Sketch, The Lecture Room & Library, Mayfair
BEST FOR: A true gastronomic experience
A Narnia-style hub of restaurants, bars and art on Mayfair’s Conduit Street, sketch is a dining emporium like no other. Dreamed up by restauranteur Mourad Mazouz, it’s made up of four uniquely designed restaurants and a bar which sits beneath the Instagram-famous pod-style toilets. Though the least well-known of Sketch’s offerings, The Lecture Room & Library is the most high-end, recently being awarded with a third Michelin star – making it one of only five restaurants in London to hold this accolade. Somewhat hidden on the left side of the three-storey 18th century townhouse in which Sketch is housed, the restaurant has a notably exclusive feel. Upon entering guests are greeted in a dark corridor and taken up a red-carpeted staircase, before being welcomed into the palatial ballroom-like dining room through a set of grand double-height doors. Inside you’ll find everything you’d expect from a Michelin-starred venue: spaciously laid out white-linen tables and innovative dishes served with artistic flourish. Yet there’s something extra special about this fine dining spot. Perhaps its the impeccably slick service? The theatrical element? The glittering Swarovski-encrusted black marble bathroom?
The attention to detail – felt in every aspect of the restaurant – certainly plays a part. Two dining options are on offer: the tasting menus (one being vegetarian), and the à la carte menu, which we opted for. For starters, whimsical dishes arrive as miniature banquets: ‘Italian Spirit’, for instance, features slices of veal with tuna cream, smoked raw gambero rosso with black venere rice, and potato gnocchi with parma ham. Mains are less theatrical but equally special – the duck, served with tamarind jus, radishes and braised turnips, is particularly good. To finish, you must order head chef Pierre Gagnaire’s Grand Dessert: a six-plate amalgamation of exciting flavours and textures, from pistachio to rhubarb to mojito to caramelized pear. If the menu appears hard to navigate at first, fear not: staff are more than happy to talk you through it, and work around any intolerances or dislikes. Sketch promised us a gastronomic experience, and boy did they deliver. Go hungry, and prepare to be wowed.
9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG; sketch.london