Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The Omitted Birthday at sketch ☕️

A glaring omission from my blog is my birthday in 2017 and it's honestly been bothering me a lot! Easy enough to rectify, though.

On Saturday 9th September 2017, I went for a meal at the Glade in sketch, London. The service was underwhelming and at times incredibly rude, though the surroundings were rather lovely. I'm trying to remember why I didn't bother blogging about it but I'm not sure. Maybe because it was a bit rubbish. I don't like leaving things unfinished, however, so for the sake of completion and an opportunity for contrast to the much nicer birthday I just had, here's a brief blitz-through of that experience.

sketch is situated in London's Mayfair, and is usually found on the many "instragrammable locations" lists. Particularly the Gallery (aka, the pink room) finds itself the subject of many a pretty Instagram post and YouTube vlog. It's cute in there, I guess, but I'm not at a point where I feel comfortable paying quite so much money for afternoon tea!

The Glade, on the other hand, is a brunch location within the building, decorated to look like a fairy tale land with prettily papered walls, whimsical lighting and a carpet so full and thick one might easily trip on it due to its moss like textures. The furniture in this room is more ornate, with lots of delicately carved wood which harks back to Victorian decor, and strange glass side tables held up by what appeared to be metal blades of grass.

Pouring my rosebud tea with some randomer next to me.
The wallpaper and lighting were very dreamy.
Very chunky carpet.

I've only had cream tea there twice, and it's... not the best. For my birthday tea, it was OK. I opted for rosebud tea (which caused me some terrible bloating as it brewed for so long and had too many rose buds in the pot) which tasted delicate when combined with the sweetness of the scones and jam. My seat ended up being rather communal: I was sat on one side of an ornate couch, and a stranger on the other, and we each had a different table with our respective partners sat opposite us. It was easy to ignore eventually, but certainly didn't make for the most private experience and was very jarring to begin with. My couch buddy appeared to be on a first date, and I found myself covertly watching the fumbling yet incredibly genuine interaction play out. It was very sweet.

I initially believed there to be a pianist present, but it was actually a programmed piano playing music all the while, sounding out covers of popular songs. It created a pleasant atmosphere, and made me smile whenever I eventually recognised the tunes. 

Still, the fact your reservation is literally timed for a 1 hour slot makes for a meal you can't be leisurely or relaxed about, and I think the subconscious reminder of a time limit affected the experience quite drastically. I consider a cream tea to be a way to unwind and chatter to your heart's content. This could not be done here.

The toilets, as you'll have probably seen a thousand times already, consist of pod like cubicles. Even here I was disappointed. For all the space age decor, the cubicles were not well maintained, smelt terrible, and the sinks outside of them were filthy, despite a cleaner in an overly contrived maid costume wandering around the entire time we were there. What she was actually supposed to be achieving, I will never know. 

I wonder if perhaps the service is so significantly different in the Gallery (which would make sense, given what a full afternoon tea costs there) that those who've dined there have been able to come away with much more positive things to say. I can only speak for the Glade, and frankly, aside from the beautiful decor, I could not recommend it. The food is mediocre (the second time I went there it was actually inedible) and there's one French waitress in particular who is so lacking in people skills that if you're unlucky enough to have her serve you, you'll basically have your entire experience soured by her unpleasant disposition.

My day was rounded off with some wandering around the shops, with Lazy Oaf being one of them, naturally.
Blouse: Anna House
Bolero: offbrand
Jumperskirt: Alice's Ribbon Kingom- Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Shoes: Bodyline
Bag: Angelic Pretty

Crappy cream tea experience aside, I really like my outfit on this day. Alice's Ribbon Kingdom became something of a signature print for me for a while, due to the fact it combines my favourite colours to wear (monochrome and pink), and is generally an easy to coordinate dress. This was also my first time wearing my natural hair as is, with no extensions, and having grown out and cut off all the chemically relaxed parts. It's grown so much since then that I'm finding my pigtails comically short in this photo.

To summarise... well, let's say that turning 25 was much nicer! We'll get to that in my next post.

Ever had a meal somewhere that promised so much but delivered so very little? I'd love to hear about it and know I'm not alone! Thanks for reading and I'll see you next time!

Bonus photo because I look like some kind of celeb caught by the papparazzi here, haha.


  1. Aw, that sucks so much when you try out somewhere that's really hyped up and then it ends up this disappointing. Even worse when it's your birthday celebration! (And I know a thing or to about underwhelming birthdays and birthday disappointments. Out of the 26 I had already, I only recall 3 that were genuinely, memorably amazing and a handful of alright/average ones.) Luckily for me, I'm too far removed from most hyped up places and the few that are local(ish) to me have delivered. Looking forward to read about the much better birthday from this year <3

    1. Yes, it was really a shame to find out the hard way during a birthday celebration, of all things. I'm sorry to hear you can relate about having had few genuinely decent birthdays in the past!

      I've found that most of the hyped up places really aren't that great (I'm thankful for Tripadvisor helping me to avoid the worst of it!). I love the chance for some pretty photography as much as the next person but as I discovered at sketch, it really doesn't make up for rude staff, bad food, and filthy toilets. I also think people (mainly tourists or "pro-bloggers" who take their online presence too seriously) get way too excited about mediocre places because the fact that it's in London is what sells it/makes it seem more desirable!

      Thank you, dear. Really looking forward to getting that post finished as I had such a lovely time this year <3