I like to think of myself as a foodie, I love trying all kinds of exotic foods, discovering new flavours and unusual ingredients. Sadly I don't have an unlimited food budget so I normally have to limit myself to the more affordable end of the London restaurant price scale, however, it is definitely good to push the boat out every now and then! So I didn't take much convincing to use my recent birthday as the perfect excuse to book a day off work and try out some Michelin star dining. We went to Sketch, on Conduit street, a quirky and unpretentious place with a fantastic reputation for fine food. On arrival, we were given a quick tour around the various rooms including the impressive gallery room, described by our host as a 'video art installation dining experience', but what I can only describe as a huge, all-white room filled with white sofas and tables, with a giant psychedelic pacman-style video running all around the upper walls of the room. We were then led upstairs where the doors were opened to the magnificent Lecture room, run by head chef Pierre Gagnaire. The decor was at all times modern and unusual, a fascinating mixture of antique furniture and modern abstract art. The service was incredible, but unaccustomed as I am to fine dining, I did feel slightly ridiculous when I returned from the bathroom to find my napkin re-folded into an origami sculpture and a waiter rushing over to help tuck my chair in under me. The bathrooms by the way were equally crazy, a darkened chamber full of floor-to-ceiling mirrors and crystalline spider webs.
|Sea trout and shrimps with samphire|
Now I must move onto the food!. We went for the gourmet lunch menu, which presented each person with four starters, a main course, two desserts, 1/2 bottle of wine and coffee for the very reasonable price of £48 a head. Everything was exquisitely presented, with the utmost care and attention to detail showing through in every dish. The photos here really don't do the food justice as I tried to hastily snap away without anyone noticing. My sea trout main course was amazing, a wonderful balance of the sweet fish with the salty samphire and the bitter Guiness jelly cubes. We left feeling full to the brim and very happy with the world.