Where to Eat in London: Sketch

Sketch | European | All-day Menu | Mayfair | Website
– reservations available –
Sketch is arguably as tasty on the eyes, as it is the tummy.
As soon as you walk into the exquisite hallway, you know what to expect.
The decor is eclectic and rich – Sketch and it’s various rooms were designed by artists.
A restaurant that used to house the HQ of Christian Dior wouldn’t be expected of anything else though, no?
So what was the food like?
I didn’t think the food could be any better than the decor, I find that a restaurant usually excels in one or the other.
So as we were lead to our table in The Glade, I was certain that our afternoon lunch had climaxed already. Yet Sketch surprised me. We ordered their opulent (and largest) ‘Sketch Afternoon Tea’, to celebrate my friend’s graduation – nothing is more deserving of a luxurious lunch than 3 hard years at university. It comes per person, or there is a lighter version for two – we choose the ‘lighter’ version, as the menu seemed quite intimidating. Selections of beautiful cakes, scones, sandwiches and macarons fit for Marie Antoinette, layered the cake stand. Every bite was full of delicate, yet distinct flavour, leaving us wanting more. This is certainly no ordinary Afternoon Tea.
Eating at Sketch is an experience as much as it is a delight.
Taking into consideration the decadence and price, it certainly isn’t an everyday treat though.
However if you have the chance to go, snap it up, because bookings are taken months in advance.
Sketch lived up to it’s reputation – the food and surroundings were magnificent.
I’m already trying to figure out what to celebrate next, as an excuse to visit!

Where to Eat in London: Fabrique Swedish Bakery

Fabrique | Swedish Bakery Cafe | Hoxton | Website
– reservations not available –

Who would have thought that one of the best Swedish bakeries in London would be located in the railway arches underneath of Hoxton station? The setting is contemporary, and might seem a little odd, but ultimately adds character to the store. It’s also pretty easy to find – just exit Hoxton station and turn right, within less than a minute you will be gazing at Fabrique’s big red doors, ready for some Fika.

The artisanal bakery is the first outside of Stockholm, making Londoners very lucky indeed. Offering Swedish coffee by Johan & Nyström, and a large selection of buns, flapjacks, brownies, rolls and more you won’t be left lonely for choice. There are only a few tables to sit at, but most customers are on the go, so there’s usually the odd table to hijack with a friend or two. My friend and I visited on a Sunday afternoon around 3pm and whereas there were a few people sat at tables, we found a seat out front and enjoyed a Cardamon Bun and an Earl Grey tea with ease. It might seem odd that I choose a Cardamon Bun rather than Fabrique’s famous Cinnamon Bun, but actually I’d tried the latter before and wanted to try something new instead. Whereas their Cinnamon Buns have earned rave reviews, and I did enjoy mine, I loved the Cardamon Bun even more. I also now go back weekly for their sourdough rye rolls – honestly the best sourdough I’ve ever had. The staff are lovely, very helpful and always up for a chat.

Fika is open Tuesday-Sunday until 6pm.
You can find out more on their website, here.

 

Where to Eat in London: Dishoom

Dishoom | Bombay Cuisine | All-day Menu | Shoreditch | Website
– reservations available –
 
If I told you there was a Bombay Cafe in East London, you’d probably think I was crazy.
Well I may be a little weird, but I’m definitely not crazy, because right in the heart of Shoreditch is Dishoom.
Drawing inspiration from the elegance of the old cafes in Bombay, Dishoom is as beautiful inside as the food is delicious.
We stopped for brunch on a Saturday morning, around 10:30am.
It wasn’t busy but there were a few couples and groups dotted about.
Breakfast is served until 11:30am on weekdays, and 1pm on weekends (possible hangover cure?).
The inside of the restaurant is spacious and gorgeously decorated in a rustic Bombay-inspired manner.
We were sat by a very chilled matradee and served by a friendly waitress, both whom matched the atmosphere.
I was enticed by the variety of food on the breakfast menu, especially when I saw the Indian inspiration.
I’d heard that the ‘Spicy Chai’ was amazing, so I ordered one for myself, whilst the fiance had the ‘Breakfast Lassi’.
He went for the ‘Full Bombay’ and I filled up on the ‘House Porridge’ & ‘Fire Toast – we were both impressed.
Whereas I was intimidated by the spicy scrambled egg, the fiancé said it was “the best [he’d] ever had.”
We both enjoy our food (probably more than the next person), so after we both said we’d be back I knew it was a hit! Next time I definitely plan to have the ‘Chocolate Spicy Chai’ and the ‘Sausage Naan Roll’ (an interesting sounding take on an English staple), or the ‘Bombay Omelette’ – if I’m feeling brave (I can’t handle spice). The prices were reasonable and the food amazing. I’ll be trying out the lunch (I may have already arranged a date with a friend) and the dinner menu soon.
Check out Dishoom’s website here.

Where to Eat in London: Fika

Fika | Scandinavian | Lunch/Dinner | Brick Lane | Website
– reservations available –

I’m a pretty big foodie, if you hadn’t already guessed, so sometimes I like to post about food in London. This is an ongoing series (you can find the series here) as my love for food and discovering new bars, restaurants etc. continues to blossom. Lately I’ve decided to do special feature posts for places that really stand out to me. Today is Fika – a Swedish ‘Bar & Grille’ that has an amazingly relaxed atmosphere.

I’ve been before for Fika (Swedish for coffee break), when I had tea, gorgonzola & ginger biscuits. We were so impressed that I decided to take my fiancé back there for a post-Valentine’s Day meal. This time we had lunch and a very special treat of Semla, which is a traditional sweet roll eaten at Lent. It’s basically the Scandinavian version of Pancakes for Pancake Day, so I wanted to reserve a couple and enjoy it. The roll is very much like a bread roll (spiced with cardamon seeds), but hollowed out and filled with almond paste & whipped cream. It was certainly something different, and I didn’t dislike it, in fact it was nice as it wasn’t too sweet, although I think I would have enjoyed it slightly more if there had been extra almond paste – but it’s a favourite of mine, so I’m biased.

Before our Semla, we indulged in some lunch where I had Swedish Meatballs and the fiance had Lax Planka Salmon both of which were wonderful, and full of flavour! The meatballs came with the oh-so Swedish traditional accompaniment of mashed potato, red wine sauce and lingonberry jam. You might think that the lingonberry and red wine would counteract each other, as they’re both strong flavours, however both complimented the other, and the dish, very well. The portion sizes were perfect and left me feeling full, but not enough that I couldn’t fit in something sweet.

Fika are offering Semla for the whole of February, but you’ll need to book.