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Sketch, London W1

The Facts about Sketch

Sketch is a complex and unique site. Conceived by French chef Pierre Gagnaire and Algerian-born restaurateur Mourad ‘Momo’ Mazouz, it has attracted unprecedented media reaction for its myriad food, drink and entertainment styles since it opened in December 2002.

 

Gagnaire’s culinary genius has inspired the menus throughout Sketch. His eponymous Michelin three-starred Paris restaurant has a distinctive menu style which Gagnaire has adapted for Sketch. Executed by his acolytes Gregoire Sein (executive chef) and Pascal Sanchez (head chef), the food is imaginative, bold, ground-breaking and delicious.

 

 

Mazouz’s UK reputation was sealed with the phenomenal success of Momo, the funky north African restaurant and bar he opened in 1997 just off Regent Street, although he was already well-known in France for his celebrated restaurants, Au Bascou and 404. The clever ethnic mix of exotic world music, chic staff and sexy interiors appealed to an international clientele.

 

These two visionaries have come together to create Sketch.

 

In reality, it is difficult to compare Sketch to other London restaurants. The early media reaction to date has largely focused on price before quality with sensational headlines suggesting the most expensive meals in the UK, while ignoring the phenomenal expertise in the kitchens and the execution of dishes and concepts never before witnessed in this country.

 

The triple dream of launching a centre, a ‘lieu’ or destination, for food, art and music has been realised by Mazouz and his team of chefs and designers over two expansive floors of a converted 18th century site in Conduit Street, Mayfair. A Grade II listed building, it was formerly the headquarters of both RIBA and Christian Dior, and has been designed by Mazouz and Paris-based sculptor Noé Douchafour Lawrence. Several other international designers were commissioned for signature pieces which are featured throughout Sketch.

The key dining areas of Sketch are:

• The Lecture Room and Library – The epitome of the food experience at Sketch, The Lecture Room and Library gained its first Michelin star in January 2005. Two adjoining rooms offer comfort, luxury, opulence, elegance and excellence. Each dish in each course comprises a series of impeccable tastes and sensations. The staff ratio to customer is geared to a very personal service. The wine list is international and carefully chosen to complement the food.  And the recent introduction of several new, lower-priced menu options means that the Lecture Room is more accessible and affordable.

• The Gallery - Open to the public until 5pm Monday-Saturday for free access viewing of sensational videos, the space then transforms into an exciting gastro-brasserie for an elite and exquisite mix of London’s style set. The food is an eclectic international combination of tastes, the scene buzzing with appreciation of food, drink, music and art. (In addition, there is the East Bar, adjacent to the Gallery, which is open to diners from 6.30pm until 2.30am from Monday to Saturday. Seating up to 25 people, it has its own bartender and drinks menu.)

• The Parlour - Whimsical, elegant and informal, the Parlour is open from 8am Monday-Friday and 10am on Saturdays for casual meetings, bijoux breakfasts, takeaway treats, perfect little pastries, light lunches, and delectable teas. From 6.30pm The Parlour transforms into an exclusive members bar and special events area. The cocktails and their makers are hip, ingenious and fun.

• The Glade – Opened in September 2005, The Glade is a lunchtimes only restaurant open Monday-Saturday, serving small dishes priced between £4-£16. The menu at the Glade, presents a series of ingredient themes – eggs, chicken, meat, fish, vegetables, cheese and desserts – with several dishes in each category.

 

Sketch, then, is a stylish drop-in centre, open throughout the day for many different purposes and moods. One can spend £5.50 on tea and cake, or £125 on an unforgettable meal of inventive combinations of the best ingredients available in the marketplace.

 

Enquiries and reservations can be made on 0870 777 4488. Sketch is located at 9 Conduit Street, Mayfair, W1 

Click here for Dine Online's review of The Glade at Sketch

 

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