It doesn’t seem that long ago that I had waved goodbye to this familiar face as she moved home to Dublin. I won’t lie, it’s been an adjustment not being able to pick up the phone as and when I’ve wanted to- even the dinner trips to sample everything London has to offer have dwindled. In short, it just ain’t been the same!
It was only a quick weekend trip to London for Ismay and we had set aside one evening for doing what we do best- eating. This time, in the pink palace that is the Gallery at Sketch.
Oh, and a sleepover, because old habits never die.
After lumping suitcases, packets of Tayto’s and Barry’s Tea at my flat, we had just enough time to squeeze in some shopping on Oxford Street (late night Thursday’s, woop woop!) before making our reservation at Sketch.
Up the stone steps, pass the hopscotch floor and towards the curtained wall with the quirky pottery by David Shrigley on display (that briefly made me consider a smash and grab job)
As you walk through the dimly lit foyer of Sketch, and pass the decoupaged fairy tale that is The Glade, it’s an explosion of pink as you walk into the Gallery.
Plush pink velvet seats and pink walls, lined with framed sketches, and a warm glow from the little lanterns on every table. It’s playful and pretty and if there was ever a place to have your cake and eat it too, it’s here.
This being Sketch, service was excellent. I relaxed my alcohol ban for the night, and had one cocktail (I know, rocking) and that velvety vanilla martini concoction was worth every sip.
So, I said that Sketch was playful.
There’s a paper pop up of forks as you open your menu.
The kooky David Shrigley dinnerware matches his artwork on the wall.
And, the toilets. I don’t think there’s a toilet anywhere quite as famous. It’s like a disco had a baby with a spaceship. Egg shaped pods instead of cubicles, and space beeps and blips as you shut yourself into one of the pods.
…also, there’s a boy side and a girl side. We learnt this the hard way.
(but really, who pays attention to the colour of lights anyway?)
Anyhoo, food time.
We split our starters…and main. There’s no kind of boundary when we go out to eat together, call it family style or ‘what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours’ mentality. I don’t understand people who won’t share- you need to maximise the taste sensations!
Leeks and razor clams and foie gras terrine (with shards of Dulcey chocolate , oh em gee) started our meal off on the right track. The razor clams were beautifully presented within the clam shell, within a leek. The foie gras, usually a dish I find too rich, wasn’t so on this occasion. The shards of chocolate added a nice sweet-and-salty combination too.
I didn’t take a photo of the razor clams because at that point, an older gentleman and his lady friend sat at the table next to us and I decided to go blogger incognito. Three years of blogging and I still get bashful when it comes to taking pictures of my food in public. Oy.
But, the moment passed when it came to mains!
I ordered the mint lamb croquette, served with a little salad and a single lamb cutlet. I mean, cotelette. It came with a teeny little jug of gravy. Ismay ordered the Black Angus sirloin steak, that also came with a little jug of gravy. Teeny tiny jugs of gravy for the win! It also came with sweetcorn puree- I liked it, she didn’t.
We shared an order of french fries, because when french fries are offered on the menu, you must get them.
We skipped dessert, deciding instead that a cup of tea at home was a nicer option then of course spent ages in the space egg loos taking mirror selfies because, what’s the point in going to Sketch if you don’t?
The bill was settled, and we took a walk along Regent Street- looking all Londony and patriotic as the sun went down…
Once home, the blow up bed was blown up, the tea was brewed, the jammies went on, and a Netflix show was put on (Ali Wong’s Baby Cobra stand up, it won’t disappoint)
Even though I had to be up early in the morning, because builders and doctor appointments, it felt good to cram in some BFF time. To have unfiltered conversations, to be as gross as you really are, to whinge, to whine, and listen. That beats any trip to any fancy restaurant.
And as this post goes live, she will be up in the air, flying back to the Emerald Isle. My stories and gripes will have to be stored up for another time. My life of building work and specialists will resume, until my Whatsapp alert pops up and I see the word “Mans…” and then everything is okay again.
9 Conduit St, London, W1S 2XG
T: 020 7659 4500