sketch: Gallery

Bronze Award
££££
Afternoon tea, British, Modern European

sketch: Gallery
sketch: Gallery
sketch: Gallery
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SquareMeal Review of sketch: Gallery

Bronze Award

It’s quite something to step into a room in reality that you’ve seen more than a thousand times on social media beforehand. The pastel pink Gallery at Sketch must be, we’re confident in saying, the most photographed room in the capital and its appeal has endured, more than 15 years on.

Nobody finds themselves in this haute homage to a powder room for half measures, including artist David Shrigley. No fewer than 96 of his works are displayed in the Gallery, which functions as a restaurant, exhibition space and – thanks to India Mahdavi’s interior designs – the closest thing London has to a walk-in bubble-gum bubble. All pastel pink and plush, the playful space even has its very own app; an augmented reality piece of kit that allows diners to project elements of the prints hanging on the walls onto their live pictures and videos.

In line with the theatrical surrounds, the staff fulfil their duties with a near-thespian flourish: intense but charming and underneath the show smiles are people who really know their stuff, advising on the lengthy, luxurious drinks list and wordy menu.

If it’s true that you eat as much with your eyes as you do your mouth, the riotous dishes from chef Frédéric Don won’t disappoint. A pretty flower-like arrangement of scallop carpaccio with salmon roe, green apple and avocado was pleasantly mild, with thick cut meat bringing subtle sweet notes. Elsewhere, a main of poached turbot was presented on circular lines of sweet artichoke puree that were reminiscent of water marks in the sand, and while picture-perfect, it came out lukewarm and lacked much contrast which might have been found in some citrus acidity.

Pudding brought a baked Alaska surrounded by candy floss clouds that were doused in burning alcohol tableside, to make for an instant whisky syrup. Here flavours of chocolate and blood orange cooled and complimented one another for a fun, fruity finish.

With mains setting you back anywhere between £30-45, an experience at Sketch doesn’t come cheap. We hate to say it, but the Gallery at Sketch is less about the food and more about the whole performance. Our advice? Plump for pudding and a well-made cocktail at the bar to enjoy the surrounds for a snip of the price.

About sketch: Gallery

A trip to Sketch is more of multi-sensory experience than a straightforward meal out and yet this venue is proving to sceptics that a restaurant can indeed carry both style and substance with Michelin awarding it three stars. The venue is divided between four separate restaurants and each boast their own uniquely breath-taking interiors that just beg to be photographed. The Mayfair restaurant is the brainchild of restauranteur Mourad Mazouz and esteemed chef Pierre Gagnaire who have honed in on the area’s affluent populous of party goers and thrill seekers who are always looking for the next best thing. The soft pastel pink interiors of The Gallery with its velvet banquette seating is a calm and distinctly feminine room, well suited to it’s principal offering of Afternoon Tea, served every day of the week from 11.30am – 4.30 pm. The offering is a traditional affair with a broad selection of teas to choose from or bubbles for those who prefer things more fancy! An assorted selection of finger sandwiches with fillings including coronation chicken, egg gougere, and truffle croque are followed by a scones with jam and cream and a selection of picture perfect petits gateaux. These delicate sweet treats include a mandarin Battenberg, Mont Blanc tart and pistachio choux. Guests will also be served a traditional Victoria sponge from the trolley.

However the venue also offers an a la carte menu too which is served until 2am for any night owls with midnight munchies. The food is largely modern European with some strong French influences. From the starters highlights include pan fried langoustines with green tea, yellow mango, fresh soya and dry apricots; and wild duck terrine with foie gras and onion marmalade and brioche with duck rillettes. Main courses are divided between vegetarian, fish and meat options including sole cooked a la Meunière accompanied by a potato puree with green curry spices and shiitake mushrooms ; lamb cutlets grilled with oregano, creamy polenta and Swiss chard served with a Provençale stew; and ravioli of sweet onion with juniper berries and lemon sabayon.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Cuisines
Afternoon tea, British, Modern European
Ambience
Cool, Glamorous, Luxury, Quirky
Food Occasions
All day dining, Breakfast, Dinner, Late night dining, Lunch
Special Features
Gluten-free options, Vegetarian options
People
Celebrations, Celeb-spotting, Dates, Special occasions

Location for sketch: Gallery

9 Conduit Street, London, London, W1S 2XG

0207 6594 4500

Website

Opening Times

All day
Mon 07:00-02:00
Tue 07:00-02:00
Wed 07:00-02:00
Thu 07:00-02:00
Fri 07:00-02:00
Sat 08:00-02:00
Sun 08:00-00:00

Reviews of sketch: Gallery

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8 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Anon

31 July 2018  
Great food, very tentative service and delicious food.

kofi A

Awful
17 March 2016  
This is not my first review but as I can't see my original I thought I'd try again. The food here was average at best. The prices are outrageous. The service was indifferent. I wouldn't go back here unless someone else was paying. The only positive is that it's a beautiful place to look at. I am actually trying to understate how much I dislike this place as I accept that they need to make a living.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Wendy M

Pretty in Pink
18 September 2014  
The room has been transformed into a pink mirage with stylised, comfortable, softly upholstered banquettes and chairs in a definitive pink hue, replacing the eclectic mix of seating shown in the Overview image, when landing a comfortable chair must have been a lottery. Sad to say I would have appreciated perusing the aesthetics of individual chair designs, although when it comes to sitting, munching and imbibing for a couple of hours or so, ergonomics has to reign when parking the backside, and so it was a relief to find comfy seating, enabling us to fully relax and enjoy our dinner and the scenery - it is a gallery after-all, and as defined by the name, amusing and some bemusing monochrome sketches cover the walls. Extravagant words appear on the menu and some humble and more exotic ingredients have been carefully crafted for good result, enough for us to have dined here twice recently. We enjoyed the modern cooking; the colourful lobster bisque with rice being a stand-out dish, with duck and salmon mains being good too, although I have to say starters listing holds more appeal than main courses. So with boxes ticked for comfort, for ease of booking (we didn’t – last time, we walked in on a Sunday evening), for service, good looking tasty food, and lastly, but very importantly the wine which came very well recommended to accord with our wishes, it's all rather nice and fun. The trouble is if you are watching the budget dining at this kind of fashionable place with a renowned name on the menu, probably requires dipping into a savings pot, hopefully, someone else’s if you’re lucky enough to be treated. Nevertheless, methinks perhaps we should try the Lecture room too. I just wonder if it is pink?
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Wendy M

Pretty in Pink
18 September 2014  
The room has been transformed into a pink mirage with stylised, comfortable, softly upholstered banquettes and chairs in a definitive pink hue, replacing the eclectic mix of seating shown in the Overview image, when landing a comfortable chair must have been a lottery. Sad to say I would have appreciated perusing the aesthetics of individual chair designs, although when it comes to sitting, munching and imbibing for a couple of hours or so, ergonomics has to reign when parking the backside, and so it was a relief to find comfy seating, enabling us to fully relax and enjoy our dinner and the scenery - it is a gallery after-all, and as defined by the name, amusing and some bemusing monochrome sketches cover the walls. Extravagant words appear on the menu and some humble and more exotic ingredients have been carefully crafted for good result, enough for us to have dined here twice recently. We enjoyed the modern cooking; the colourful lobster bisque with rice being a stand-out dish, with duck and salmon mains being good too, although I have to say starters listing holds more appeal than main courses. So with boxes ticked for comfort, for ease of booking (we didn’t – last time, we walked in on a Sunday evening), for service, for good looking tasty food, and lastly, but very importantly the wine which came very well recommended to accord with our wishes, it's all rather nice and fun. The trouble is if you are watching the budget, dining at this kind of fashionable place with a renowned name on the menu, probably requires dipping into a savings pot, hopefully, someone else’s if you’re lucky enough to be treated. Nevertheless, methinks perhaps we should try the Lecture room too.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Natalia P

Sketch
15 January 2014  
This is my third visit in a month! And it is always a good choice. Food is impeccable, service is amazing and atmosphere is ways great. If you are looking to wow someone this is definitely one of those places that should be on your list
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Tom K

sketch(y)
01 May 2013  
My wife has visited Sketch 3 or 4 times with friends and has always come back raving about the place, mainly about the funky decor/cool staff, never about how mind blowing the food was though, so when I was taken by her last weekend as a Birthday suprise to “experience” what she was on about and being a lover of good and andventurous food I was slightly aprehensive. Our reservation was early,6.30pm, in order to make the late train home. When we arrived we told a cool lady (cool in manner rather than style) that we had a reservation for dinner in the gallery, only to be told that was not possible as they were still serving afternoon tea in there. On insisting that our reservation had been made (printed copy in hand which also stated clearly that our allocated time in the gallery was strictly two hour after which time we would be asked to vacate our table) a male member of staff went to check that our request was genuine and once confirmed politeness resumed and it was smiles all round. We were taken to our table by the cool lady, who remained cool. It was at this point that I realised I was in for an evening of pretentiousness. Yes as described in the restaurants blurb, the gallery was kitted out with tables, chairs, glasses and cutlery that didn't match. Yes, I get that this could be interpreted as cool and retro but did it merit the acreditation of an award winning artist, hardly. Many start up restaurants are forced to buy up second hand fittings to furnish their premises without the help of artists and the affect is the same. The storey of the Emporers new clothes came to mind. Drinks orders were taken promptly and menus and daily special were offered. Nothing was obvious on the menu nor initially enticing but as is often the case, you have to trust in the creative ability of the chefs in delivering something that is pleasing to eat, both visually and in the mouth. By this point the 1970's retro plastic lounge chair I was sitting on was starting to irritate me, It would have been very comfortable if I had wanted to read the news paper or slouch infront of the telly but far removed from comfortably eating what was expected to be a taste sensation or converse with my wife without shouting. I asked if it would be possible to exchange my chair for something more appropriate which was done promptly and I sat happy again in a dinning chair. (what a revelation to expect a dinning chair in a restautant). Starters came, mine risotto and my wifes, twice baked cheese cake. Both fine and tasty, nothing particularily creative or clever in a culinary way, poorly garnished but both did what they said on the tin. What did distract was the fact that I had to eat mine with what I can only describe as primary school canteen cutlery, under sized, under designed, stainless steel functional eating utensils, not cool, not trendy, just cheep and nasty and not befitting the price of £12 for creamy cheese and rice. Main courses came soon after, mine sucking pig with red cabbage and gaufette potatoes and a side order of french fries (extra of course) my wifes, the beef steak. Very minimal presentation lookup at me from my “cool” plate conatining a 5cm ring of shredded pork sitting atop a dessert spoon of sweet and sour red cabbage finished with some micro herbs, the accompaning dip of Sketchup and french fries in a mini wire frying basket, very Bernie Inn. hoping the taste would deliver my expectation I dived in, luke warm and dry in texture, my wifes was equally cool. Not wanting to be over disgrunted we asked if the dishes could be warmed to a satisfactory temperature. To give the kitchen staff their due both dishes were prepared fresh and delivered back to us appologetically. Sadly they still missed the mark as a taste sensation, dry pork, over vinegared cabbage. The bought in chips were as they should be, bought in chips. For £28 plus £5 for chips my thought were that the artist must be taking a large proportion of this charge as commission leaving the poor chef very little to play with to make his GP. No desserts were taken mainly as I couldn't face being in this room of false pretentiousness any longer, a quick visit to the egg toilets put a smile back on my face but the ubruptly rude “french maid” attendant soon spoit this moment of pleasure. I undersatand that cool and hip are what the market wants but not at the expense of the food. Dinning out has to be fundimentely about the food and food that matches the suroundings, Sketch promises some amazing food if the decor and brand image are to be its bench mark, sadly in this case and in my opionion it doesn't deliver. Maybe I just don't “get it” or maybe I just saw through the Emporers new cloths and experienced it for what it is, a very average, over price restaurant for the want-to-be's of our capital.
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Sophie A

14 July 2011  
Sketch Gallery is a vibrant sophisticated and fun place. The interior is amazing! The screens with strange cartoons and symbols frolicking keep you entertained, as does the general decor of a futuristic funland. The people watching is fantastic, and the food is not bad at all! All very modern and fresh – I had a starter of lobster bisque followed by steak tartar, and neither disappointed although I wish I had room for dessert! The newspaper style drinks menu was fun and offered some tasty cocktails. And of course… no visit to Sketch is complete without a visit to the loos. Enjoy this masterpiece of British eccentricty.
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Tiara W

03 March 2011  
Sketch Gallery is a great restaurant night out- a desination in itself! The food matches the interior, innovative & fresh. I can't think of another restaurant that is consistently a good time as the Gallery. Love the crowd that come there, dressed smartly, fashion sets, you can't overdo it at a place like this. A must for Londoners & out-of-towners- good for foodies too.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

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