There are plenty of options for places to go for afternoon tea in London, but for my birthday in January, I chose to go to Sketch. Having heard of its quirky and artistic interior and elaborate food, it seemed like a great place to celebrate my 25th year milestone with my family.
Sketch looks like it’s flown straight out of the rabbit hole and landed in its location on Conduit Street, Mayfair. There are five different bars and restaurants, all designed in a different wacky style, so you could be confused into thinking that you’d come out to an art gallery rather than out to dine.
Afternoon Tea is held in the Gallery, which is the showstopper of all the arty rooms at Sketch.
The Gallery was playfully designed by artist David Shrigley. The luxurious room is sugar-coated in pink, from the blush pink walls down to the curvaceous velvet-covered chairs, it sets the scene perfectly for a quaint but fancy Afternoon Tea.
The candy-coloured walls are the backdrop to the largest display of original drawings that David Shrigley has ever exhibited. The black and white cartoon drawings line three of the four walls in the Gallery, and add to the playful nature of the place.When we sat down we were presented with a two-page tea menu to choose from – listing more teas than I ever knew existed. You could order as much tea as you wanted to try, so I went for a pot of the Darjeeling 2nd Flush from India, followed by the Taiwan Red Jade. They were both excellent.
We were then presented with tiered stands filled with neatly prepared sandwiches and delicate cakes.The sandwiches weren’t your average picnic-style sandwiches – they all had a modern Sketch twist. For example the egg mayo sandwich had a tiny quails egg on the top of it, and a sprinkle of caviar – delicious!
You could order more of anything you wanted, which was lucky because the mozzarella and pesto paninis went down a storm, and so we ordered another round of them. They were individually wrapped in paper and tied with a ribbon. So good!
The cake and sandwich stand was accompanied with a choice of pistachio or banana choux buns, and freshly baked sultana scones, clotted cream, and a selection of jams.
And this was all washed down with a bottle of birthday bubbly.
The toilets next to the Gallery are a hot talking point, because just like the food served at Sketch, there is more to them than meets the eye.
Inexplicably, each toilet cubicle is egg shaped! And the shiny white eggs protrude from the ground beneath a disco light ceiling overhead.
The eggs were supervised by two attendants in French maid outfits holding feather dusters (let’s not ask why!) The toilets were bizarre, and they must be the most photographed toilets in London…Visiting Sketch was a great birthday treat, a fun experience, and one of the most photo-worthy meals I have had.
I would definitely recommend going there for an afternoon tea to remember!