As you all know, I am a serious lover of afternoon tea. I just think it is the best meal of the day (yes, I like it that much I class it as a meal, alongside, breakfast, lunch and dinner!). I have wanted to visit Sketch for afternoon tea for longer than I can remember, and finally I had a trip to London planned, where there was an appropriate occasion to splash out a bit on their afternoon tea. After years and years of hard work, sweat and tears, I have finally qualified as a solicitor. It has been a really long road and it has taken a lot of determination and pushing on through the numerous rejections to get here and so it seemed the perfect excuse to finally indulge in afternoon tea at Sketch.
From the outside, it is very unassuming, and if you didn’t know about the delights that awaited you inside, you would probably walk right on past. As soon as you walk in though you are met with a dimly lit entrance hall, with the floor adorned with a large hopscotch. Completely random? Yes! You are greeted as soon as you walk in, unfortunately preventing you from satisfying the primary school urge to actually ‘hopscotch’.
We were laden with bags as we had checked out of our hotel earlier, and so checked them at the cloakroom on our way in. You walk past a garden themed room, which was really quite stunning, and then directed away into a room which, my only way to describe it, is a pink version of clockwork orange. Everywhere is a marshmallow/bubblegum pink, from the chairs to the walls. It does confuse your mind a bit I have to say. The finer details were all a rose gold colour, which added to the ‘trippy’ feeling of the place. It does take a while for your brain to settle down a bit, as it is swamped with so much pink! I can see why the staff wear such grey, plain uniforms, probably to combat the intense colours of the room.
Once your brain has accepted the onslaught of pink from all angles, you begin to settle into the uber comfy seats and sort of float away into the pink landscape. As we were celebrating, we opted for the champagne afternoon tea (£57 per person) and when one of the waiters came over to serve the champagne into the saucer glasses (my favourite kind of champagne glasses) he did it in a way I have never seen before. He held the glass high above our heads and poured straight into the glass. I obviously had to take pictures of this!
Sipping on our champagne and enjoying the artwork that surrounded the room, giggling a bit at some of the quotes, we were soon greeted with our afternoon tea. It was truly stunning. Each tier full of colourful delights. As you do, we started with the sandwiches on the bottom tier. There was mozzarella and pesto paninis, smoked salmon, cucumber, ricotta and asparagus, quails egg and caviar and coronation chicken. Each individual sandwich was like a small piece of edible art. They had designs on top of the sandwich, which I had not seen before but added a nice touch. My absolute favourite was the mini paninis, not only were they delicious but they came individually wrapped with a pink bow. The best bit about it all was that they replenished each tier, so you can pretty much eat as much as you like. We got more of the paninis and coronation chicken as these were particularly delicious!
We then had a choice of either fruit or plain scones and these were brought out just as we were finishing our sandwiches. They were freshly baked, deliciously soft in the middle and still warm. I topped mine with strawberry jam and clotted cream, delicious.
By this point I was starting to feel a bit full, so I took a bit of a break from eating and enjoyed my champagne as we chatted away the afternoon. I noticed how full Sketch was, every table full of eager diners, taking selfies and enjoying the unique surrounds. There was such a good atmosphere about the place, a constant buzz of voices, never dying down.
Soon one of the staff came over asking what cake we would like. Yet another surprise tier not included on the afternoon tea stand, there is just so much food! Being chocolate lovers we naturally opted for the chocolate cake and it was delicious. I then ate the cheesecake/mousse thing (I am not sure what it was, it was somewhere between the two) which was nice and fresh with a tart taste about it, which helped to cleanse the pallet a bit after all the rich delights.
By this point my champagne glass was empty (sad times) and so I moved onto my jasmine pearl green tea, which was a good way to end the meal. My boyfriend opted for the vanilla tea, which smelt delicious and I think is quite a popular choice there.
Defeated by the huge amount of food, we asked if we could pack away the leftovers to take home with us, which they obliged and as I learnt, it seems to be a common occurrence!
Now, if the above was not exciting enough, wait until you visit the toilets!! I have never had a bathroom experience quite like it. I had seen pictures all over the internet of the toilets at Sketch, they are famous in their own right. Despite knowing what to expect, I was still blown away as I made my way up the bright white steps. It was like walking into the future. The ceiling is adorned with what can only be described as one of those disco floors that frequented 80’s night clubs, and then there were these egg shaped pods dotted around, which are the individual toilets. They are essentially fancy port-a-loos but so much cooler. You enter your pod and are met with either music or a documentary playing to keep you company whilst you go about your business. They even have maids (in outfits and everything) constantly pottering about keeping the bathroom spick and span. It’s certainly not a private bathroom experience. The place is full of people taking selfies and pictures from all angles! I think everyone who visits takes a picture of the bathrooms, it seems to be a right of passage almost!
Overall I had a great afternoon at Sketch, the food was incredible, the service was spot on and the room made you feel like you were on some sort of weird trip. I mean, what’s not to like?
I am definitely going to have to visit again and maybe explore one of the other unique rooms Sketch has to offer.
Have you been to Sketch? What did you think? Any other afternoon tea spots in London you would recommend?