The beautiful Sketch restaurant and bar, filled with its beautiful Mayfair crowd, could almost be a surreal Wes Anderson film come to life.
Each room within the converted 18th century Mayfair building is completely and unexpectedly different from the last, yet is no less stunning. The Glade lies behind cascading green velvet curtains. This enchanted woodland space, conceived by artists Carolyn Quartermaine and Didier Mahieu, is incredibly detailed, with hand printed paper lining the walls and oversized Rattan seats. It's as if you've walked in to a painting.
The afternoon tea, too, is a picture. Mini sandwiches, topped with quails eggs and caviar are followed by two layers of perfectly piped iced cakes, including the Old fashioned pistachio macaroon, Almond and red berry tartlet, a Coffee éclair, Strawberry cheesecake in a glass, Meringatarta, Raspberry meringue, Malabar marshmallows and the renowned sketch opera. On the side is served warm sultana scones with clotted cream and a selection of teas. At £45 per person, sits within the upper price bracket, but - along with the Sanderson - it is the all round most immersive dining experience.
Dinner is served in The Gallery, an opulent, playful palace of pink designed by India Mahdavi, and featuring works by artist David Shrigley. 239 of his monochrome works line the walls and even the ceramic tableware feature his distinct drawings. The grey utilitarian staff uniforms are an art project; conceived by fashion designer Richard Nicholl. Menus feature pop out paper cutlery, as well as a French themed selection of dishes. A starter of twice baked Haddock soufflé melted in the mouth and even the warm bread and butter was some of the best around. We went with a recommendation of the fish and chips, which was presented beautifully with a sculptural flourish of matchstick potatoes.
The whole dining venue fulfils its original conception as a unique and eccentric cultural destination, mixing food, art and music. Plus, the speaking egg-shaped pod toilets have got to be the weirdest in London.