Sunday, 1 May 2016

Food | Sketch Afternoon Tea


Hello Lovelies! A few weeks ago, me and my lovely friend Amy went for an early birthday treat of Afternoon Tea, at Sketch. Now one of the inevitabilities of blogging and reading blogs is that you'll end up with a pretty long list of trendy places you want to go to, and Sketch has been on the top of my list for a long time. So for my birthday, I decided to finally tick it off my list and of course visit those famous egg shaped toilets. Also warning, this is a long post so make sure you grab a cup of tea, and preferably a snack, because you are about to get VERY hungry. 

As soon as you step into Sketch, it feels like you've fallen down a rabbit hole, into a completely different world. Filled with quirky and playful touches, like this hopscotch, you can really see all the effort they've put into making Sketch a real experience. Whilst we waited to be brought in for our Afternoon Tea, we looked around The Glade, a beautiful room with enchanting forest wallpaper and lovely rattan furniture. You can actually also have your Afternoon tea here, so that's something to keep in mind if you ever plan to visit.  


The Gallery, is perhaps one of the most gorgeous rooms I've ever been in. Decorated with quirky/borderline disturbing David Shrigley drawings, pink chairs that look like giant sponge fingers and waiters and waitresses who looked like they'd just stepped out of The Capitol from The Hunger Games, it all felt a bit like a surreal dream. The only downside was the mood lighting, because whilst it was brilliantly atmospheric, there was no natural lighting *screams internally* - I salute all the bloggers who actually managed to take good photos here (it was so dark!). 

Once we sat down, we were faced with the hard task of picking what tea we wanted to drink. Sketch has a brilliant selection ranging from classics with a twist to unique herbal concoctions. After much deliberation, I settled with Ceylon and Rose tea which was absolutely beautiful. Perhaps my favourite part of the tea, was the tea set they served it in which was also created by the artist David Shrigley. Each part of it was quirkily captioned with the tea pots saying 'ghosts', the milk jug saying 'dreams' and the tea cups with the words 'forget about it.' First lesson of Sketch, is nothing really makes sense... but that's what is so wonderful about it. 


Soon after our tea had been brought over, the cakes and sandwiches arrived - and of course we started off at the bottom with the savouries. To my absolute surprise, the sandwiches turned out to be my favourite part of the afternoon tea and were definitely the highlight. We started off by trying the Smoked Salmon and Jacob's Cream sandwich, which was our favourite by a long way - like it was seriously gorgeous. Then we went on to try the Cucumber and Ricotta sandwich, which was wonderfully refreshing if not a little damp (but I'm pretty sure that's what they were going for!). 

Next up was the Egg and Mayonnaise Sandwich with Quail Egg and Caviar. If I'm honest, this wasn't exactly my favourite because I'm not a fan of egg mayonnaise, or caviar but it was still pretty yummy regardless of that. Despite already feeling pretty full by this point, I carried on and tried the Corn-fed Coronation Chicken Sandwich, which was super yummy. Another real highlight was the Compte Cheese Panini which was served warm and tied up with a ribbon in grease proof paper. There was something quite magical about unwrapping it from it's cute little casing, but even more magical was the taste - like honestly cheese has never been so delicious!


After resting for a while, we were faced with another layer of food and this time it was the desserts. Now if I'm honest, neither the Pistachio Choux or the Chocolate Mint Gateau were really my cup of tea, but that's more a personal preference as they were just a little too strong for me! But the Passion Fruit Tartlet was beautifully sweet and crumbly, and both me and Amy instantly fell in love with it. Honestly, it was heaven.


Finally we reached the top of this tower of food, and it was time to conquer yet more deliciousness. First we tried the Cassis Cheesecake with Blueberry Puree which was delicious, because let's be honest how can you ever go wrong with cheesecake? Finally I attempted to eat the Coffee Cake, but believe it or not, despite being a total coffee addict it was way to strong for me. It was overwhelmingly soaked with coffee, and whilst my tastebuds couldn't really handle it, I appreciated that they were trying to push it to an extreme. That's perhaps one of the biggest joys about Sketch's Afternoon tea - it's not safe, instead aiming to shock and delight you with its extreme tastes and textures. 


By our side this whole time, was this adorable little pot filled with pink malabar marshmallows and citrus filled meringues. These quirky looking marshmallows are definitely one of the best things about Sketch's Afternoon tea. They are melt-in-your-mouth gorgeous, and I probably could have eaten about 100 more if they'd let me. Adding to that the meringues were also gorgeous, with the citrusy tang balancing out the sweetness perfectly.


Well, what's an Afternoon Tea without scones? Not an Afternoon Tea in my book, but don't you worry Sketch had this covered with a choice of either Plain or Sultana Scones. We both opted for plain and let me tell you right now they were gorgeous. The best part? They were brought straight over to us from the oven, so were beautifully warm and crumbly. To add to the yumminess of the scones, there was also clotted cream, strawberry jam and also fig jam. Yum, yum, yum.



Honestly writing this post has made me realise that this whole experience was a complete food-a-thon, because it did not end at the scones. No, finally we were given the option of picking one of the two desserts from the trolley. We decided to try both, and me being a completely professional blogger forgot to take a photo before - so enjoy this photo of half eaten cake. The Yorkshire Rhubarb and Tahitian Vanilla Mousse with a raspberry glaze was honestly gorgeous, but I was so defeated by this point that I'm not sure we really appreciated it. Finally we tried the Caramel and Chocolate Fondant Cake which was honestly a bit too much on the rich side, especially considering how full we were.


We ended our visit by of course checking out the toilets. Walking in there was a bit like stepping into something from a sci-fi film, it was just completely bizarre and totally surreal. It definitely makes you wonder how they came up with the concept, because who thinks 'Egg shaped toilets, what a great idea'. But, remember how I said Sketch makes no sense but totally works? The toilets are a perfect example. And of course everyone was taking photos, rather than actually using the bathroom which really just added to the experience. After taking what must have been a billion photos, we ventured back into the 'real world', and headed straight for Starbucks because what am I without some coffee in my system? (I could not be more of a stereotype of myself if I tried).

All in all whilst Sketch is pricey at £45 per person not including service charge (£57 for the champagne afternoon tea), I would say it's well worth a visit if you're looking for a luxury experience with a bit of a quirky edge. It's definitely something I won't forget, and I hope I get to go back one day. Also just to let you know since my visit to Sketch, the menu has changed slightly so expect a few surprises if you go there! 

Anyways lovelies, have a great weekend - and for all my UK followers, enjoy the bank holiday!


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5 comments

  1. Wooooow!!! This place looks unreal! ( you know it's good when the toilets are amazing haha) I love how intricate all the desserts are sitting on the tiers of the cake stand. Looks like you had an awesome time!
    ~Weng wengiful 

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  2. holy moly I need to make a visit there OMG :o

    franalibi.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. ive wanted to visit for so long and obvs take lots of pics :p glad the food was ok, ive heard a few negative reviews here and there about it being too expensive for what it is
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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  4. Omg that looks like the best place ever!! I've always wanted to go out for afternoon tea, and I love how quirky this place is. The food sounds wonderful, I wish I listened to your advice and got some food and a cuppa whilst reading as now I am starving! And yasssss who doesn't like cheesecake?! love it. It's pricey but sounds wonderful, and it's a great treat, I'd love to go here for my birthday or some other celebration. So glad you had a lovely time, and those toilets are so cool aswell haha!
    Becky Shannon xx - Life-by-Becky

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  5. oooh it looks so lovely! I am shocked that I still haven't been to Sketch - it's been on my "to-do" list for absolutely ages :S need to make a trip down!

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Thanks for your comments, I love reading them and will be sure to visit your blog soon :) have a lovely day!

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