as we hurtled up into the sky.

Sky scrapers sped by and we soon found ourselves on the 40th floor, looking out over the city lights below.

We took our seats in the corner and he was relieved to find it was a restaurant. He’d read about Duck & Waffle on my blog but never been. Thank heavens for us they’re open 24/7!

He ordered coffee and I finally got my cuppa.

We drank them slowly and lazily as the sun began to rise.

He went for a full English.

(A bit posh for me to be honest, I think I a full English should be a filthy affair… not carefully placed pieces on a plate.)

But I was particularly pleased with my duck egg en cocotte.

Egg, wild mushrooms, gruyère and truffle, all melted into a skillet with a side of soldiers.

Just what the doctor ordered!

With a pretty good view, too.

In the name of midnight feasting, we ordered an ox cheek Benedict to share.

Two perfectly runny eggs piled onto a generous stack of slow cooked ox cheek, all topped with hollandaise and siriacha.

One of the best breakfasts I’ve tasted in a while!

After breakfast we sat with a few more pots of tea and waited for the morning mists to clear.

Topshop jumper // Silver May acorn

By the time we headed back down to earth, the rest of London was setting off for work.

And once we got home, it all felt like a bit of a dream anyway.

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  • mholt1

    Aw Rosie, this is just beyond beautiful. Lovely words, lovely pictures. x

    • Claire


  • Ahhh I love the Duck & Waffle, I got taken by my brother for my birthday this year and it utterly blew my mind! Good shout going to watch the incredible sunrise…

    Surely you weren’t tempted to rock up in your pyjamas though?!

    Emily xx

    My GingerBread Journey

  • Amy

    Beautiful photographs! I love duck and waffle early in the morning – there is something so serene about sitting up in the clouds. Although I tend to be there after a night of dancing and a little worse for wear – not quite as elegant as you in these photos!
    Amy x

  • Elinore Court

    My favourite blog so far- beautiful photography!

  • I can’t believe its open 24 hours, thats amazing! Would be great to have somewhere near university which is nice and open for 24 hours!

  • Sophie

    That sounds so wonderful, I’ve got breakfast envy!

  • This makes me pine for London so much! I miss it badly… is there such a thing as London-sick??


  • Elinore Court

    My favourite post so far- beautiful photography!

  • Beautiful way to start the day! xo

  • I adore Duck and Waffle! Must be my favourite restaurant in London. How lucky are you to be able to head over when the sun rises. Beautiful pictures and of course gorgeous looking food! Hope you get over the insomnia! Have a great Friday!

    FoodNerd x

  • Laura Drake

    I can’t get over how beautiful that first picture is of you! Stunning!

  • Rahul Titus

    I absolutely love Duck and Waffle! It’s one of my favourite restaurants in the whole of London! I didn’t know it was 24/7 however! Deffo going to be making the most of this in the future!


  • What a wonderful idea! The best cure for insomnia/excuse to watch the sunrise I ever did see. I may just have to try it one of these days…

  • What an excellent way to start the day – it’s always lovely to explore the city at a time when no one else is around, it almost makes it feel like your own private playground. Fabulous idea, and one I will certainly be following! X

  • Sunshine Chloe

    London looks amazing! Best City.

  • The slow pace

    What a beautiful post! You can only do such things in London. You have to know that I’m looking for a job in London and I’m determined to move there next year. You’ve made me love London. I just can’t wait!

  • Such a cute post Rosie! The view and the sweater is to die for! Must make a trip to London ASAP!


  • Oh my gosh, those eggs look divine! What a beautiful place to have a sunrise breakfast, I shall be putting this on my to-do list!

  • Emily Kalbun

    Oh London is so lovely at night. Wow! I am a total slave to insomnia and I have been so for years, so I totally know what you are talking about! If only my Mom would let me go out at 4am to get a deliciously filthy breakfast when I can’t sleep! That would make insomnia the best thing in the world! Great post and I like your jeans ;D

  • What a fun thing to do!! So much better than counting sheep haha. All those breakfasts look amazing!

  • my fiance would neverrrr wake up with me. he sleeps like the dead, this is just too sweet though!

  • OMG! Those breakfasts look sooooo good. I would have totally chosen the same as you Rosie, my perfect breakfast.
    Hugs xoxo

  • the pictures of the London skyline are lovely πŸ™‚

  • Imogen May

    How very beautiful! I love those morning dusk adventures, I walked through London Bridge at around 5am the other day, I spotted all the bakers busy preparing the bread – it smelt AMAZING. I went to the Duck and Waffle for my 21st Birthday breakfast, it was bloody beautiful, I will have those lovely blue and white tiles in my kitchen one day! Ix

  • such a beautiful post. I am very much going to do this once I find a place here that high up and one that is open 24/7.
    ps. I wish I looked that good after a night of no sleep!

  • i loved this post – what a fun thing to do and boy do I miss London!!

  • You drove all the way from Notting Hill across London to Liverpool Street at 4 in the morning!! Your boyfriend he’s a keeper!!

  • Jolene Harlow

    Wow, you look absolutely stunning in the photo where you’re staring into the camera!! One for the fella to frame, for sure!

  • This is gorgeous. Your photography is stunning!!

    Very tempted to do a sunrise stopover at Duck and Waffle now, just for the view! (and food obvs) xx

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle & Fashion!

  • Those photos of you with your ‘few more pots of tea’ are so so beautiful! The lighting is stunning. There’s something magical about the middle of the night, the fresh cold air and silence as the city sleeps. Such a lovely experience… even though it was unplanned!

    Mollie xxxx

  • Mornings and breakfasts like yours, are the most beautiful in the life. It’s dreamy and is more like a fairytale afterwords πŸ™‚ Beautiful! Glad you’ve had an amazing time!

  • I absolutely adore Duck & Waffle! I ate lunch there with my dad this past summer and ordered one of their signature dishes, which is appropriately duck confit and a fried duck egg on a waffle, and it was delicious! And the view of the city is incredible. It truly feels like you’re up in the clouds.

  • Love the photos in this post!

  • Shirin

    I know that feeling, where you’re up at a ridiculous hour, then go back to bed and later wake up wondering if any of it was real.

  • My favorite part about this post is that you called your guy your boyfriend. I got way too excited when I read that and thought, “They’re officially dating now?!”

    Loved the post! The food looks wonderful.

  • I rarely ever want to see the world early in the morning, but when I do I get so surprised by the beauty! Now I want a cup of coffee….

  • These pictures are absolutely amazing and I want to eat ALL OF THIS FOOD! It seems like your sleeplessness was actually a blessing in disguise!


  • Jessica

    You look lovely Rosie! Duck & Waffle is definitely on my hit list! I walked past you the other day in Soho, I really wanted to stop and tell you how much I love your blog and that I read it every day but you and Custard looked fairly busy! x

  • Zoe

    This post is beautiful! I love the idea of an early-morning breakfast date, especially one in the sky. I think I could deal with getting up at 4 am for a view like that…and eggs like those!

    The What’s In Between

  • Macy W

    Oh gosh I wanna do that. What a dreamy morning!

  • I don’t think I’ve ever come across a post like this before! Well done! I loved the progression of pictures leading to the first sun. I would love to visit this place (or something like it)!


  • What a fun way to cure insomnia! Love the photos!

  • I love Duck & Waffle but have never been for breakfast! Thanks to your post I think I’ll have to check it out!

  • Emma

    Rosie, the duck egg en cocotte looks divine! I would love it if you tried to recreate the recipe on your blog. I can’t seem to find a restaurant state-side that does baked eggs and soldiers quite like y’all do in the UK!

    xo, Em

    • I was about to comment the same thing! It looks delicious & fancy but like it might not be too hard to whip up in a skillet by yourself. I think I trust Rosie’s recipe experimentation more than my own though so I’ll patiently wait πŸ˜‰

  • Caroline Death

    how fabulous! and tell me love the jumper notice it has angora in it – is it itchy at all?? x

  • Wow this looks amazing and it also sounds amazing. What a great place to have an early breakfast.
    I hate it whenever I can’t sleep, and I totally know the feeling of distressed you describe.

    xx Cheyenne

  • Jacob Phelps

    what a lovely – and romantic – way to start your day!

  • Melissa

    I ADORE Duck & Waffle! Especially the brownie sundaes *drools*. They also do one of the best G&Ts in London – which is quite a statement! Quick question though, I’m assuming that you can just turn up “out of hours” rather than having to book? Thanks. πŸ™‚

  • Adaleta Avdic

    I have trouble falling back asleep sometimes as well, but I certainly don’t go on adventures like these. Mine consist of forcing myself to close my eyes to get an hour at least of troubled sleep!

    xx, Ada

  • It DAWNED on me while reading this post that it’s been over a decade since I’ve been here! It’s a shame, such a beautiful place. And the Duck & waffle sounds like the perfect breakfast meal. Now I’m hungry.

  • Amy Tomaszewski

    That is a great adventure

  • Love the sunrise views here! πŸ˜€

  • Feyi A

    its magical! x

    lovely!! xx


  • What an absolutely amazing idea!! x


  • Lucie Robinson

    I absolutely ADORE your blog. Please check out mine πŸ™‚ x

  • Love this! I have been having a hard time sleeping lately. Maybe I should pull myself out of bed & explore the empty city to watch the sunrise. It looks like a dream (literally!)

  • Dreamy, dreamy!! And that is quite the splendid idea… I was drooling over every item in that breakfast… and now I’m starving :/ Off to go get some cereal…

  • You’re right! This sounds just like a dream! A perfect one at that. I’m a heavy sleeper and NOT a morning person so I rarely see the sunrise but for a view (and meal) like that one I would wake up in a heartbeat. I love London and I can’t wait to go back so I can try this place! It will be perfect for those jetlag days.

  • What a lovely little adventure. Love your nail polish, too! Such a beautiful color!

  • That looks so peaceful and tranquil…x

  • Dosh

    Stunning as always, Rosie πŸ™‚

  • What a beautiful idea!
    Ekaete x

  • andrealeighj

    Beautiful! That’s my favorite time of day anyway! Just before sunrise and it feels like there is no one else in the world but you!

  • OMG Did you really wake up your boyfriend at 4am to eat breakfast?

  • Such amazing photos! Love your sweater, too!


  • How gorgeous! You look too gorgeous so early in the morning Rosie – how do you do it?!

  • I’ve done this exact same thing with my husband here in LA!! It’s so much fun, and feels like your skipping school or something haha. Beautiful pictures!

    Life Diaries

  • Charlie Vernon

    What a magical journey you take us on in this blog entry, loved it. Definitely want to go there for breakfast!

  • Oh Rosie, that looks amazing to wake up to that sunrise! I wish I lived closer or had something similar. I will have to make a trip there sometime πŸ™‚

    Paula ♥ | xo

  • Oh this is so lovely πŸ™‚

  • Bringing some magic into the morning! A fantastic plan, beautiful sunrise it was too!

  • You always have the beeest food…I’m so hungry now πŸ˜‰

    Every Day In Grace

  • Oh stunning, love the sleepiest shot of you, what a dreamy post x

  • What I great experience. I didn’t know that they open 24/7!! Gonna have to try!:) thx for sharing!


  • msmelaniemarie

    Love this so much. I actually always tend to really enjoy those sleepless nights when I can go do something with them. It’s really nice to have the world all to yourself for a while.
    P.S., somehow I knew this was a D&W post from the start. Approved! I still have yet to go! Tried, but they were full. πŸ™

  • Breathtaking! Adding to my bucket list …
    – Mari

  • I’m genuinely thinking about doing this with my friends now. Duck&Waffle is only a short foot march away from where we live.
    You are absolutely stunning, I’m speechless. Loved the blogpost and the food!

  • Lovely jumper! Perfect touch for this Fall weather. Excited to see other outfits you have planned! xo, Hayley

  • How fun!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • Samantha Bei

    Breakfast among the clouds with a view of the sunset and city below sounds breathtaking! And the gooey cheese on the duck egg en cocotte is just the cherry on top πŸ™‚ If only I had a place near me like duck & Waffle for my insomnia ridden nights :/

  • Lauren_W

    That sounds absolutely perfect. And Ox Cheek Benedict…..oh my! I think I would struggle to share that πŸ˜‰ x

  • saradujour

    Gorgeous view of London. What a treat to see the sun rise there, via your blog!

    -Sara – Sara du Jour

  • Queenie Lee

    It’s so awesome that the duck and waffle is open 24/7, I can’t wait to check it out when I’m back in the UK! xxx

  • Segi Adewusi

    This is such a great post. It’s like a scene from a film…
    Segs Benedict

  • Every thing about this post is beautiful! Having breakfast while watching the sun rise over London. That should be one thing on my bucket list while I live here.

  • thank you – this motivates me even more to stick to my challenging plan to come back to London next year:)

  • wow what a amazing photos, thank you so much for sharing
    birmingham airport transfers

  • Looks so cozy! I love getting up early when a big breakfast is involved.

  • Such an amazing place :9
    I’m running a “Naked pallet” giveaway, if you’re interested, check this link:

    little taste of heaven

  • this is one of my favourite of your stories, your life always seems so magical! πŸ™‚ x

  • Sara Barnes

    So fun!


  • What a beautiful view to dine to; London looks gorgeous in the orange light

    Lauren x

    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Fashion Beauty –

  • Aw this is adorable! I find it so hard to sleep but this is deffo a good idea! πŸ˜€ you look absolutely stunning in that plain jumper btw πŸ™‚ xo

  • Oh my god, this sounded so beautiful! And I wish I looked as fab as you at 4 AM πŸ™‚

  • gina
  • Wow you’re blog is pretty and I love the words you wrote!

  • Rosie K

    This looks so amazing, I wish I could just go off and do this!! Look you like you had a fab time x

  • Beautiful dawn Rosie! Is it a new building? Last time I visited The City I remember there was one very very high and almost finish… Kisses from Seville.

  • Those photo’s are amazing! Breakfast at the Duck and Waffle is definitely going on my London to-do list. Jx

  • Justine

    sweet story, amazing photos of London in sunrise. and you look beautiful and natural with no makeup on. reading this has been an experience.

  • How romantic!

  • Katrina Porter

    Wow London is soooo stunning, this is now on my bucketlist!!

  • You look stunning, Rose! Love, love, love the nail color. What shade is it?

  • It sounds so romantic, and the view must have been incredible! You look gorgeous in the photos, by the way!

  • TheGivingBride

    A must for the next time I’m in London!

  • Rose Darling

    That was a beautiful post Rosie, I enjoyed it immensely!

  • Rachel Bearpark

    LOVE D&W – awesome idea to go for breakfast…never would have thought! Now, as usual, you’re totally inspiring my future foodie haunts.…/make-mine-marmite-champagne.html

  • A great way to while away a sleepless night!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  • this place looks lovely! I imagine the crowd is quite a mixed bag at that hour haha. Love your jeans by the way! x

  • I will make it my mission to get up and watch the sunrise in London one day. I’ve only seen the sunset from Duck and Waffle as I’m really not a morning person (I get that early morning sick feeling – not good)

    Can i say you look absolutely gorgeous too! I don’t know how you look so good so early in the morning!

    Katie <3

  • definitely on my list the next time I am in London!

  • Caileigh

    This looks amazing! What a good solution for when you can’t sleep, I wish there was somewhere like this around me…

  • I’d love to be there. It’s now on my list of things to do before I die.

  • I’ve never been to Duck and Waffle but it looks amazing!

    Beauty and Lifestyle Blog


  • Lovely post, I really like the photos πŸ™‚

    INDIELLIE | life style & photography blog

  • Naomi-Jay Craven

    That food. That view. Maybe not being able to sleep is the best thing ever?! What camera/ lens are you using? It gives a grainy effect which looks really nice, makes the pictures look homely somehow

    Naomi x

  • Scarlett

    One of my most favorite reads ever. Need! must! move to London asap. πŸ™‚

  • The view is really amazing!

  • Peebreeks

    Wow Rosie, incredible photos and a lovely story to go with! I really want to go there now πŸ™‚ Have never been to Duck and Waffle but I bet it’s gorgeous up there anytime of day. x

  • Holly von Bock

    ooooh Duck & Waffle is 100% on my to-do list for when I’m next in the big smoke! xxx

  • Honey What’s Cooking

    Very scenic. Love this.

  • Rosie, you are as lovely as that sunrise and that sweater looks like a dream!

  • WOW, WOW, WOW. This post makes me want to apparate back to London, wake up at 3am and visit the Duck and Waffle. A fabulous alternative to sleeping. x

  • WOW, WOW, WOW. This post makes me want to apparate back to London, wake up at 3am and visit the Duck and Waffle. A fabulous alternative to sleeping. x

  • Paper Doll

    Hi Rosie, you have a lovely blog! Insomnia is the absolute worst, I had it all last week. Next time it strikes, I’ll be wishing I could visit Duck & Waffle! I NEED that duck egg en coc

  • Paper Doll

    Hi Rosie, you have a lovely blog! Insomnia is the absolute worst, I had it all last week. Next time it strikes, I’ll be wishing I could visit Duck & Waffle! I NEED that duck egg en coc

  • Paper Doll

    Oops, didn’t mean to press send! I need the duck en cocotte in my life right now, is what I was trying to say! πŸ™‚

  • Paper Doll

    Oops, didn’t mean to press send! I need the duck en cocotte in my life right now, is what I was trying to say! πŸ™‚

  • Delia Frias

    LOVE this idea!! I’m not good at sleeping hahaha..
    Unfortunately there’s no places like that over here.. πŸ™

  • Delia Frias

    LOVE this idea!! I’m not good at sleeping hahaha..
    Unfortunately there’s no places like that over here.. πŸ™

  • Natalie

    So romantic!

  • Natalie

    So romantic!

  • The Broke Boy

    How exciting!
    I wish I could climb out of bed and go on an Adventure like this.

    Beautiful photos, Have to admit the wonkavator pics reminded me of James Bond: Sky Fall.

  • The Broke Boy

    How exciting!
    I wish I could climb out of bed and go on an Adventure like this.

    Beautiful photos, Have to admit the wonkavator pics reminded me of James Bond: Sky Fall.

  • Alana

    You two are absolutely dreamy! What an adorable and romantic story <3

  • Alana

    You two are absolutely dreamy! What an adorable and romantic story <3

  • OOoh I absolutely must do this next time I am in London…so dreamy!

  • I love Duck and Waffle. Getting a reservation ahead of time for dinner can be a challenge so I normally turn up at 11.30 or midnight for a (very) late dinner. The pigs-ears are the best thing since pork scratchings. EVER.

  • Sounds like the most perfect morning! Lilly xx

  • Serafina10799 .

    Such a magical and romantic post! Lovely words and gorgeous girl, now when do we get to meet your gent?

  • Keep finding myself thinking of this post. There really is something so special about sunrise breakfasts over the city you love.

  • always love Duck and Waffle! the duck egg en coquette is definitely worth a trip to the clouds, and Dan Doherty is a bit of a dish himself! πŸ˜‰

  • gigi

    A little bit late, but this place looks divine! Once I visit, I’m definitely trying this place out… what a dream! <3