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‘Why have less when you can have more?’ is the attitude at Sketch, Pierre Gagnaire’s wonderfully OTT gastronomic playground for well-heeled scenesters. Now a decade old, the Gallery (the more casual of Sketch’s two main dining offerings) had a revamp in early 2012, with input from Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed. Since then artist David Shrigley, another Turner Prize winner, has put his own stamp on the restaurant space. Shrigley's work is everywhere. The walls are adorned almost edge to edge with Shrigley's strange, funny and often satirical childlike drawings. You can season your food with Shrigley designed shakers including 'dirt' (pepper), 'dust' (salt) or 'nothing' (true to its label, it contains nothing).

Gagnaire has overhauled the menu, but has kept the trademark global vibe, drawing on influences from Japan, Italy, Spain and Britain – all underpinned by French cuisine. Modern classics, such as the 63ºC egg, conceived by French chemist Hervé This, are a strong suit, but Asian-inspired dishes don’t always hit such culinary high notes. There’s a proper sense of creativity to the menu, from a sea bass paillard with artichokes and seaweed to the playful ‘big mac’ dessert – a lemongrass macaroon on sweet wine jelly with grapefruit marmalade.

It isn’t cheap, but if you scour the menu, you’ll find items less taxing to the wallet. The wine list is imaginatively chosen, and service is sweet and switched-on. Ten years on, this is still a place with wow factor.


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sketch Gallery says
sketch Gallery, a vibrant gastro-brasserie, is sketch's artist-conceived restaurant.

Dinner: 6:30pm-2am (Mon-Sat), 6pm-midnight (Sun).
Afternoon tea: 12:30pm-4:30pm (Mon-Sun).

Celebrated British artist, David Shrigley, has transformed the Gallery at sketch as part of a long-term programme of artist-conceived restaurants. 239 new works line the restaurant's walls, forming the largest group of original drawings Shrigley has ever exhibited.

The Gallery is open seven days a week for afternoon tea and dinner.

India Mahdavi, who has created a backdrop for David Shrigley's artwork, conceived a soothing, monochromatic, strikingly comprehensive interior. The classic, almost bourgeois design invites a deliberately playful contrast with the witty, outré art works - all is most certainly not what it seems. While matching sketch's delight in the avant-garde, this harmonious disorder breaks with the Gallery's usual eclecticism.

The exhibition continues on the restaurant tables. Shrigley has understood the dining table as an auxiliary exhibition space, a platform for the presentation of new work by himself and our master chef, Pierre Gagnaire.

The work comprises new ceramic tableware featuring Shrigley's distinctive, mordant drawings and texts, in a holistic interaction with Gagnaire's food. The meal itself becomes a site-specific sculptural work that references sketch's location in the heart of London and invites diners to respond with their thoughts and reactions.
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Venue name: sketch Gallery
Address: 9 Conduit Street
Opening hours: Dinner: 6:30pm-2am (Mon-Sat), 6pm-midnight (Sun). Afternoon tea: 12:30pm-4:30pm (Mon-Sun).
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:9
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
3 people listening
Jenni D
1 of 1 found helpful

Sketch's dusty pink Gallery is as beautiful in real life as it is in the photographs. Being no stranger to an Afternoon Tea (it's the 'go to' present when stumped for a birthday gift!) I didn't expect to be as wowed as I was. But the food was delicious, the staff were delightful and the toilets were strange. All in all, a perfect way to spend a Sunday Afternoon. 


My husband and I had dinner last week in this restaurant to celebrate our anniversary. Upon arrival the mâitre took care to call someone to take our coats and to ask the hostess to guide us to the bar as our table was't ready yet. We ordered some fancy mocktails (tasty but pricey considering they were basically a fruit juice mix) while we waited but less than 5 minutes later we sat down at our table.

We both ordered starters and main courses, and we found that the portion sizes were bigger than we expected, meaning that we had no room left for dessert :-(
In general, all the dishes were quite good, unfortunately all of them had a tiny 'but' (i.e. my main veal course had some red cabbage on top that added nothing to the dish, and was too hard to eat, and my foie gras started had some tasteless jelly cubes).
The room is gorgeous and very modern and because I personally love pink, I think that it's great, but for some people it might be a bit too much. The only problem with the decoration was the dim lighting, that prevent us from seeing the contents of our plates as clearly as we'd have liked.
Finally, all the staff were extremely polite and pleasant, and even though the restaurant was full, we didn't need to refill the water in our glasses even once, or even flag down a waiter to ask for anything as there seemed to alway be somebody attending the tables around us.
Overall was a great dining experience and we hope to go back someday, though we'll be more careful with the ammount of food that we order.

Chris A

Went here for a meal in the evening, and the venue is really stunning. Full of interesting art including loads of drawings by David Shrigley, which were fun to look at during the meal.

The service was polite but a little over-bearing - I think we must have been stopped about 10 times during the meal to ask if everything was OK etc. The staff were friendly but it just became a but much!

And the food was certainly tasty but I feel it was overpriced for what it is. The thing that tipped me over was a side dish of mac-and-cheese with truffle oil that we were encouraged to order to share. Without looking at the menu we agreed, assuming it was maybe around the £6 mark. We were shocked to be billed £23 for what was essentially a small-ish bowl of pasta. Must be some quality truffle oil!

I'd say it's nice for a treat and for the interesting surroundings, but there are certainly better value places in the area.

Corina B

I had been meaning to go here for a long time as it looks stunning in photographs, and I finally got the opportunity to go this week. The venue did not disappoint at all, it looks just as beautiful i real life as it does in photographs, although it is noticeably dimmer in real life in an attempt to create ambiance. Although I knew it was an expensive place, I expected the food to match the price, and during my dinner I would have to say that it really did not. The food was lacking, and the service was not great. I think maybe I will return for afternoon tea another day just because I really loved the venue, but overall I was disappointed. 

Masumi S

There are certain luxuries in London that are a must, and this is one of them. I don't think of a room that has been this pink! Certainly still has the wow factor, great service, rich food, and great wine. Its a night you will remember for all the right reasons!

Amy L

My sister and I had high tea here as one instalment of my 30th birthday celebrations. Once we were seated, it took around 15-20 mins before anyone returned to take our order, and only after we had tried to catch the eye of several waiters as they walked past. I was a little disappointed with the service, although it did improve once our order had been taken. We had high tea with a glass of champagne, which costs a whopping £54 per person. Food consisted of a large plate of sandwiches (all cold except for one hot one), and a medium and small plate of sweet treats, like cakes and marshmallows. We were given a plate of hot scones (fruit or plain) with jam (fig and strawberry) and cream. Most of the food is unlimited, so we ordered an extra round of sandwiches, and left feeling totally stuffed. However, I wonder if I am the only person who leaves high teas feeling sick (not just from the food) that I have just spent over £60 (including service) on lunch that was essentially sandwiches and cakes? Why is this a thing? I think this will be my last high tea experience... Because for £60 I could get a pretty awesome dinner, or several amazing cocktails, even in London.

Frank S

An experiance to remember. Stunning interior. Wonderful staff and great food/beverages.


I headed to Afternoon Tea on a cheerful weekday afternoon. Sketch’s Afternoon Tea begins as usual with assorted finger sandwiches.These include corn-fed coronation chicken, smoked salmon and Jacob's cream, cucumber and ricotta, egg and mayonnaise, quail egg, caviar and my favourite which was a warm mozzarella and pesto panini.

Next we moved onto the warm scones which are served plain or with sultanas, served with clotted cream, fig and strawberry jam. We tried to pace ourselves as the waiter were kindly and repeatedly asking if we’d like anything and we didn’t want to overdo it before we had even reached the pastries. The Sketch Afternoon Tea pastries include passion fruit tartlet, lemon and raspberry cake, pistachio choux, blueberry cheesecake and finally a delightful chocolate and mint gâteau. These come with tangy citrus meringue and malabar marshmallow.

The Afternoon Tea also includes unlimited amounts of tea, and all different flavours too. As a result I ended up trying quite a few different specialist teas such as phoenix honey orchid, jasmine pearls and silver needle. 

Chesca R

I had the pleasure of devouring an into the woods afternoon tea in the David Shrigley gallery (which is worth a visit alone as its hilarious). I'm not normally an advocate for egg mayo sandwiches but pair it with quail egg and caviar and I'm convinced, delicious. All of the cakes were divine and I'm not ashamed to say we asked for more. The selection of teas is superb and you don't have to stick to one as you can swap and change which is great. The waitresses were very charming and completed a brilliant afternoon. 


Dinner at the Galley at Sketch is a decadent affair. With aesthetic appeal and close attention to detail. Walls are decorated in interesting prints from David Shrigley, distinctive crockery with a quirky menu to match this is definitely a must do although a little pricey experience in London. The first thing that strikes you is that it is all very pink. The food is delicious and very different to anywhere else I have experienced with an unusual mix of different ingredients all presented exquisitely. Also you must check out the washrooms with their classic egg shaped pods and multi coloured ceiling. Certainly some of the most interesting loos I have seen in a while.

Jenny K

Wow. Wow. Wow. I took three friends visiting London for Afternoon Tea at Sketch and we were all simply blown away by the food, decor and the entire experience, which included going to the toilet inside an egg whilst listening to farm animals. Upon entering he venue you are immediately impressed by the decor, grand, luxurious and attention to detail, as you walk from room to room into the Gallery each one has been well thought out and has something different to offer. When you enter the Gallery, you are immediately taken with how very pink and luxurious it is, like stepping into the 'Beauty School Dropout' video from Grease, everything from the velvety pink chairs to the staff uniforms are simply magical. The Afternoon Tea was 10/10 and remains the best one I have experienced in London. Every single food item from the quail egg and caviar finger sandwich to the Earl Grey macaroon is so incredibly delicious, well thought and with incredible attention to detail,  that we all ooed and ahhed over every mouthful! The service is impeccable and you really feel spoiled. They top up your tea as much as you like, not to mention bring your more of your favorite finger sandwich or sweet delight. The toilets - they need a review of their own, so I'll leave that one as a pleasant surprise :) 


Had an amazing time here. Staff are so friendly and the venue is incredible. The cocktails were perfect


The Gallery no longer looks the same as the picture above, but has had an overhaul by Turner Prize nominated artist David Shrigley - hundreds of artworks cover the pink walls, and it's the perfect setting for afternoon tea.  Highly recommend - some afternoon teas in London are tacky; this is far from it.  

Xandra Burns

I found Sketch by Googling "strange restaurants London" in a frantic last-minute search for my birthday dinner venue, and boy am I glad it was as magical a venue as I was looking for. The first mystery: Where IS it? In place of a sign is a dog statue crawling down the wall. The interior is funky hotel chic, but with hopscotch chalked onto the floor. My mind continues to remain boggled at how the Gallery manages to look classy artsy even though everything is mismatched. Everything. Sofas and chairs, tables, glasses, cutlery, all bedazzled by a pepetual light show. It's what my ideal dining room would look like, only I doubt I can ever achieve its elegant modern wonderland-esque quirk. As for the toilets, I can only reveal that Sketch continues to impress, but I'll leave that particular surprise up to you to experience. While Martin Creed's atomosphere makes me completely giddy, I have yet to sample amazing food there, but only, I imagine, because it's a meat-heavy menu and I am vegetarian/vegan. That said, I haven't fully explored my options. I can, however, fully endorse the Sketchup. [homemade ketchup, in case you didn't get that.]. I send all London-bound friends to Sketch. It's fine dining, a top notch London adventure to be had.


I couldn't disagree more with the comment from Antony. I have been here a few times and am a huge fan of the Afternoon Tea offering here. The quality of the food is impeccable, the atmosphere is always very good with people often in awe of the room decor and fabulous twist on the traditional English Afternoon Tea. The service is always very good and the staff are incredibly knowledgeable about the food they serve. They are also very accommodating for dietary requirements. I simply couldn't fault this place and is worth the extra few £s compared to mediocre restaurants. It's worth noting the decor is art and well inspired. I'm not sure they're going for 'ordinary' or cheap wine, which for many occasions is fine, but this is why chains exist. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys great food.


Very poor dining experience... generally overpriced, the wine (which cost over forty pounds for the bottle) was barely drinkable and the decor like waking up in a mid-60s nightmare, with extra pretention. Not going back any time soon.

0 of 1 found helpful

Clearly well thought through interiors and many quirky features, a glam in-crowd, good music, a buzz to the place and friendly staff. Unfortunately the the food was truly dreadful- totally lacking any complexity or sophistication at best and sickly and unpleasant at worst. I'm sad to say some of the worst food we've eaten in a very long time, and at £420 for four adults and two kids not an experience to be repeated. I'd rather eat in KFC!