sketch Gallery

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Venue says: "So pink it is! The Gallery serves afternoon tea and dinner 7 days a week. A new SS15 afternoon tea is now live, as well as a new dinner menu"
Mayfair
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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
Contact:
Address: 9 Conduit Street
London
W1S 2XG
Opening hours: Dinner: 6:30pm-2am (Mon-Sat), 6pm-midnight (Sun). Afternoon tea: 12:30pm-4:30pm (Mon-Sun).
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
LiveReviews|6
2 people listening
Soochy

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

writtenbyfitton

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.  Here's my full review: http://hyhoi.com/2014/06/sketch-afternoon-tea-gallery-by-david-shrigley/ - I love sketch.


- Nina
Have You Heard Of It? restaurant & bar blogger | HYHOI.com

andy

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!

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.

Mark

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.

Antony

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.