Afternoon Tea at sketch Mayfair
By Wayne Baxter
The team from Afternoon Tea Online were recently invited to try the afternoon tea at sketch Mayfair. We had never been so we were, quite simply, excited! We had seen the photos and menus on the sketch website but were yet to explore this wonderful venue for ourselves. A short stroll through bustling Mayfair and at the top of Conduit Street you find the entrance to sketch.
On entry you are welcomed by smiley faces in the hallway. It feels a little like entering a modern club environment with dimmed lights. There are rooms everywhere, all testimony to the exemplary design and meticulous planning that must have gone into their creation. Add to that a little quirkiness and you have sketch. Without doubt, sketch is something different!
We arrived around 4.00pm for afternoon tea and the session was already in full swing. The main room for afternoon tea is pink; actually, that should be Pink with a capital P! A combination of suede and leather fabrics, open space and soft lighting makes the room feel both intimate and vibrant at the same time which is some achievement.
We sat on one side and started viewing the collection of some 200 pieces of art by David Shrigley. They are assembled in neat rows, uniform in size and there was always one to catch your eye. Throughout the meal there was always another one that popped out, even though you had looked just there moments before. Be warned, some are a little rude, but all in good humour and the more you cast your eye over them the more you realise that they are both intriguing and delightful in equal measure.
And so, on to afternoon tea. No, wait a moment, let's discuss the bathrooms. We have deliberately not posted a photo of them on the website as they are worth a visit to sketch on their own. Without creating a spoiler, they are the best loos in London. We stand to be corrected, but we have never been to a toilet where we're not sure if it's a urinal or a water feature. Simply brilliant design.
Now we can turn to the afternoon tea at sketch. First off, the waiting staff are dressed in grey. We couldn't be sure whether the outfits were nursing inspired but they were, in typical sketch fashion, a talking point over tea. There is a good choice of menus at sketch, including options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets.
The sandwiches and pastries arrive first. They are creative. The mini paninis are wrapped in a yellow ribbon and the greedy amongst us could probably eat fifty! A greek yoghurt mousse was one of our favourite desserts, though picking any of the items on show would be unfair to the others. It simply works as a whole. We couldn't fault anything. By the time the scones arrived, nice and warm, we were a little full but the leftovers were packaged in a nice box and we took them away.
How can we sum up sketch?
sketch is a unique experience
It's fun, it's different and it's uber-cool. It may not be the place to take your grandmother, or is it? There's something for everyone's eye at sketch and we will definitely return to try out the other rooms.
Don't miss out on sketch Gallery. It's a simply wonderful place to spend a couple of hours taking afternoon tea in London. We were impressed, and you will be too.
You can view the menu and book a table online in advance using the button below.