I had wanted to go to Sketch for such a long time. The food looked gorgeous, the place looked magical and the whole experience seemed amazing.
I decided to go with my boyfriend whilst we were in London for early 21st birthday celebrations. The weather was pretty good, and after a morning of exploring The Tate Britain we were fairly hungry.
Sketch can be found just off Oxford Street and near to The East India Tea Company. The exterior tricks you as you somehow unexpectedly walk past it. I only realised it was there because a few people were stood outside it, taking selfies and photos. It is unexpectedly plain from the outside and white, set in an older looking building. As you walk inside, you’re hit by a gush of darkness and the experience starts to feel quite surreal. We were pointed towards a set of stairs where I handed in my coat. The stairs we passed had ripples of pink, white and red running down them. The effect seemed to look like spilled paint, or blood… depends how dark & pessimistic you want to be.
You walk towards a pair of pink double doors which slide open, however, you’re slightly confused what you’re supposed to do. The boyfriend and I must have looked lost. Eventually, we decided to pull the doors open and it was if you entered Wonderland. It was completely different to the place you’d left.
The staff were all dressed quite wacky (I’ll leave that to your imagination) and all very inviting. The whole pink interior is insane and like a completely different world. The seats were plush and the walls were covered in various sketches, remind you of anything?
We were asked what afternoon tea we preferred and we selected the Rosé Champagne afternoon tea… I mean, why not? It was a special occasion after all. The waiter brought the drink and poured it in the strangest, but most entertaining way. I chose a white Jasmine tea, after the Tea Master suggested that something clean and crisp would go best with the sandwiches.
After an aperitif that looked like eggs and soldiers, and a spoon of caviar, our afternoon tea was presented to us. I can’t possibly explain every single ingredient used but the sandwiches were: Egg Mayonnaise with a Quails Egg, Coronation Chicken, Salmon and Tomato. The desserts incorporated the flavours of chocolate, pistachio, lemon and raspberry.
As you can see, the afternoon tea is large to say the least. When you have finished your sandwiches, a server then approaches you and asks if you would like more. I was too full to even contemplate any more sandwiches. I didn’t even make it to the cheesecake at the top of the stack due to the amount of food I had consumed.
After that, we were then presented with luscious, warm, scones which came with fig jam, raspberry jam and clotted cream. They were soft and scrumptious, but I only managed half of a scone. During our afternoon tea, I also opted for a light and crisp Oriental tea which was smokey but sweet and lovely to drink. Then, the server asked what cake we would like for the trolley. I asked for the banana bread but new I was definitely going to take that home with me. The amount of food was just too much for me.
The restaurant had kindly presented me with a desert plate with the words ‘Happy Birthday’ to round off what had been a brilliant afternoon. The little cake was also saved for later. Before we left, I decided to visit the toilets and was surprised by how ridiculous they were. I was blinded by the bright light as I left the restaurant and was utterly amazed by what I saw. I won’t spoil it too much for my readers, but you can always head over to my Instagram for a peek at more photos.
Sketch is an amazing and once in a lifetime experience. I encourage any, who can, to visit this place and sample the craziness of the place. The interior is far beyond anything I have ever seen. As you probably expect, Sketch is not at all cheap, but well worth what you pay. There was very little to fault about the afternoon tea we experienced. A pure taste of Wonderland in the middle of bustling London.
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