The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 1 April 2011

An exquisite afternoon tea @ Sketch, London

Having afternoon tea is a very traditionally English thing to do, and we treated ourselves to a very nice afternoon tea at Sketch after having walked seemingly everywhere worth seeing in central London on Saturday. This place came recommended by a friend in Perth who said that we just have to check out this cool restaurant while in London, if not for a meal, then for afternoon tea. Sketch didn't seem like the place to bring toddlers to, so we'd planned to get there for the more casual affair of afternoon tea. To describe the d├ęcor of this modern French restaurant as “bizarre” would be an understatement, and “creepy” would be a more accurate statement, a fact obvious from even before we stepped in the door. A statue of a faceless dog (and I mean faceless - as in its face chopped off) stands on the wall near the entrance facing the ground. In the foyer, the chairs blend into the walls in a sort of creepy way.

The faceless dog structure that greets people on the streets who walk by Sketch:

Curious chairs:

Once inside the Parlour, however, there were none of that strange art around, at least not ones that stood out as obviously. The waitresses were beautiful in their European manner, and I just loved listening to the French accents when they spoke. And they did their job really well too because the room was full the whole time we were there, with a line of people outside waiting for a table. Sketch is pricey, with the Afternoon Tea for Two costing at least £60. This includes your choices of tea and a range of lovely pastries, sweets and sandwiches gorgeously laid out in tiers made out of plates and mugs stacked on top of each other. Each item were exquisite in both appearance and flavour, but my favourite item was the rustic fruited scone with the jam and cream. It was so good in its simple and unpretentious way. Another item worth mentioning was the chocolate macaron. It was so rich, dense and bursting with flavour, it was quite unlike the usual macaron that are lighter in texture.

Me: white tea; Rob: green tea with osmanthus:

Tower of delectables:

The food was good, the tea was lovely, but I think the best part was the fact that Zak had fallen asleep in his stroller just before we reached Sketch, and he continued sleeping for awhile longer in the restaurant which gave us a little time to ourselves, enjoying each other's company, people-watching, and disagreeing on which waitress was the prettiest. The boy woke up just as we were just finishing up the last bit of our tea, and we made our hasty retreat back to the real world outside, but not before one of the waiters had given Zak a little cake treat.

9 Conduit St
London W1S 2XG
Tel. +44 (0)20 7659 4500

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