| Everyday Luxury Restaurants

Valentine’s Day at sketch Lecture Room & Library

Entering sketch in Mayfair you feel a little bit like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Coming through the door you are immediately greeted with a feast for the eyes, a Wonderland of art work  and a rabbit’s warren of different rooms and unique places to explore.
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Even just in the entrance foyer there is a quirky hopscotch drawing…
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And surreal art installations – some temporary exhibitions and some with a permanent home in the restaurant…
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Isn’t it just totally unique?
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Sketch is actually a multi-functional space with so many different areas to explore. The Gallery is the brasserie-style restaurant which is also a huge canvas for artist David Shrigley and the 239 pieces of his artwork that line the walls. I love the interior design of The Gallery, it’s all pink and basically the Barbie’s dream house of a restaurant- it’s also famous for it’s egg-shaped toilets, perhaps the most unique bathrooms in London.

As well as The Gallery, sketch houses The Parlour and The Glade, the latter is decorated like an enchanted forest with sparkling tree adorning the walls and bamboo furniture. Both serve afternoon tea, cocktails and comfort food where as the East bar is the place to enjoy a pre-dinner drink.
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But tonight we would be heading upstairs to sketch’s Gastronomic two-Michelin star restaurant: The Lecture Room & Library. Past some gorgeous #ihavethisthingwithfloors mosaic tiling…DSC_7994
And a gorgeous silver-leaf bench…we made our way up the stairs where we were greeted by a black curtain… they certainly know how to build up the anticipation and with a dramatic swoosh, the curtain was drawn back and we entered the dining room.
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I’ve seen some gorgeous dining rooms but I have to say this is probably one of the best I’ve seen in London (rivalled by The Ritz and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester). With plush red and gold carpets, soft velvet chairs and upholstered walls it was beautifully lavish but at the same time utterly classy and elegant. There was different touches, artwork, mirrors and fireplaces adorning the room – I didn’t know where to start there was so much to see! DSC_7929
We were seated in a semi-private room with just us and two other couples; the room had its own fireplace and had cunningly matched the wallpaper with my dress ;). DSC_7902
For Valentine’s day we would be enjoying a set tasting menu and we were offered the chance to enhance our experience by including a bottle of NV Krug Grande Cuvée Champagne. As we talked to the sommelier about the legendary champagne, I felt pretty proud that I’d picked up quite a lot of knowledge about the champagne process on my recent tripDSC_7901 DSC_7910
We loved the honied and slightly fruity flavours of the champagne and it paired really well with the mostly fish tasting menu. DSC_7932 DSC_7933 DSC_7935 DSC_7936 DSC_7938
Before the menu began properly we started off with some canapés including the rather interesting jellified martini above… Also just look at the water glasses – even those are pretty at sketch. DSC_7943
And I do love a good bread selection. It always wins points for me when a restaurant serves more than just white and brown! The butter bread was delicious and fluffy and Mr S had to hold me back from asking for more.

First the starter which was actually made up of three components…yes, this is one dish.
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Beautifully prepared hand-dived Scottish scallops carpaccio.
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An incredible tuna tartare mixed with avocado and shellfish which I think was cuttlefish but it was so sublime I didn’t think to ask. DSC_7948
And a cocktail Venise which I think was supposed to be a twist on a Bellini. It included  jelly at the bottom and a light mousse on top. I didn’t like this component as it had strong notes of grapefruit and I found it too bitter. Mr S was, however, happy to have two!

The menus at sketch are created by French Masterchef Pierre Gagnaire who has fifty years experience , having been born into a family of restauranteurs. Gagnaire has always strived to be iconoclastic with his cooking and break new ground gaining him recognition worldwide having received three Michelin stars. He was also listed best chef in the world by French magazine Le Chef.DSC_7952
Next, perhaps my favourite course, perfectly made truffle ravioli with artichokes and celeriac accompanied by cuttlefish, Ibérico de Bellota (the very finest Iberico ham) and a smooth and slightly creamy beurre blanc. The combination of textures and flavours was just sensational I don’t think I’ve ever had a pasta dish quite like it.DSC_7961
Though the presentation of this dish was pretty, particularly the vibrant green daub of enoki broccoli mousseline with horseradish and the flower petal, I thought the taste was a little lifeless. Dressed Dorset crab with a brown shrimp bouillon was more like a refreshing cleanser than full-on flavour sensation. But then I’m not a huge fan of broth and let’s face it you’re not going to like every element of a tasting menu and if you did than the concept probably isn’t as daring as sketch.
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We got back on track with the next dish. Reading diced ‘Carabineros’ on the menu, I had no idea what was in store for us but apparently this form of shrimp are the very best that you can get. Renowned for their large size and vibrant colour – the flesh was sweet, juicy and plump, a little bit like lobster. Apparently they were given this name because the red colour of their shells matches the uniforms of the Spanish customs officers – Carabineros meaning police. Mixed with endives, the delicious prawns were truly lifted by the ‘Violine’ sauce – apologies for being a bad blogger but I didn’t ask what was in it and now I can’t find the info. Anyway, the saltiness of the sauce really enhanced the flavour of the already delicious prawns and made for a truly wonderful dish which matched well with the Krug.DSC_7965
Braised French Veal was our only meat dish and probably our favourite savoury dish after the pasta. It was topped with roasted foie gras (which I didn’t eat as I don’t like it), and paired with abalone truffle bouillon with Jerusalem artichokes. The veal was beautifully cooked and pink and the accompaniments provided the perfect mixture of flavours and textures.

And finally what we’d been looking forward to and what Valentine’s day is all about…sweet pink things!! Pierre Gagnaire’s Grand Desserts were a tasty trio of desserts that arrived simultaneously, two out the three being made for sharing on this romantic day.
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A light fruit salad cocktail with pink meringue, sorbet and a brandy snap was a delicious palate cleanser. DSC_7973
Our spoons were battling for more of this lemon sponge cake with cream and chocolate – both beautiful to look at and a totally heavenly taste. DSC_7975
Finally this absolutely delicious raspberry tart – the perfect Valentine’s dessert – berries being an aphrodisiac…

There are many great restaurants in London but I think few rival sketch for overall experience. From the moment that you walk in the door the theatre of the place envelopes you. The drama of the food and the taste of the exquisite cuisine astounds you. And the atmosphere and service is the icing on the wonderful cake. Yes, it’s expensive but it’s totally unique and utterly wonderful.

sketch: Lecture Room & Library
9 Conduit Street
London
W1S 2XG

020 7659 4525

sketch Lecture Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
  • Aftab Pathan

    It looks like you had an amazing Valentines day Angie. You look stunning in your red dress and the menu seems quite up your street. 😉

    Aftab
    Fresh And Fearless

  • You look gorgeous, Angie! My husband took me to Sketch for dinner years ago for my birthday and I remember him being annoyed the waiter was wearing trainers! The egg toilets are so cool – I felt like I was in the film Alien or something! Your post has made me want to go back 🙂

  • Everything is so lavish – I love it! Friends went to Sketch a couple of years ago and loved it so it’s been on my list for a while… just need an occasion… or have saved up some more pennies more like!

  • We had a Krug at Christmas and it’s pretty life changing 😉 x

  • Rasa Virviciute

    Everything looks so good! xo

    http://www.aimeroseblog.com

  • What a beautiful Valentine’s Day! Great post again Angie x

  • I loved my time at Sketch – but never realised they did anything other than afternoon tea! Looks like you had a lovely time.

    Erin xxx
    islandbell.co.uk

  • I went to the Parlour a few years ago and absolutely loved it in there but now definitely up for having a nice evening meal – you know you’re in for a treat when even the bread basket looks that good! 🙂

  • WOW! I am yet to visit Sketch at all, but when I do the Lecture Room & Library it is! I love how lavish the food and the decor is. And you’re looking pretty hawt yourself Mrs!

    Polly xx
    Follow Your Sunshine

  • Wooooooooo that is a lot of food!!! It does look and sound utterly amazing – especially the ravioli and those puds. I’d love to go! Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea’s Passions

  • I love how everything at Sketch is SO pretty, and so much thought goes into every detail there. It’s such a fun place

  • Aubrey Yandow

    The food looks amazing! I’m in love.

    xx. The Coastal Confidence
    http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

  • This looks so good! I love going for afternoon tea and have been meaning to go back for dinner for ages. Need to for the next big occasion!

    Jasmin Charlotte

  • I love the Sketch for tea and cocktails – must plan a visit back for dinner now too, the setting looks gorgeous!! xx

    • I think you’d really enjoy it. Plus there’s a vegetarian tasting menu.

  • The Reader’s Tales

    This place looks fabulous…. great post once more ; -)

  • TravelWithNanoB

    What a fabulous feast!! Every dish was so stunningly plated and looked delicious. Although I absolutely agree, it is almost impossible to like every single dish in the tasting menu, and there will always be a few that stood out more than others. I was also thoroughly impressed by the overall concept of the restaurant and spunky artful decor. those colorful armchairs – swoon! Lastly, what a gorgeous dress! Very flattering on you 🙂 xoxo, nano

    • Everything is just incredible I think you have to try it next time you’re in London. And thank you so much for the lovely compliment.

  • I love Sketch, it’s so quirky and adorable! My favourite has to be the David Shrigley room. This doesn’t look too shabby either 😉 x

    Jasiminne: Posh, Broke, & Bored

  • Oh my goodness, what a fabulous evening. I can’t get over how sumptuous that dining room is! You look absolutely stunning 🙂 xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Travel, Food, Italy

  • Romantic gastronomic heaven – and how thoughtful of them to match their decor to your dress!

  • Ellie Adams

    You look so beaut Angie, and what a bloomin amazing Valentines day, makes me and my fiance want to up our games 😉

    Elle
    http://www.theellenextdoor.com
    xx

  • Looking beautiful Angie, what a stunning dress you’re wearing! Perfect for V-Day 🙂 Food looks gorgeous too – I’m particularly enamoured by that elegant-looking cake (sponge seems too prosaic a word to throw away on it!) xx

    Tamsin / A Certain Adventure

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