Overhyped, overpriced and over here. That's what the critics said about Sketch when it first opened. More than two years later it's still here and doing incredibly well - and deservedly so.
Set in a Grade II-listed building in Mayfair, Sketch is unlike anything London has ever seen. A gallery, a tearoom, a patisserie, two bars, an informal eaterie and The Lecture Room on the first floor.
This Michelin-starred restaurant evokes a huge, spacious drawing room with a luxurious finish throughout.
The menu, created by head chef Pierre Gagnaire, is both delicious and worth the money. The fixed lunch menu is ideal, whether for business or a social occasion. On choosing your main (I'd recommend the shellfish soup), you are presented with an amazing selection of small side dishes to accompany each course; each to be eaten in a specific order to maximise the taste.
Meanwhile, sommelier Frederic Brugues offers a wine list that must be where some of the initial investment was surely directed.
The staff are efficient and meticulous, yet not too formal.
Despite its critics, I love this place and admire the fact that its owners have taken more than a few risks to bring London a world-class establishment that delivers without compromise.
Where: 9 Conduit Street, London, W1
Contact: 0870 777 4488
How much: £35 for fixed lunch menu