For a girly get-together, you can’t beat a spot of afternoon tea. And where better to go when in London for the weekend than Sketch…
Sketch is within a large town house situated on Conduit Street in Mayfair, and as soon as you enter you can tell it’s different – hopscotch anyone?!
As you walk down the long main corridor your eye is taken by all kinds of art
Coats were checked in the cloakroom and we were led through ‘The Glade’, and into ‘The Gallery’ where we were to be seated
There’s something so sumptuous and satisfying about the saccharine pink room, with it’s trifle-sponge-finger chairs and touches of gold. Despite being huge, it somehow manages to feel cozy and inviting at the same time. How beautiful are those Missoni-esque floor tiles?
The Gallery walls are filled with hundreds of drawings by artist David Shrigley – the picture below is quite a tame selection, some are stranger than others…. They provide a great talking point!
The crockery isn’t immune to his touch either…
There are a few different options for afternon tea, of course we couldn’t pass up on the champagne version! I chose the Moussé Fils Rosé which was expertly poured overhead into the most beautiful coupe
We also made our choice of tea – I had the Assam breakfast tea as I wanted something with milk, but there’s plenty of choice if you want to try something a little different
The food arrived with a flourish and each element was explained by our lovely waiter
From left to right the sandwiches were:
Egg mayonaise with quail egg & caviar – the quail eggs looked cute and like ‘fried egg’ sweets! The sandwich itself was light and fluffy but wasn’t anything different to what you’d expect from an egg sandwich
Coronation chicken – this is a favourite of mine and the rich coronation filling with good chunks of chicken didn’t disappoint – I have to admit to ordering a second one! It’s worth mentioning that everything is re-fillable so if you want seconds of anything, thats ok! (Well, apart from the champagne which is a shame 😉 )
Smoked salmon & tarragon cream – I loved the punch from the tarragon cream and the pop of the salmon roe, and the fact that the salmon was served on flatbreads meant you got a good fish-to-bread ratio.
Mozzarella & pesto panini – this was served warm and wrapped in paper tied with a bow, meaning the cheese was still oozy and mingled with the pesto when it got to us. The panini itself was crisp and golden
Star anise grilled aubergine with ricotta & cucumber – the flavours of this reminded me of hoi sin duck which I love. The filling was very squidgy but having the cucumber on top to add texture stopped the whole thing from being too mushy
Currant scones were up next, wrapped in a napkin to keep them warm and served with raspberry jam, fig conserve & clotted cream. This was the lightest scone I’ve ever had, and it was delicious with the fig conserve and thick clotted cream
We were then offered battenberg from the trolley – raspberry, coconut & passion fruit, or chocolate, vanilla & caramel. As we couldn’t decide we went for a mixture. Not wanting to fill ourselves up and waste the rest of the delights on the cake stand, we asked if these could be boxed up for later (something which is apparently very common so don’t be shy!) and our waiter kindly obliged. We tucked into them that evening with a cup of tea – I was a little disappointed that the usual marzipan had been replaced with plain icing as surely that’s the best bit?! The sponge itself was moist and tasty though.
The next tier was the pastries – on the right was a praline choux – delicate choux pastry with praline & a hazlenut in the bottom, topped with whipped vanilla cream
The pastries to the left & middle were the plum tartlet & meringa tarta respectively – I didn’t actually try these as I just didn’t have room! We had a couple of these to take away too and the girls said they were both enjoyable
On the top tier was a fig & hibiscus cheesecake – cheesecake is something that I wouldn’t usually have unless it was the only option available, however as it was the one thing that couldn’t be boxed to take away I gave it a try. I’m glad I did as it was lovely and light with sweet layers of fig & hibiscus top and bottom and a biscuit crumb on top to provide a contrast in texture
The Malabar marshmallows were beautiful knots of soft pink marshmallow. They were fun but didn’t really taste of much, a stronger flavour would have been good – maybe something really unexpected…
No visit to Sketch would be complete without a trip to their famous toilets….
The amount of people trying to get a picture in there is comical!
Having been to The Savoy for afternoon tea on a couple of occasions, I can defintely say that I prefer Sketch’s more modern, quirky version and would recommend it to anyone whether they were looking for a special occasion celebration or just a catch up like us. We had a relaxed couple of hours to graze and sip and were left feeling full & satisfied!
I’m intrigued to visit again for dinner in the Lecture Room & Library, I feel another trip to London may be in order…
Link to their website is here