On a quiet street in London's busy West End stands an interesting establishment called Sketch. Housed in a traditional white-washed 18-century building two doors from to the sumptuous The East India Company tea specialist on Conduit Street, passersby may notice the gravity-defying Great Dane sculpture on its exterior wall but easily miss the discreet, darkened entrance.
Behind the heavy drapery is where the magic begins. Once your eyes adjust to the dimly lit space, you'll notice that everywhere there's light, there's something wondrous to be discovered. I fee like I've gone down the rabbit hole and been transported to a world far, far away. I have come to a place like no other.
Opened more than a decade ago, the concept of Sketch still feels avant-garde in today's cutting edge London. The multiple personality venue is a "triple dream" - a place for art, food, and music. Just to kick things up a notch, it also has a futuristic bathroom once crowned the No. 1 must-visit toilet by TimeOut London.
This delightful wonderland is the brainchild of an international restaurateur and a French culinary master, and their influences are evident in every detail. Algerian-born Mourad Mazouz (the man behind the stylish Moroccan restaurant MOMO) collaborated with three-Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire to create a dream world for lovers of all things beautiful - from the artworks on the wall, the eccentric yet comfortable furniture, to the food you taste and the plates it's served on.
Sketch offers five options for food and drinks: (1) the Lecture Room -- the Michelin-starred dining room serving lunch and dinner; (2) the Gallery -- a gastro-brasserie open for afternoon tea and dinner; (3) the Glade -- a whimsical woodland bar serving breakfast (weekends only), afternoon tea and comfort food; (4) the Parlour -- a dark and sophisticated lounge with all-day dining; and (5) the East Bar -- an intimate, circular space curiously located below the famous bathroom.
We had dinner at the Gallery, a room dipped in bright pink paint with 200+ original drawings by British artist David Shrigley adorning its walls, part of an "artist-conceived restaurants" programme that sees this space completely transformed by a new artist every two years. While I found the bubble gum palette playful and uplifting, my friend couldn't get pass its resemblance to Pepto-Bismo.
Luckily for our tummies, the food here was anything but upsetting. Everything on the menu had an element of surprise and the unorthodox combination of ingredients turned out to go amazingly well together. (Pig's trotter and kimchi or scallops with curried popcorn, anyone?)
The adorable tableware (also designed by Shrigley) that told me I'd cleaned all my plates was the finishing touch in this fun and fantastic dining experience.
「Sketch」在倫敦雖已有十多年的歷史，不過它前衛的理念在這個時髦的城市仍廣受好評。這是個「多重人格」的夢幻場地，向來以獨特，離奇的藝術品，美食與音樂為標榜。不過它的成名之作是間未來風格的洗手間，曾被 TimeOut 休閒指南封為倫敦必參觀的廁所第一名。
「Sketch」裡分成五區：(1) the Lecture Room 是米其林級餐廳，提供午餐和晚餐; (2) the Gallery 是個餐廳-畫廊混合體，提供下午茶和晚餐; (3) the Glade - 是個童話般的森林主題空間，供應早餐（僅週末），下午茶和輕食; (4) the Parlour - 昏暗的休息室，提供全天候飲食; (5) the East Bar - 舒適的圓形空間，位於洗手間正下方。
我們在 The Gallery 用晚餐。餐廳裡的每一面牆都漆上了亮眼的粉紅色，掛著200多幅英國藝術家 David Shrigley 的素描原作。原來這獨特的裝潢是「藝術家構思餐廳」計劃的一部份，每兩年「Sketch」就會邀請一位新的藝術家來替 The Gallery 改頭換面。我個人是挺喜歡餐廳的泡泡糖顏色，感覺像在芭比娃娃的家裡用餐，不過我的朋友指出這調色很像 Pepto-Bismo舒胃藥，好像也有點道理。
餐廳裡使用的全部餐具也是 Shrigley 設計的，融合了可愛的手寫字體，是這次用餐體驗的點睛之筆。
9 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XG
Phone: +44 020 7659 4500
Click for Opening Hours
廁所，是「sketch」的成名作，不過它的食物和下午茶也很值得一試。好消息是現在直到三月底還有 £50 的午晚餐折扣呢！把握時機，找個朋友一起來享受美食，迎接新年吧。
Sketch, home of London's No. 1 must-see bathroom, is offering everyone a £50 gift voucher to dine at their beautiful restaurants until the end of March.