For my birthday celebrations, I visited Sketch in Mayfair with my mum for afternoon tea. Now Sketch has been on my London Restaurant Hit List for a while, mostly thanks to all the photos I’ve seen of the pink room on instagram not to mention the bathroom which is quite literally out of this world and unlike anything I’ve ever seen in London before (more on this later). There are a few different rooms at Sketch, and although The Glade looked pretty spectacular when we walked past (think Jungle, leafy vibes). The pink room is actually known as The Gallery, which is completely pink with gorgeous velvet chairs and artwork all around the restaurant on the walls.
It was still fairly quiet when we arrived, The Gallery was only about half full but it soon filled up and it was packed out by the time we left. We were shown to a nice table and while the service was attentive, it felt a little confused. There weren’t any menus waiting for us and it seemed to be a bit of a scramble to find menus. The ambience of the restaurant was really nice, with a string trio playing some tunes in the corner (my favourite was defying gravity from the musical wicked) but with no windows to let any natural light in, it felt slightly dark. A waiter started by taking our drinks order – we chose champagne of course – and I chose a classic breakfast tea while my mum ordered the earl grey. It was slightly disappointing that there weren’t any fruity or berry flavoured teas on the menu and when the tea was served, the waitress couldn’t speak English which was actually a little disappointing as it meant that we couldn’t talk to her or ask her any questions. Not quite the high level of customer service that I expected from a Mayfair restaurant like Sketch.
The waiter then came back to explain the four course menu to us, which starts with egg and soldiers. It’s much fancier than it sounds given that it’s served with caviar which is presented to you by the caviar waiter which adds a theatrical touch to the experience! As I don’t eat fish, I was given cauliflower which was actually quite tasty (admittedly I had low expectations on this front) so there’s options for vegans if you don’t eat fish.
The next course is the more traditional tower of treats; the sandwiches and petits gateaux served over three tiers. The sandwiches were at the bottom and the standout one for me was the truffle croque – I’ve never seen this on an afternoon tea before and it’s right up my street. I enjoyed it so much that I actually asked for more! My mum’s favourite sandwich was the salmon, cucumber and ricotta – they served me an extra coronation chicken sandwich instead of the salmon which was also really tasty. Unfortunately while the waiter was serving the food, he accidentally knocked over glass of champagne and spilt some of it. To give him credit, he immediately said another glass of champagne would be on its way. However the champagne topping up woman only refilled it a small bit – as a good gesture she should’ve topped it up fully. The manager actually noticed this happen and when we asked for the bill at the end of our meal he explained that he’d taken one of the champagnes off the bill as a gesture of good will which was much appreciated.
Next we moved onto the petits gateaux on the next two tiers which were delicious. I really enjoyed the orange flavoured Battenberg and the peanut eclairs but the standout was the blueberry marshmallow which I’ve never seen at an afternoon tea before. We didn’t manage to finish all of this as we wanted to leave some space for the remaining courses so the waiter kindly arranged for our leftovers to be packed up into a box for us to takeaway and he then took our scone order. There was a choice between plain scones and fruit scones which I thought was quite nice (most afternoon teas you get what you’re given) and these were delicious with jam and cream. They were served as squares rather than the traditional round scone shape we’re used to seeing which apparently relates back to rationing time so there’s no wastage which I think is pure genius, more scones for me!
You must make sure to visit the bathrooms at Sketch while you visit as they quite simply look like a spaceship – they’re multisex toilets which are individual pods which look like they’re about to launch into space.
Finally, as if that wasn’t enough food, the afternoon tea finishes with a slice of Victoria sponge served from the cake trolley which was fresh and delicious.
Sketch Afternoon Tea Menu:
Egg & Soliders:
Comte cheese mornay
63 egg yolk
Comte cheese soliders
Coronation free range chicken
Egg gougere and watercress
Long stem broccoli
Salmon, cucumber and ricotta
Sultana or plain scones
Cornish clotted cream
Organic strawberry and poppy jam
Blackberry, blueberry and earl grey jam
Followed by cake from the trolley – traditional Victoria sponge.
Pommery Brut Royal
Pommery Brut Rose
Sketch – 3/5
It was an afternoon tea with a slight twist and the food was tasty but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. My favourite afternoon tea is still either the Shangri-La or The Berkley. Would I go back to Sketch? No probably not, I think I’ve got the tick in the box for now.
Food – 3/5
Service – 2/5
Decor / Ambience – 4/5
The Champagne Afternoon Tea cost £164.25 for two people, including service.
Have you visited the Sketch before? Feeling Inspired? Check out my London restaurant hit list!
9 Conduit St