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SKETCH
9 Conduit Street
London
W1S 2XG
Reservations: 08707774488
Open to the public (daytime): 10am-5pm
Reservations only (evening): 7pm-2am
REVIEW:
Eat Music Drink Art is a catchphrase well chosen by the creators of Sketch, and they have done well in capturing all four golden eggs in one sleek basket.
Pass the tempting delicacies of the patisserie – be brave – and head straight for the clear red doors of the West Bar. With a seating capacity of forty – or eighty standing - the bar, although empty during the time I visited (3.00pm until 5.00pm on a Tuesday) felt somewhat cluttered by the furniture. Initially, the bright lighting did little to warm me to the room but they were dimmed in preparation for the arrival of the members later on.
The menu is the size of a daily tabloid; the drinks on offer laid out in equally as hap hazardous a fashion. I had lost interest by page two and opted to seek the barman’s advice.
My colleague suggested a hot toddy and the barman served up a satisfactory tipple to stave off the cold sterility of the room. Bar manager Simon Robinson seems to have a team well set behind the bar. The service was efficient and helpful, the barman well-informed and immaculately presented. At 5pm the atmosphere began to buzz with the arrival of staff shifting discreetly hidden furniture from inside the walls of the West Bar into the Gallery (a door on the right). This room is a space left open to view films by the likes of Ewen Spencer and Gerard Cairaschi as well as George Chakravarthi and Claire Davies but at night sinks into the smoky arms of a buzzing brasserie.
Leading out of the West bar via the gallery, is the East Bar where the barman stands within a circular curl of light at virtually ground level. It is a rather disconcerting experience since I could not help but wonder what accidentally dropped missiles the staff would suffer – despite the envious views of bronzed calves and perspectives Big Brother producers would kill for.
Noe Duchafour Lawrance and Mourad Mazouz have opted for a minimalist, near Philippe Stark approach in their design and Mehbs Yaqub has added futuristic chic a la Alien to the blend. I paid a visit to the men’s and was impressed by the jewelry box effect the many mirrors created. To call the ladies and gents sweeping above the womblike East Bar toilets, would be a crude stroke of the literary and visual scalpel for the strong, yet delicate mortal design, complete with gleaming oval eggs.
Upstairs in the Library Lecture room the capacity of the restaurant is of 55 people and the price policy is somewhat elitist but expected.
Chris Levine’s lighting arrangement offers warmth to what would otherwise be a cold environment while Pierre Gagnaire offers a demand for good service, high quality drinks, plenty of eye candy to liven up the decor and a quite expensive bill for the treat.
 
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