Hi, I’m Bea, Restaurant Manager at The Black Swan at Oldstead. This is my photo blog of my Switch experience at Duck & Waffle…
Just got to floor 40 for the first time… Even though I knew it was the highest restaurant in the UK, nothing can quite prepare you for how high! And the building moves in the wind!
After seeing the sprawling building and doing a bit of training with the excellent Bernard, I’m allowed to make some of the in-house cocktails. This stirred drink incorporates hay infused bourbon with salted caramel and maple. I’ve seen our chefs use hay a few times but it’s fascinating to see the effect it can have in a drink.
One of my all time favourite cocktails is the Hemingway daiquiri. Here, burnt toast infusion is added and it makes the finished drink really warming, complex and DELICIOUS. We do a few infusions at the Black Swan but now I feel like getting a bit more experimental!
The bar set up is incredible. Everything has it’s place, the selection of spirits is stunning and even better… It’s inside out. The bartenders stand out in the room, removing the usual wall between them and the customer. Our bar area is based in the original part of the inn that’s a few hundred years old, but this makes me wonder if there’s other ways we can introduce a bit more interaction with the guests when we’re presenting their drinks.
Okay, this is taking building a bespoke bar to ridiculous levels! Pull aside a chopping board and there it is, a sous vide built underneath it. I think I’ll have to remain content with sharing equipment with the kitchen lads, but i can dream. It just shows how far you can take things when you have passion, creativity and a keen eye for detail.
Just a short walk from the Heron Tower is gorgeous Spitalfields. Loved popping here for an hour on my breaks. Similarly, I can imagine as a guest taking a walk round the shops and markets then flying up in the lift to refuel at Duck and Waffle (maybe with a cocktail, perhaps two)