Mayfair’s Prettiest Restaurant Has Had A Luxurious Festive Makeover • sketch
A magical forest. Chairs wearing ballet shoes. Luxuriously fabric-ed walls as far as the eye can see. If a restaurant had just one of these things, we’d be pretty intrigued right now. But when that place has all of these things, and a Mayfair postcode to boot, we’re practically straining at the leash to get inside. sketch is the creation of restaurateur Mourad Mazouz and celebrated chef Pierre Gagnaire, and every inch of it practically begs to be Instagrammed. They’ve now doubled down on sheer gorgeousness with their ornate festive makeover that just begs to be photographed and admired.
A Georgian Christmas at sketch
For 2022’s Christmas season, sketch is playing homage to the Grade II* listed building that houses their venues. Since the building dates all the way back to 1779, they’ve made over the whole place with a Georgian era-inspired aesthetic with installations from floral artists JamJar Flowers, Figa & Co, and Ricky Paul.
The reception has been transformed by JamJar Flowers into a theatrical parlour of lush extravagance. The smell of Christmas spices fills the air and flowers seems to drip from magnificent urns to give the whole thing an air of being a watercolour painting. Around the corner, a handmade ball gown and elaborately dressed wig float above the ground as part of a photo opportunity, allowing guests to ‘don’ the garms. In reality you’re stranding behind them, but the effect is still enchanting.
In The Glade, Figa & Co present their own take on the chandelier and candelabra forms. Five chandeliers hang at different heights to give the room a maximalist, dramatic flair. Alongside these are four Georgian-style candelabra pieces that further add to the overall ethereal atmosphere.
Meanwhile Ricky Paul has filled the The East Bar with urns full of florals that sparkle and shine in the rooms as a massive urn sits atop the central Pod. And in The Lecture Room & Library, a dancing Pegasus rears up into the sky, adorned with flowers and sparkling foliage encrusted with intricate crystals and feather wings.
All that to say, it’s rather bloody gorgeous in sketch at the moment!
Wait, how many rooms did we just mention…?
That’s a lot of places mentioned for what is essentially one venue, we get it. Here’s the deal: sketch is actually a hub of separate restaurants and bars, each with their own spectacular design and accompanying menu. They’re all worth a visit, or at least a peek! Especially given how truly unique each place is.
The Gallery at sketch
A vibrant gastro-brasserie, The Gallery is well-loved by London’s foodies for its striking appearance. Once clad in a full on pink proliferation, a redesign from British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare and architect India Mahdavi in 2022 saw the venue take on a warm yellow, gold, and copper colour palette. This is complemented by site-specific artworks created specially for the space that evoke a touch of Africa in the space. These include hand-carved wooden masks and framed quilts, modelled after African masks collected by Pablo Picasso. Head to The Gallery for afternoon tea or dinner in incredible environs.
The Lecture Room and Library at sketch
If you’re after a truly unforgettable meal, head over to The Lecture Room and Library, the restaurant that won sketch its three Michelin stars.
The room just oozes luxury and opulence, doesn’t it? It hosts dinners from Wednesday to Saturday, and lunch on Friday and Saturday. As well as a seriously premium a la carte menu, this is the home of sketch’s epic tasting menu. It’s not exactly cheap, but we’re going to go ahead and point at those Three Michelin Stars again… Yeah, there could be a reason for the cost! They also have an award-winning selection of by-the-glass wines, so you know every aspect of your time there will be stunning.
The Parlour at sketch
For a more casual (and relatively affordable!) encounter, how about a cocktail in sketch’s fabulous Parlour? This all-day café offers breakfasts all week, from scrambled eggs to acai bowls, then a concise lunch menu of comforting delights until 5pm. Into the evening, while the other rooms dish out daring dinners, the Parlour turns down the lights and focuses on serving up cocktails small bites.
The Glade at sketch
For our money, the prettiest room at sketch is The Glade. Redesigned in 2017, the room was re-imagined as a mythical forest, complete with a seriously fluffy carpet designed to look like a forest floor. The designers took inspiration from early twentieth century wallpaper when redecorating the walls, resulting in those gorgeous paper trees.
Trees adorn the walls, and touches of gold, velvet seating, and a tinted glass ceiling accent the whole affair. There’s no other word for it: this place is stunning. The Glade offers a lunch garden menu and cocktails at night, as well as snacks to keep your appetite at bay, of course.
The East Bar & Pods
But to find the most visually dazzling part of sketch, you’ll have to head to the toilets. Oh yes. They might look like eggs, but these futuristic space pods are in fact fully-functioning loos. And if you find yourself here, tradition dictates you must capture a snap for social media. Head around the pods/eggs/toilets and down some stairs and you’ll even find the hidden East Bar. As sketch says: “what is this place? All you wish, a restroom… A photobooth… An evening bar for cocktails & DJ’s… that too.”
A meal at sketch is not an everyday occurrence (if it is, we’re insanely jealous). However, for those days you’re feeling Extra Fancy, and looking for somewhere fabulous to go, sketch will fill both your stomach and your Instagram feed rather nicely…
Also published on Medium.