January so far has lived up to its reputation of being cold, wet and miserable and with the looming threat of snow, there is an overwhelming urge to just curl up in a duvet and hibernate until the sun shines again. Once in a while, we just have to fight that urge and expose ourselves to the unflattering weather in order to ‘seize the day’ – and what better reason to do so than for a warming cup of tea, selected from a delectable menu, accompanied with a delicious assortment of cakes and scones. So go seize the day by visiting The Gallery at Sketch.
Sketch can be found in a grand 18th Century building in the affluent area of Mayfair just off Conduit Street. It comprises of 5 extravagant yet playfully decorated rooms where you can eat, drink, and feel like a child again. You are greeted by a chalk drawn hopscotch, and are taken off to the powdered pink Gallery for your afternoon tea delight. The Gallery is reminiscent of every little girls dream with its marshmallow-like chairs and baby pink walls, and is decorated with 239 humorous sketches and quirky tableware, all designed by the great British artist David Shingly.
Now onto the important part – the food! Priced at £39 per person, or £51 per person for those that fancy a few bubbles before their tea, it does not disappoint.
The sandwiches were delightful (and refillable). There is a wide selection including quails egg and caviar, individually ribbon wrapped warm pesto paninis and, my personal favourite, smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches on wafer thin bread.
Naturally, the sweet treats followed, and on this occasion, it was Disney themed! This was far from the traditional tea but just as satisfying. We were served Little Red Riding Hood profiteroles filled with a hazelnut cream, bitesized opera cake slices, soured apple tarts (for the Snow White in us all) and pineapple and coriander cake. The macaroons were also delicious, but scarily addictive.
After devouring all of the sweet treats, the scones arrived, freshly baked and still warm. As much as I love a good scone, the fillings are what define it, and Sketch most certainly defined it with their delicious jams and unforgettable clotted cream.
Along with this, handmade marshmallows and sharp, raspberry flavoured mini meringues were served just to ensure that those sweet cravings are satisfied.
Unfortunately all this does have to come to an end and we did have to leave the establishment as tables are only held for 2 hours per party. However, as odd as this may sound, a trip to Sketch would not be complete without a visit to the toilets.
Up the white glowing stairs you go to a room full of eggs. Yep, that’s right, eggs. These eggs are brightly lit by a multi-coloured ceiling and the sound of the rainforest plays in the background both outside AND inside of the egg.
Make of this what you will, but it most certainly adds to the fun element that Sketch is trying to create and it allows you to relive that feeling of being a kid in a sweetshop as there are surprises in every room you enter. January, like adult life, can seem long, tiring, and occasionally dispiriting, but a sweet trip to Sketch is enough to take all that away for an afternoon and help you forget life’s troubles.
So go get that cake (and scones too this time)!