5 August 2014

Add some colour to your day at sketch (London)

I'd be looking forward to visiting the wonderfully quirky and highly regarded restaurants and bars at sketch in Conduit Street for some time, especially since the transformation of the Gallery restaurant via the art of Turner prize nominee David Shrigley and the design concept of India Mahdavi. When I saw the images of the pink sponge finger-like seating combined with the sheer number of Shrigley's drawings adorning the walls I knew I had to check it out quick smart.


      Hop...                                            Sketch...                                                            Lamp!

It's just off Saville Row in the heart of the fashion district and is perfect for a stylish rest from some serious designer shopping (It's just around the corner from Vivienne Westwood, Europe's largest Chanel store, Fendi and Miu Miu). Make an entrance with a hop, skip and a jump to reception on the authenticly chalked hopscotch rectangles. Sketch actively encourages you to daydream of childhood fairytales and memorabilia. The reception area is delicately scented by a fabulously large candle and  I immediately wanted the neon on my living room wall. The lovely lady on reception gave me carte blanche to walk around and take pictures. I wandered into The Parlour and saw the vision of how I want my apartment, all eccentric clashing chairs and interesting wall adornments such as a digger truck lamp. #

The first thing that you clock is the unbelievable patisserie in a glass counter, which makes for an extra special afternoon tea. I was exhausted so I chose the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and the London to Paris, an eclair like pastry with three joined circular parts filled with the most amazingly flavoured chantilly (poppyflower, redcurrant and vanilla) and topped with white chocolate buttons. It's the kind of cake you sit and look at for ten minutes, then delicately take apart, not really wanting to destroy it. The menu is divinely designed and pink, using images from a catalogue from 1902. Other gateaux include Success, with a crispy hazelnut base, praline mouselline and almond nougatine, and the beautiful Lemon Love, which involved a meringue filled with Sable Breton and lemon curd. I guarantee it's tough to choose.

The Parlour

Wandering past the art beyond reception is another massively impressive and childhood fairytale room. The Glade has an instant impact, all greens and blues with forest like wallpaper, French rattan furniture, a Lego corner and seriously cool pink lighting. You can have afternoon tea, comfort food and evening cocktails in this woodland retreat. The artists were inspired by early 20th century stationery, which was enlarged, reprinted and features on the walls as decoupage.  This is the perfect spot for a special afternoon tea, involving inventive finger sandwiches such as mozzarella and pesto croque monsieur and cucumber and ricotta, with a choice of pastries, macaroons, and the like and a choice of teas (£39 per person, add Pommery champagne for an extra £12). If you're in need of comfort food, you can snuggle up and order dishes such as macaroni and cheese (£12) or beef tartare (£24) and a range of sandwiches, as a well as a daily plat du jour.

The Glade
If you're looking for somewhere unique and with panache for pre-dinner cocktails take your party  to the East Bar, a circular space ship shaped area created by renowned restaurateur Mourad Mazouz and designer Noe Douchafor Lawence.
Fans of fine dining will adore the Lecture Room, with its Two Michelin starred restaurant boasting amazing tasting and a la carte dining menus. The complex menus are divised by French Master Chef Pierre Gagnaire; the restaurant also boasts and award winning wine list. The colours are beautiful, with giant urns against diagonally striped backgrounds, Moroccan souk like lighting and a magic carpet to make your eyes water. Choose between Vegetarian and Meat tasting menus, with feuilletes (puff pastry) filled with ratatouille, artichokes, tapanades, or foie gras, oyster and pigeon, then enjoy a six dessert plate and petit fours. The a la carte menu is impressive, with each starter including a variety of dishes e.g. the Mediterranean option boasts a Red Mullet Bellino, Octopus, Lasagne, Bouillabaisse and a Millefeuille of Aubergine (£44). Choose between fish and meat main courses - the Lobster sounds magnificent with braised fennel, coral cream and a brunoise of white peach. The beef comes with a shallot puree, balsamic vinegar ice cream and cubes of celeriac (£55). Expect a larger than life cheeseboard and grandiose desserts - the Grand Dessert sounds mind blowing and would probably ruin you for desserts for the rest of your life.
My personal favourite area is the David Shrigley art adorned Gallery, all pink and sponge finger seating with an ultra modern bar and the height of taste. You can choose between the a la carte menu, afternoon tea or just enjoy a sumptuous dessert.  Stand out starters on the a la carte menu include Sweet & Sour Snails, Tuna Sashimi with Peruvian Chilli and Lime (in honour of David Shrigley). On my next trip I will be trying either the Sketch Fish & Chips or the Suckling Pig and Foie Gras Gateau (if I'm not being vegetarian on that particular date).

The Gallery
I can't fault anything, it's like what you would dream if you were having an ideal restaurant/food experience. Please let me know if you visit and what you think!!!!

For more information check out https://www.sketch.uk.com/

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