Never one to do things by halves, beloved London restaurant Sketch has unveiled the 2022 iteration of its iconic Christmas installation, entitled ‘A Georgian Christmas’, and it’s as wonderfully over the top as ever.
While 2021’s festive decorations took guests on a trip to Vegas via its ‘What Happens at Sketch, Stays at Sketch’ theme, this year’s exhibit looks to the building’s origins for its inspiration. Designed by architect James Wyatt in the late 1700s, 9 Conduit Street is a gleaming example of Georgian architecture, complete with pristine arched windows and white façade.
However, this is Sketch after all, so this Georgian inspiration is a starting point only – the finished result is as whacky as you’d expect.
Each of the building’s distinct areas has been reimagined by a different floral artist for ‘A Georgian Christmas’, with each expressing their own interpretation of the Georgian theme. Ushering guests through the columned front door is JamJar Flowers, who has transformed the reception area into a dazzling 18th-century parlor. Sugary pink drapes billow from the ceiling, with twinkling fairy lights, gilded foliage and red velvet bows setting a suitably extravagant scene.
Beyond the entrance hall, the classic image of a Georgian woman dressed up to the nines in a handmade period ballgown and elaborate towering wig stands proud against the ruby walls. A hidden stand behind even allows guests to step up and don the wig themselves. Looking down on the scene is a life-sized white peacock, which acts as a fitting mascot for one of London’s most hedonistic eras.
Upstairs, Ricky Paul draws inspiration from the mystical tales of yesteryear for his installation in the three-Michelin-starred The Lecture Room & Library. Taking center stage in the middle of the room is an appropriately out-of-this-world winged Pegasus – adorned with 2,000 roses, poinsettia bells and a silver foliage mane – that dances through the sky above a cloud of gold and crimson blooms. Ricky Paul was also tasked with adding a festive flourish to Sketch’s iconic pod-style washrooms, where a golden urn overflows with rainbow-hued foliage.
‘A Georgian Christmas’ flows through to The Glade, Sketch’s magical all-day dining area and bar. Here, Figa & Co has installed a timeless iteration of the traditional candelabra, with five chandeliers seamlessly suspended amid reaching dried branches. Dripping in sparkling lights, cascades of pearls and cut glass, the scene feels straight off the set of a Georgian-era A Midsummer Night’s Dream performance.
To add an extra level of Christmas delight, Sketch has also launched a limited-edition Festive Afternoon Tea, which will be exclusively served in the Gallery restaurant. Having recently shed its iconic pink décor, the Gallery room is now a vision of sunshine yellow. Guests can also indulge in three limited cocktails, each of which has been crafted by the Sketch bar team to reflect the three floral artists and their installations.
‘A Georgian Christmas’ is on display from now through January 6th. Festive Afternoon Tea from £85 ($100) per person, sketch.london