Sketch is a London institution. It is actually made up of four restaurants each with its own identity and proposition. Sketch Glade is a little bit forest and a lot of floral and by coincidence on the day that we dined, they're completely decked out for the Mayfair Flower Show!
A doorman greets us and he shows us through the painted hopscotch board on the ground leading us to two of Sketch's restaurants in the 18th century townhouse. On the left is Sketch Glade and on the right is Sketch Gallery, the pastel pink restaurant that serves afternoon tea and dinner. There is also The Lecture Room at Sketch with 2 Michelin stars and The Parlour at Sketch.
Sketch Glade is slightly obscured behind a floor to ceiling velvet curtain and walking through we're struck by the gorgeous floral displays. We sink down in lounge chair and order drinks. At lunch there is a 2 course menu for £32 and 3 courses for £40.
The room is sumptuous and they explain that we are dining on the preview day of the new flower installation for the Mayfair Flower Show. It will open the following day to the press. The room is a little bit fairytale and a bit Alice in Wonderland with moving round mirrors reflecting different views from around the room.
Mr NQN isn't feeling well so we go for non alcoholic drinks. The sommelier shows Mr NQN an option of Perlant de Raisin which is like a grapetise non alcoholic grape wine with a fancier bottle and name. For me it's a Kitsch spritz with Seedlip grove, peach, guava, elderflower, mint and citrus tonic.
They also bring out a boule of crispy crusted bread and delicious butter. I fall upon it like I haven't eaten in days whereas in reality I've been eating for 2 weeks straight.
My favourite starter is the bisque soup made with lobster and leek fondue with a Montgomery cheddar sandwich on top. It's so creamy and full of flavour that I really enjoy this (and wish I had more!).
We also try the poke bowl just to see what it would be like. It's not bad but it could really use a protein added to it whether it be tuna or tofu if they're trying to make it a vegetarian option. It comes with a copper tub of sesame mayonnaise.
The two mains arrive and the first one I try is the beef cheek shepherd's pie. Like the poke bowl it's not bad but the other dish we get is much better. It is very rich and needs a bit of acidity.
The tournedos rossini beef is superb and has slices of foie gras, very tender beef done perfectly medium rare, toast pieces in a rich red port sauce with a light truffle aroma to it.
So what is a pink panther? It's a raspberry cake with raspberry sorbet and raspberry and rose cream served in a coupe glass with slender crisp biscuits. It's also utterly delicious and strong with sweet raspberries with a touch of rose.
And no visit to sketch can be made without checking out the toilets. Much has been written about the toilets-are they eggs? Are they spaceships? There are disco floor inverted onto the ceiling and they are self contained toilets. A French maid dressed toilet attendant keeps these spick and span.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you think that the loos are eggs or spaceships? Have you ever been to a Sketch restaurant?
This meal was independently paid for.
9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG, UK
Monday to Friday 7am–2am
Phone: +44 20 7659 4500