It would be unfair to call Sketch a restaurant. It is an eating destination. A central London townhouse transformed into a dining experience, where each and every room has an entirely different style, atmosphere and menu. We ate in The Gallery, Sketch’s homage to modern art – a grand dining room designed by illustrator David Shrigley.
The candy pink walls, which match the velvet seats and copper detailing, are covered with 239 new, original Shrigley drawings. And the focus on design doesn't stop with the walls. The plates, the menus, even the salt and pepper shakers are in on the act. As is the food itself, which turns up stylishly settled on your plate. Not that The Gallery can be accused of favouring style over substance - the dishes are seriously tasty too.
Don’t leave without a little nosey around the rest of Sketch’s bars and restaurants. And a trip to the futuristic toilets. Seriously, you’ll understand why once you get there.
Go: If you want to impress a date, or anyone for that matter.
Eat: Chantilly Lace – a black rice and lobster bisque starter.
Pay: Around £30 for a main course.
Who knew environmentally friendly dining could be so much fun?
Through the hustle and bustle of Kings Cross, past fast food chains and busy bars spilling out onto the pavements, sits T.E.D. or Think, Eat, Drink, a restaurant where the focus is firmly on serving sustainable and ethically produced food.
Its menu favours British, seasonal flavours, but you could easily eat here without noticing its green credentials. The menu is varied, fresh and exciting – from English lamb and Cornish crab to panna cotta topped with native raspberries and each dish arrives on your plate cleverly styled with passion and flair.
Plus, the food is served up in seriously stylish surroundings – bold, printed tiles, multi coloured glass lampshades and pretty vases full of fresh, wild flowers.
It’s safe to say we are completely converted to their ethical ethos.
Go: For a stylish and delicious dinner - with a conscience.
Eat: Isle of Man queen scallops served with saffron and lemon.
Pay: Around £15 for a main course – though menus change on a daily basis to reflect market prices.
Any café or restaurant on Upper Street in Angel has plenty of competition. The area is teeming with trendy start-ups, as well as established venues and familiar chains. But Vivo, with passionate staff and oodles of laid back Italian charm, still managed to pull in the crowds when we visited on a rainy Monday evening.
That’s probably got something to do with the platters of mouth-watering food laid out over 14 meters of stone counter, all of which is easily visible from the pavement. There is plenty for you to drool over before selecting your dishes - think rich lasagne, spaghetti and meatballs and stuffed pizzas as well as contemporary salads and heavenly hand-crafted desserts.
Once inside, you select food from the counter and perch wherever takes your fancy - the British weather doesn’t always lend itself to eating al fresco, but Vivo has a roomy roof terrace with patio heaters and canopy to shield you from showers. One thing's for sure though, once you're settled, there’s absolutely no chance you’ll ever feel like you’re being rushed out.