All of a sudden a man appeared dressed in a powder pink suit and straw boater.
He explained he was the caviar man and was going serve us some pearls of deliciousness alongside two strips of bread and a miniature cheesy egg.
This wasn’t the standard icebreaker for an afternoon tea but then we weren’t at any standard place.
We’d ventured through the door of 9 Conduit Street and into the magically whimsical world of Sketch to sample the recently-launched Christmas afternoon tea.
Think sandwich combinations you’d never dream of – broccoli layered on top of bread and truffle-infused cheese toasties wrapped with ribbons – and eye popping cake creations in shades of pink and purple, with glistening glazes to top things off.
Sat in a plush corner booth in Sketch’s wacky and wonderful Gallery room – a flesh coloured cavern of joy! – we kicked things off as one should during the festive season with a delicately poured glass of Pommery champagne.
After sampling the caviar man’s goods, a friendly waitress whisked over a three tier stack of edibles.
Feeling rather decadent, we slowly revolved the porcelain stand and worked our way around.
I felt like a kid in a candy shop as we gauged our forks into one thing before being tempted by the next.
On the savoury front, my favourite had to be the flavoursome truffle cheese toastie which softly disintegrated in my mouth with a fluffy texture.
The smoked salmon sandwich was another highlight, with generous cuts of pink flesh presented on top of the malted bread and a little dollop of roe giving it some extra pizzaz.
Moving to the sweet selection, our stash grew with the addition of scones and two variations from the cake trolley.
One was a rectangular wedge of chocolate ‘Buche de Noel’, while the other was a triangular slab of Victoria sponge with a very moreish filling.
These accompanied the other desserts which included a mandarin eclair, Black Forest gateau, spiced fig Battenberg, cranberry Yule log, passionfruit cheesecake and fruity marshmallows.
One tip to conquering this feast: Do come hungry!
It wouldn’t be an afternoon tea without tea, and our jolly waitress recommended the Spiced Caramel blend which is a special addition for Christmas with notes of vanilla, cinnamon, clove, orange peel and almond.
I went on to sample the Imperial Qing Lapsang Souchong which I thoroughly enjoyed with a smokey flavour reminding me of nights by the fire.
We were feeling rather rotund with all of the treats we’d devoured but there was still a good deal left on our plates.
To share the Sketch yuletide love, we asked for doggy bags and our waitress kindly packed up the remainder of our tea to take home.
Even if afternoon tea doesn’t take your fancy I can’t encourage you to hop down to Sketch enough this Christmas season.
The venue’s decorations are truly outstanding this year with a snow machine blasting as you walk in and a Charles Dickens-seque Street scene adorning the lobby.
There’s no Scrooge about the place.
Sketch, as always, is about pulling out all of the stops and letting your imagination run wild!
Eat copious amounts of cake, drink champagne, slurp tea, and be terribly merry!
Sketch is located at 9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG
To make a reservation visit sketch.london or call +44 20 7659 4500