Afternoon tea is a long-standing British tradition and was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840. Yes, that’s how old it is.
Now, as you’d expect Britain’s capital city is dotted with many places where you can enjoy this delicious treat, but one place that has my heart is Sketch London. Located in Conduit-street, Mayfair, this makes it a great place to experience the traditional afternoon tea with a modern twist.
The sketch is huge and has 4 restaurants within it, all based on different themes. Their most popular room is Gallery, where the afternoon tea is served and is also one of the most Instagrammed places in London.
You fall in love as soon as you get into the room. Even if you’re a not necessarily a pink fan, this place will make you fall in love with it! From walls to velvet seating, everything in the Gallery is pink. The walls are flooded with the humorous artworks of Turner prize-winning artist David Shrigley. Every detail in the restaurant is curated to perfection.
As soon as you enter the building you are escorted by a member of staff towards the pink tea room giving you a rundown of how the experience is going to go. You also receive an option of upgrading the classic afternoon tea to champagne.
If you stick to tea, Sketch has a large selection from around the world. If you’re unable to choose, there’s also a tea master around who comes around with his cart and makes you smell different teas, suggesting perfect flavours for your palette.
The afternoon tea menu includes a variety of finger sandwiches such as smoked salmon & Jacobs cream, cucumber & ricotta, mozzarella and pesto panini (egg and mayonnaise, quail egg, caviar). It also includes sultana or plain scone with fig/ strawberry jam and clotted cream. After which arrives the assortment of pastries — lemon raspberry cake, pistachio choux, passion fruit tartlet, cheesecakes, chocolate & mint gâteaux and Malabar marshmallow. Yum! All of this is arranged in a beautiful tier. The ceramic tableware, too, features Shrigley’s distinctive drawings and texts.
If you thought that was the end of your unique experience wait until you visit the bathrooms. The egg-shaped pod toilets in a room with colored lights, make it another most photographed spot at Sketch. It’s safe to say, you’ll leave the place with a fair share of selfies.
Lastly, even though the decor and artworks are the USP of Sketch London, Michelin-star awarded Master-Chef Pierre Gagnaire’s beautifully crafted menu is still one of it’s biggest draw. Whether it’s your first-afternoon tea experience or the 10th, Sketch is one of those places that has to be on your list and is a must- try on your next visit to London!
Verdict: It’s not the cheapest afternoon tea in London, but it’s worth the experience. From the food to the ambience, everything inside Sketch feels like a piece of art.
Tip: Reservations are necessary because it’s quite busy and can be made a month in advance for afternoon tea. You can call them or book a table online. They are very particular about their reservations so inform them before cancelling. You could even be charged some amount if you cancel within 24 hours/ or don’t show up after reserving.
Sales & Marketing Manager at Runway Square, compulsive shopper, impulsive baker, binge watcher, comfort eater, wine drinker, stationery hoarder, hip-hopper and ….. oh well, out of words now.