Sketch has become something of an establishment in London. Few, or arguably none have managed to match its quirky, original interior and its unique environment.
Meshing high-end dining with such a whacky setting was previously unheard of and something, which on paper, shouldn’t work. But punters keep coming back to this magical wonderland, drawn in by its big personality but also the exceptional food.
Having afternoon tea in their parlour is an absolute must in London. It’s a truly unique experience and if you live in the capital and have not done it, find a reason to book in. Sketch has the wow factor which was especially true when we dined there, as on entry we were greeted with the sweetest floral scents provided by the flower installation they had on at the time for the Mayfair flower show. Walking through into the parlour we could hear the enchanting sound of violins being played and in the corner of the vast room, two violinists were entertaining the crowd with their beautiful string instruments. The room is impressive with a domed high ceiling, pink plush chairs, globular lamps and quirky drawings on the walls. Visiting Sketch always feels like an occasion; even if you just pop in for tea, you are made to feel like royalty by the staff, which is only heightened by the luxurious setting of the restaurant.
The afternoon tea is by anyone’s standards exceptional. There are little twists on the offering but you should expect excellent sandwiches, cakes, pastries and scones. During our visit there was a special Royal tea on offer which was served with a light Pommery Royal Blue Sky champagne, poured over vanilla tea leaves and strained over ice. It was absolutely delicious and one of the nicest champagne drinks I had ever enjoyed. The delicate notes of vanilla were prominent but not overpowering and the champagne was light and fresh.
Before long a tower of food appeared in front of us and we slowly worked our way through the layers from bottom to top. The coronation chicken sandwich was delicious, as was the toasted mozzarella and pesto panini, presented so elegantly, wrapped in paper and secured with a cute pink ribbon. The scones were standout; served warm with generous portions of rich clotted cream and jam. The Battenberg cake was light with the nutty flavor of marzipan running through it and the rhubarb cheesecake was thick and fruity. One of my favourite things was the raspberry, hibiscus flower and chocolate cake served to us from the trolley. It was a beautiful harmony of rich and fragrant flavours with a deep chocolate base and floral notes coming through. We also tried some ‘free from’ versions where there were some very strong substitutes for their beautiful cakes including some delicious gluten and dairy free tarts.
Every tiny thing that was served to us including the small pot of mini marshmallows and meringues was well thought-out and beautiful crafted. Even the crockery is right on point and unique to this place, with little messages written at the bottom of the tea cups.
One place you’ll want to explore is the bathrooms. I won’t give too much away but make sure you pay a visit when you’re there!
Sketch will be around for many years to come. It’s a go-to for Londoners who like their restaurants with a lot of personality and tourists who want to discover the dining establishments which makes London one of the best cities in the world to eat out in. The place is well-known for its afternoon tea and there’s a reason for that – in my opinion, it’s one of the best in the capital and a memorable experience which should not be missed.
Afternoon tea starts from £68 per person