“Sketch!” I told my husband without any hesitation when he asked me where I wanted to go to celebrate my 40th birthday. You see, this restaurant has been on my ‘places to visit in London’ list for a while now because it’s really cool. So cool that Sketch has a large following, including celebrities, around the world and huge presence in social media (120K of Instagram followers!). Imagine feeling like Alice in Wonderland wandering through dark hallways, from room to room, each very different and slightly eccentric and disorienting.
When I entered Sketch, I felt like I walked into a secret magical place tucked away from the peering eyes. The hallway is like an art gallery displaying modern works by various artists.
It leads to various bars and restaurants spread out over two floors in an 18-th century building in London’s Mayfair. Each room in Sketch has its own vibe thanks to distinct design, menu and music playlist – all part of the concept developed and brought to life by a talented duo of French chef Pierre Gagnaire and restaurateur Mourad Mazouz.
We had a reservation in the Gallery, well-Instagrammed old-fashioned room in art deco style. But don’t be fooled by pretty pink interiors! Its elegance is subtlety interrupted by somewhat offensive and thought-provoking sketches by the British artist David Shrigley.
Once seated in this European gastro-brasserie, we ordered our drinks and looked over the impressive menu.
For starter, I ordered Chantilly Lace, made with black rice, basmati rice, lobster bisque, red pepper, and wasabi. I never thought rice would taste so light and tender!
For my main course, I chose Kent lamb fillet served with polenta cubes, roasted baby aubergines, and cherry tomatoes. I asked for the lamb to be cooked medium, which came out beautiful. We also ordered a side of cream spinach and mashed potatoes.
Mmm, that was so good!
And if this wasn’t enough food, we also decided to go for dessert. You might as well in a restaurant with two Michelin stars! Both my husband and I got inverted profiteroles that had chocolate mousse inside the pastry and were served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and sesame sauce. It was divine and ALMOST too much chocolate for me!
And did you know Sketch’s tableware also features David Shrigley’s distinct quirky drawings and writing? These are for sale in restaurant’s gift shop and tea set, for example, will cost you £150!
Between the courses, I excused myself to the bathroom which is worth a visit. As I took blindingly white stairs, I couldn’t tell where I was. Another planet with cocoons breeding Martians?! Each bathroom is simply an egg-shaped cabin, giving you all the privacy and comfort you need. While slightly disorienting and perplexing, it’s such a fun concept and a major attraction among Sketch’s guests.
The toilet cabins sit on the top of what looks like a snow igloo at the bottom of the stairs. I peaked briefly inside and found cosy East Bar that is a perfect place for pre-dinner cocktails.
After a three-course meal, it was time to go. It was such a great visual and gastronomic experience that we’ll definitely be back. Perhaps, for an afternoon tea in the Gallery or drinks at the Glade.
And just to show to you even more how cool this place is I filmed a short vlog.