Take an 18th Century building in London’s Mayfair, add five bars, an exquisite afternoon tea room, the most bizarre toilets we’ve ever seen and some truly outstanding decor, and you’ve got Sketch, a veritable smorgasbord of food, music and unusual interiors.
The ethos of the venue is captured perfectly by the fairy-tale like story told on Sketch’s website:
“I want a room,” thought he, ” to rest.” “Certainly my dear,” he was told, “you have a choice of eight.” “You lie,” said he… on counting he saw only six. “Ah yes, but eight rhymes with cake.” “Okay,” said he, “what shall I find?” “Well,” said the voice, “if you are very hungry and have coins in your pocket, ascend the stairs and you will find a dining hall of such magnificence, it will so take your breath away that your face will be a certain hue.” “Gosh,” thought he, checking his pockets and his complexion in a mirror, “what else do you have?” “There is a bar ranked with chairs of every discernable shape… one is bound to suit… and gentlemen behind the bar who will mix a beverage so fair to help sooth the most pained head.”
“As the man savoured, and savoured some more, the voice again came to his head: “there is a gallery of projected art in a room so clean and rare while the sun is up, which at night, at 7, becomes a brasserie of light. Food of all kinds passes the table where you sit, to be picked and chosen for your heart’s desire. As the midnight hour approaches, tables and chairs are brushed away to allow movement and dance that comes when music infuses the room.
Come, sir, another night in the same image you would not see.” As the man’s thoughts wandered in and out of his head, one trickled out of his ear, never to be thought again. “Do you like cakes?” “Well, yes I do.” “Well,” said the voice, “there is a fine tea room, too.” “What is this place?” “All I wish,” said the voice, “is that you arrive with an open mind and imagine, if you will, a painting that never dries.”
A painting that never dries, indeed. Conceived by French master chef Pierre Gagnaire and restaurateur Mazouz, Sketch has attracted attention for its myriad food, drink and entertainment styles since it opened in December 2002 – we’ve certainly never seen anything like it.
Try The Gallery, a gastro-brasserie serving unusual dishes such as Winter Pumpkin Soup, Popcorn, Sweetcorn Ice Cream and Goat’s Cheese – and that’s just for starters. The chefs behind this ingenious menu have re-imagined old favourites too, marrying tradition with the latest culinary trends to create the likes of Beef and Foie Gras Burgers with ‘Sketchup’ sauce. Clever.
Ascend the stairs to the Lecture Room & Library, sketch’s two Michelin starred fine dining restaurant. Created by leading Interior Designer Gahban O’Keefe, the ‘tasting’ and ‘a la carte’ menus are devised by French Master Chef Pierre Gagnaire, offering a unique breadth of ingredients and complex combinations.
Elsewhere, The Parlour is home to the finest delicacies of the sketch chefs. Lounge on a variety of Louis XV seating in the quirky and eccentric patisserie, before the area becomes a cocktail bar from 6pm to 2am. The Glade has been transformed into a dream-like enchanted forest, with delicate 50s rattan furniture from the South of France scattered about. The East Bar provides a quieter, more intimate area to share a quiet drink with a friend or partner.
We absolutely love this venue – it’s everything we like in a bar and restaurant brought together in one setting. Sketch is eccentric, beautiful and fresh, but most importantly, it doesn’t sacrifice substance for style.
Amy @ FashionBite xx