As someone who knows how to clean up at a Wetherspoons, I doubt many people would call me afternoon tea material. But with Instagram potential, space toilets and chocolate cake on its side, Sketch London boasts an afternoon tea unlike any other in the city. Seeing as I was turning 27 and sure to soon ponder the finer things in life, I decided to head on down to some of the most photographed bogs and baking in Britain.
There's only three things that make me uncomfortable in this life: daddy long legs, attics and all shades of pink, so why would I jump at the chance to sit in something so golden, rosy and plush? Easy: LOOK AT IT. Some Londoners may think Buckingham Palace and St Paul's iconic, but i'd say Sketch is up there with the best of them.
While host to a barrage of beautifully themed rooms, it's the powerpuff pink of David Shrigley's Gallery that hosts the afternoon tea. Towered over by a booming and bourgeois awning in the ceiling, this is a playful space that kills it in the social media department. From pink velveteen furniture and rose gold table lamps down to sarcastic and cartoon-esque artwork covering the walls, Sketch have sexed up The Jetsons, creating a futuristic yet retro space that pulls together sass and swank combined. But it's not just the main room that delivers. Creatures of habit, our bodies are well-oiled machines that often need a flush... and i'd recommend the flush. Home to some of the most photographed toilets in the world, these egg-pod privy's promise a space-age experience that only furthers Sketch as a destination.
The Afternoon Tea
Some may think the glory of an afternoon tea lies in scones and Victoria sponge alone, but not Sketch. Not only is their menu geared towards bespoke bites, the experience itself steers away from stuffy dining rooms and into something all the more captivating.
Starting with tea, pert little trolleys with leaves in glass vials make their way around the venue. From matcha tea to your classic Earl Grey, Sketch clearly pride themselves on over a 40-strong selection and boast a staff that know their teas down to just that... a T. Opting for a matcha blend and a simple vanilla pick, our first dish came along with our 'ghost' teapots. A small china egg with crisp, cheese batons, this was a dinky and delicate starter, but it didn't stop there. Introduced to their very own caviar king in a blushed pink suit, we tried both the vegetarian and classic caviar, bumping the dish from light bite to cutesy creativity.
Some people may come here for the Instagram photos, but it's the tower of bites that keep them around for longer. Mixed between small sandwiches and sweet treats, afternoon tea may come in classic fashion here but we learnt that the bites are anything but. From a marshmallow twist, small coconut-cum-raspberry tart and cheesecake down to triangle-cut egg mayo with quail topping (this is only 1/8th of the dishes provided), the menu is well-thought, hand-crafted and a must for any sweet tooth hound. I know that the price tag at Sketch is daunting to many, and i'm not sure our Clover Club cocktail was becoming of the £13.50 price tag, it's the booming food selection that makes the money spent worthwhile. Closing with some takeaway banana bread and a passionfruit chocolate cake, all dishes showed finesse that no scone can top.
While my boyfriend didn't fancy carrying my doggie bag of banana bread for the rest of the day, I did fancy Sketch London. Surely one of the prettiest places to plough through cakes in London, there's a price tag on the dinky bites for a reason. Not only is the food rich and cleverly crafted, Sketch London promises city-goers a striking, cool and cartoon-esque experience that brings afternoon tea out of the bog standard and into the future.