Sketch: Gallery and Glade
When this extraordinary, Grade II-listed gastro-complex opened in 2002, it was the Michelin-starred, £125-a-head Lecture Room and Library that captured the attention of people dining out in London. But you can eat incredibly well at Sketch for far less. At night, the downstairs Gallery – a contemporary art space by day – becomes one of the hippest brasseries in town, its white modernity softened with faux Louis-something chairs and a continuous 360-degree wall projection. The inventive menu (from French superchef and co-owner Pierre Gagnaire) ranges from neo-comfort food (Lobster bisque with three-colour basmati rice and horseradish cream) to expectation-defying genius (bubble- gum ice cream with lemon egg Wurtz and orange-blossom marshmallow). Everyone from supermodels to septuagenarians eats here (the charismatic owner Mourad Mazouz says he hates his customers to be predictable) and it invariably makes for a fun time, if for some style trumps substance. At midnight, the tables are lowered, the loungey tunes cranked up, and the party kicks off. For food that’s both simpler and cheaper (posh club sandwiches, sashimi, cheese plates), check out Glade, a dining room by day, members’ club by night – although the jury’s still out on its modernist-meets-sylvan décor.