It sounds like an art supply store but Sketch is a collection of dining and drinking rooms in Mayfair. The main restaurant, “The Lecture Room & Library”, holds two Michelin stars and is headed by Pierre Gagnaire. But Sketch is probably commonly known for “The Gallery” which is the room currently decorated all in pink, yes, pink walls and furniture. 239 drawings by David Shrigley hang on the walls.
This afternoon we came for afternoon tea. Entering Sketch is like jumping into the rabbit hole. Each room has a distinctive theme and walking through the place is a dreamy experience. The staff in The Gallery all wore clean cut casual grey uniforms. It was still early afternoon so we were the second table to be seated which also meant full attention from the staff.
Coming here for afternoon tea of course means sampling the whole set which consists of a selection of sandwiches, scones and pastries including tea of your choice. The tea is offered by Jing tea company. I haven’t tried their tea before but it seems like they have made their way into many prominent restaurants in London. Dinner by Heston also offer teas from Jing tea and use their tea-ware as well.
A mini buffet of sandwiches and pastries were served on a neatly arranged “tower”. Plain and fruit scones were offered as soon as we finished the sandwiches. As by British afteroon tea tradition clotted cream and jam came with the scones.
Sketch is all about aesthetics. Table-ware and interior details whispered modern quirkiness. I don’t know whether there is a correlation between the pink walls and the dominance of female guests in The Gallery but surely most people don’t come here solely for the food. Having said that I think that the afternoon tea was very good in general. All pieces were neatly cut and presented . I especially liked the egg sandwich which had something like horseradish in it. The staff were very attentive in the beginning but as the dining room was filling up we sometimes lost their attention.
There are more traditional and more extravagant afternoon teas in London but Sketch offers a modern take on it. It all felt consistent from decoration, staff styling to presentation of food. It made me I forget about the outside world while sitting in this pink windowless room eating my cake, sipping my tea.
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For more photos from Sketch, please visit my Flickr set.
Sketch – The Gallery
9 Conduit St
London W1S 2XG
Tel. +44 (20) 7659 4500