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109202 1

Sketch (Lecture Room & Library)

AA Notable Wine List 2018-19
AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

Read more about AA ratings and awards

Highly conceptualized food from a modern master

AA Inspector

At a glance

Vegetarian menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass

Something rather extraordinary lies in wait behind the sober facade of this Grade II-listed townhouse in Mayfair. Built at the back end of the 18th century, the place has all the outward appearance of a bastion of traditional values, but within you'll find a venue as off-the-wall as any in the capital. With an approach to interior design that tears the rule book into a million tiny pieces and uses it as a decorative feature, designer Gabhan O’Keeffe’s vision for Sketch is a one off. This is a dining room that sets the pulse racing, with its lavish red, pink, orange and gold colour scheme, padded cream leather walls and all-round air of theatricality. Like a Victorian salon as reimagined by Lewis Carroll, it's a suitably unforgettable spot for some ground-breaking cuisine. The menus – à la carte and tasting – reveal dishes of complexity and imagination, and in an era of minimal elucidation, they actually come – hurrah! – with real descriptions that use lots of words to let you know what you’re in for. The skill of this kitchen is beyond question: the French modern master Pierre Gagnaire still devises all menus here, with head chef Johannes Nuding aiming to encompass a dizzyingly wide range of ingredients and techniques in a multitude of small plates. An opening course, Sea Garden, comprises transparent shellfish ravioli with almond, clams, leeks and potato cream, then hand-dived Scottish scallop glazed with a mandarin reduction, followed by pumpkin ice cream, seaweed jelly and shiitake mushroom, and a final salvo of razor clams with espardenya (sea cucumber), and squid in anchovy water with cava. Sure, it’s a lot to take in, but the result is a beautiful progression of complementary flavours, appealing textures and visual impact. The ways the components work together produces an undeniable alchemy in mains too – a pork workout might bring grilled rack marinated with sage, cooked in hay and served with turnips and dry fruit marmalade, while line-caught sea bass could be poached in citrus butter then served with an assemblage of quince paste with saffron, fennel, candied beetroot and daikon. Desserts follow a similar complex route: choose a theme – Somerset Burrow Hill, say – and a riot of little dishes ensues: Bramley terrine with ice cider and Cox’s apple juice, then cider-glazed cheesecake mousse, followed by perry jelly with pear and yogurt sorbet, and a finale of apple flambéd with Somerset cider brandy.

What's on offer?

Opening hours

  • Closed: 2 weeks August, 2 weeks December, 1 January and Bank holidays
  • Days closed: Sunday to Monday
  • Closed for lunch: Tuesday to Thursday
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 1.45
  • Dinner served from: 7
  • Dinner served until: 10

Chef

  • Chef(s): Pierre Gagnaire, Johannes Nuding

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern European
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines under £30: 3
  • Wines over £30: 864
  • Wines by the glass: 73

Price guide

  • Starter from: £45
  • Main course from50
  • Dessert from: £17
  • Service charge
  • Credit cards accepted

Accessibility

  • Steps for wheelchair: 32
  • Assist dogs welcome

Additional information

  • Seats: 50
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 40
  • Off-site parking available: NCP Soho, Cavendish Square

Getting here

Nearest train station

Oxford Circus, Green Park, Bond Street
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