Sketch (Lecture Room & Library)
“Polished service and fabulous setting for complex, innovative cooking.” - AA Inspector
LONDON W1, LONDON POSTAL DISTRICTS
Our Inspector's view
This Grade II listed Georgian townhouse in Mayfair might look sensible and sober from the outside, but once through the door, you’re in for a treat for all the senses. A jaw-dropping interplay between food and design, the interior’s outrageously lavish colour scheme a joyfully theatrical explosion of pink, orange and gold. It's a suitably unforgettable spot for some ground-breaking cuisine. The effortlessly polished service is exemplary, and the cooking is innovative, provocative and skilful, overseen by Pierre Gagnaire and produced by head chef Johannes Nuding. There’s a six-course tasting menu, with a vegetarian version also available, or you can go a la carte. The menu descriptions may be lengthy but the complexity they hint at is just that, the merest hint of the thrilling rollercoaster of extravagance and delight you’re about to experience. A plethora of small plates will bring you more ingredients, concepts and techniques than you could dream of. It’s breathtaking, a clear demonstration of a chef and brigade at the very top of their game. You might begin with ‘Parfums de Terre’ – which is duck foie gras terrine marinated with crème de cassis; Sauterne jelly with juniper, caramelised onions and celeriac cream flash-smoked cocotte: stuffed baby artichoke, baby spinach, beetroot syrup, pluma puff pastry, Dorset snails, aubergine cream with Crozes-Hermitage Domaine des Lises 2017, corn ice cream with Madagascan vanilla, and English peas. For your main, choose ‘from the sea’ or ‘from the land’ – maybe salt-chamber-aged Creedy duck, marinated with coffee beans, buckwheat grains, angelica and grapefruit, roasted ‘en bateau’ with braised turnips and radishes coated in a foie gras sauce; with pickled apricots, daikon, and potato knödel filled with smoked duck leg. Chocolate soufflé may sound simple but involves a similar list of techniques and ingredients. The 25 minutes you’ll need to wait for it will give you some time to recover from the intensity of your dinner.
Facilities – at a glance
Credit cards accepted
- Seats: 45
- Private dining available
- Steps for wheelchair: 32
- Assist dogs welcome
- Closed: 2 weeks during Easter, 2 weeks during the summer, 2 weeks during winter, Christmas Day
- Wines over £30: 864
- Wines by the glass: 113
- Cuisine style: Modern European
- Vegetarian menu
Also in the area
About the area
The UK's capital was founded by the Romans shortly after they invaded in 43AD. Since then it’s evolved into one of the greatest cities on earth. From a bloody, squalid history to the vanguard of fashion in the Swinging 1960s to the buzzing metropolis it is today, London has something for everyone. There are very British pursuits like the Oxford and Cambridge boat race, changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and an impressive collection of traditional English pubs. And that’s not to mention world-renowned arts venues, galleries and museums, award-winning theatre and unrivalled shopping – all found within a few Tube stops of each other.
London’s royal history is not to be missed. Visitors can roam around one of Britain’s finest medieval castles and royal prison, and learn about the final days of Anne Boleyn at the Tower of London or, for the less bloodthirsty, visit the Queen’s London home, Buckingham Palace. Don’t miss out on exploring the capital’s Royal Parks – from St James’ Park and Hyde Park in the centre to the majestic Hampton Court and wilderness of Richmond Park in the southwest.
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