Sketch London

Sketch London Afternoon Tea Room Ladies at Sketch – The Parlour

Sketch London Afternoon Tea Room Ladies at Sketch – The Parlour

I met someone last Sunday who might sincerely believe she was stamped [ROYALTY] on her backside when she was born. Not a great way to start this most elegant, gorgeous and wonderful blog post but it’s gotta be done.

Some women think they’re princesses. I mean there’s nothing wrong with getting the princess treatment, to be pampered like a princess (each to their own I suppose) if that existence wasn’t one that bothered humble, noble plebians like us. Fair enough, I suppose princesses do still exist in this day and age but that’s no reason for me to sit about content that I’m acting like someone’s slave. If you want a personal slave, hire one or go invent an android. Anything. Just get off your bum and do something remotely productive.

sketch london afternoon tea

In the world of retail (and let’s be more specific and narrow that down to fashion retail), employer-employee-customer relations can be damn tricky. And when customers are the weirdest, rudest and unappreciative, it’s hard to restrain ourselves from saying something like: ‘What? Are you dumb?’ or when you’ve really reached your limit with these little kids trying on clothes that barely cover their arses and are determined on turning the fitting rooms into a jungle, ‘Oi kids, get out. And never come back’. And then when it comes to shoplifters, ah don’t even get me started on that one. I get red and angry as a beetroot. At the end of the day, after the frustrations gradually melt away in the steam from a hot cuppa tea, I suppose it’s still something to learn from, to muse and quite often to laugh about (after about 3 paragraphs of passionate bitching). I was planning on telling the story of Princess A and her Eyebag Boyfriend. It got really good typing it away and therefore, forgetting the more urgent issue of my research proposal but the whole story sorta turned into a sarcasm-dripping, black humour infused bitch fest. So I cut that out completely.

Couldn’t let that ruin your visual appetite for these lovely sweets from Sketch – The Parlour, now could I? I’d be a horrible foodie to do that to you. And if you really were itching for a good story (or bitch), you know you’ll definitely need to join us Tea Ladies for our next meet-up. Suyin’s got some good ones from work too and Mowie’s so calm and lovely, he’ll sort out your ruffled nerves instantly with that good humour of his. If all this mean gossip talk’s put you off, can I say once that’s over and done with, we really do immerse ourselves in delicate, ladylike chatter too?

Sketch - The Parlou

So. There are princesses. And then, there are princesses. At Sketch, you are made to feel just a little bit like one. Step in and you’re instant cake royalty – the good kind. Lush interiors, Victorian furniture, big windows and floor-skimming curtains, rich upholstery and carpeting, dim lights and decadent atmosphere spliced with quirky pop art and caricature posters and skull lamp-shades. Sketch is an eclectic mix of things classic, vintage, grunge and of pop culture. Once you’re sat at a table (if you get one, guard your fortress like I did as tables are hard to come by. I saw Suyin go walking by through the window a little lost but nope, stayed and stubbornly guarded my table instead of going out to welcome her. I’m that bad a friend but that loyal a cake fan), you’ll see all the menus of the day printed in elegant calligraphic script slipped into the pages of a frayed old hardcover book (mine was Chemistry right smack in the formulas of CH3 COOH or something like that). Instantly feeling like Alice in a strange and exotic wonderland, you’ll be impressed with the huge variety of drinks, cocktails, mocktails, appetizers, teas and sweets to accompany it. You’re almost convinced you’re eating with vintage silver cutlery too!

And I positively felt a bit like Marie Antoinette at certain moments too. Decadently surrounded by lavish furniture and crazily beautiful pastry, waited on my beautiful wait-staff dressed in flocked floral and ruffly uniforms. It’s like simply the thing of dreams!

sketch london afternoon tea 2

Of course, us Tea Ladies with a sweet-tooth bigger than the universe when put together went straight to the Signature Cakes menu. We were in heaven. There was nothing we could fault. Each cake and pastry was perfectly made, perfectly served and dreamy to taste. The little descriptions on the menu helped us deconstruct and draw out the tastes of each bite on our tongues, making it last as long as possible. I licked my fork quite a few times to get every bit of pastry cream. I was quite unembarrassed to do that actually. Sketch’s pastry chef got everything right and it was hard to say which one was the best or favourite. Every one was great in their own way. I gotta admit I was thoroughly impressed with the pastry cream though and the moistness of the pannacotta encased within the tart base and a white chocolate top layer.

Pannacotta Tartlet - tonka bean macaron, Medjool dates, fresh and preserved grapefruit
Pannacotta Tartlet – tonka bean macaron, Medjool dates, fresh and preserved grapefruit
Pâte à Choux - pâte à choux, lemon pastry cream, mango and passion fruit jelly, vanilla and almond whipped cream
Pâte à Choux – pâte à choux, lemon pastry cream, mango and passion fruit jelly, vanilla and almond whipped cream

The next was blackcurrant heaven. Can’t wait to eat this one again as it was very refreshing and the dark purple shade was extreme food porn for me! The same shade as my bedding actually. The blackcurrant marmalade…one word: exquisite.

Cardinal - blackcurrant macaron, blackcurrant marmalade and violet mousseline cream, garnished with a blueberry and sugared petal
Cardinal – blackcurrant macaron, blackcurrant marmalade and violet mousseline cream, garnished with a blueberry and sugared petal

And the last but not the least at all…one to make the Maya gods proud.

Café Guanaja - hazelnut and praline, Guanaja chocolate cream, sacher biscuit, coffee and sabayon chocolate cream
Café Guanaja – hazelnut and praline, Guanaja chocolate cream, sacher biscuit, coffee and sabayon chocolate cream

This quirky, edgy, cool and extremely stylish place is one to visit again and again, whether it’s the Parlour, the Michelin star dining room aka The Lecture Room & Library or the evening bar The Glade or the art gallery which turns into a gastro-brasserie by night aka The Gallery. Hmm…pardon me saying so, but even hanging out in the toilets and the experience en route to the ladies was quite glorious. Don’t believe me? Check it out. Fancy lights, jewel-studded flush buttons and giant jewel handles. You can’t get as cool as that.


9 Conduit Street
Tel.: 020 7659 4500
•eat music drink art•
Afternoon Tea @ The Parlour: 3 – 6pm

23 Responses to “Tea Room Ladies at Sketch – The Parlour”
Su-yinSu-yin Says:
March 12th, at 1:19 pm
Great write up – I can’t wait to go back to try the afternoon tea set with all those mini cakes! Ahem. 😉

Kitchen ButterflyKitchen Butterfly Says:
March 12th, at 7:32 pm
What a lovely outing….and the desserts look lovely……..hmmm, save me some!

MowieMowie Says:
March 13th, at 1:28 am
Good times! =)

I had no idea you were taking that pic of me – did you see my face when I realised? I thought you were taking pics of the dessert!

I’m still dreaming of that blackcurrant macaron – it was a dream on a plate!

divadiva Says:
March 13th, at 11:14 am
Su-yin: Yes def. Let’s get the whole shebang…I want everything pocket-size!

Kitchen Butterfly: We will. Come join us the next time we head out Ozoz!

Mowie: Are you quite relieved I didn’t put up the other picture of you where you’re trying to grab all the plates at once? 😛 Very happy to have your beautiful face on my blog Mowie! Yes…that blackcurrant macaron. Yum! And so pretty….I was sad to cut it in half.


Girl JapanGirl Japan Says:
March 14th, at 1:19 am
I totally miss going to the tea room in NYC.. OMG.. and who is that cute hunk in front of you?

Julia @ MélangerJulia @ Mélanger Says:
March 14th, at 10:30 am
I have to say, this has to be one of the most delicious line ups of sweet treats I’ve seen in one place. I so wish London was around the corner for me!

divadiva Says:
March 14th, at 10:36 am
Girl Japan: AH. I want to go to..NYC..I’ve yet to go. That gorgeous hunk is our lovely Mowie from 😀
Julia @ Mélanger: I have to agree too. It’s a tea room experience that totally blew our minds. And there are so many more things to try on that menu. We had a hard time just picking 4!


ManggyManggy Says:
March 14th, at 2:26 pm
Oh goodness, sorry to hear about your customer woes. Some people are just burdened with their own stupidity, so they are more to be pitied, I think. Anyway, this looks like the perfect place to just treat yourself and be pampered (with food). Everything looks beautiful (incl. Mowie? Lol). Hang in there.

Ju (The Little Teochew)Ju (The Little Teochew) Says:
March 14th, at 4:15 pm
Oh my, those desserts are divine!! Absolutely loved gawking at all the pretty china too. Ah, indulgence!

Michael @ Herbivoracious.comMichael @ Says:
March 14th, at 8:34 pm
Wow, this is stunning. Great job covering it. Love the idea of the formulas in the menu.

cattycatty Says:
March 14th, at 10:20 pm
Wow tea at Sketch looks really great, I think I need to go back, just for the pâte à choux if nothing else! And yes, there are princesses and there are princesses and we all need to be treated like princesses some times! 😉

zenchefzenchef Says:
March 15th, at 3:52 am
Oh my gawd, i thought i was gonna get a sugar rush just from looking at those delicious pictures but instead i got all dreamy when you described the perfect pastry cream and the moistness of the panna cotta tart with white chocolate top.

Next time i come to London i want a tour of all the goodies! It’s not fair that it’s the Londoners that get to have all the fun. 🙂

noobcooknoobcook Says:
March 16th, at 1:46 pm
not fair! we don’t have such a nice place in Singapore! hehe

MaiMai Says:
March 17th, at 5:41 pm
I like how you started with the bad kind of princesses to lead to the good kind! And that blackcurrant macaron looks just like a mangosteen! What is the white thing in the middle?

divadiva Says:
March 17th, at 10:21 pm
Mai: haha bad princesses get good. The white stuff in the middle is whipped cream I think. It was cream piped on top of the blackcurrant marmalade. Yum! Oh it does you know! And it was so rich in colour, I bet it could stain as bad as mangosteen peel


thatssoronthatssoron Says:
March 18th, at 1:13 am
Hey there…

wow the pictures of those cakes made me drool!!!
sorry too much info!!! haha

NicNic Says:
March 19th, at 1:46 pm
Just finished licking the screen clean – fab desserts, you lucky thing!

Sweets By VickySweets By Vicky Says:
March 20th, at 1:27 am
I was recommended by a dear friend to try this place out when I visit in July. She tells me it’s pricey but definitely worth a splurge, while wearing your best, of course. The scones are apparently AWESOME!

DanielleDanielle Says:
March 20th, at 6:21 pm
That skyscraper-high pate a choux along with the Cardinal completely floored me! Wish I was in London right now for a ‘Royal’ tea party 😉

Sarah, Maison CupcakeSarah, Maison Cupcake Says:
March 21st, at 8:22 am
What a fabulous afternoon out! I am so envious! I saw sketch on the last series of Masterchef The Professionals when they did the patisserie stuff in the semi final and it looks way out! I definitely want to come for afternoon tea next time!

bettybetty Says:
March 23rd, at 5:36 am
this place looks gorgeous! & those desserts are so droolworthy!!

KangKang Says:
March 23rd, at 2:49 pm
Sketch is very nice indeed.. and great photos, particularly liked the one of the room! You should give the Lecture Room lunch menu a try – I think it’s £38 for four courses. It’s upstairs and is a really,really stunning room 🙂 Makes Parlour look almost insignificant.

Carolyn JungCarolyn Jung Says:
March 23rd, at 9:42 pm
Oooh la la, what a memorable time that looked to be. I, for one, would love to go there just for that sinful looking Cardinal tart.