If one thing is for certain, it’s that London knows how to do Christmas, with the city’s most prestigious addresses going all out for the holidays. Last week saw dining hotspot Sketch reveal the 19th iteration of its highly anticipated festive installation – and we were among the first through the doors to see it.
Tucked away in a Georgian townhouse on a side street just moments from the bustle of Oxford Circus, like all of the most exclusive restaurants, Sketch has an unassuming façade – but a treasure trove of outlandish interior delights hide inside.
Once through the doors, the Vegas-inspired ‘What Happens at Sketch, Stays at Sketch’ installation welcomes guests with a neon boulevard of Christmas lights – that is garish in a way that only Sketch can pull off – which leads into the restaurant’s very own festive arcade, complete with retro games console.
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Pass through the light show to the enchanted playground that is the Glade, where you are greeted by the distinctively festive scent of pine trees, thanks to florist Carly Rogers’ gravity-defying display of Christmas trees, artfully suspended from the ceiling. In the Glade dining room, guests can enjoy a festive take on the vegetarian Garden Menu, created by executive chef Frédéric Don in response to a growing demand for more vegetable-focused dishes.
Opposite the Glade is the picture-perfect Gallery dining room, where sugar-pink walls are adorned with an exclusive collection of satirical artworks by David Shrigley. During the holiday season, guests are invited to indulge in a festive afternoon tea in the Gallery, accompanied by a range of delicious English sparkling wines that were recently added to Sketch’s wine list by sommelier Frederic Brugues in a bid to not only showcase the bounty of homegrown labels but also reduce the bar’s environmental footprint. As you sip bubbles and nibble sweet treats, a ballerina straight out of the pages of a storybook will make her way gracefully through the space for an intimate festive performance.
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Descend up the stairs, above the madness of the neon entrance hall, and you’ll find Sketch’s pièce de resistance: the three-Michelin-starred Lecture Room & Library. With head chef Johannes Nuding at the helm, the revered eatery will be serving a series of impeccably executed set menus throughout the holiday season.
And finally, as always, Sketch has added a festive touch to the most photographed loos in London (yes, really) as part of this year’s Christmas installation. For 2021, the iconic pods have been joined by a golden palm tree flanked by a pair of hot pink rotating flamingos, surrounded by a display of feathers, foliage and gifts in varying shades of pink by floral designer Ricky Paul.
Bookings via sketch.london