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June 26, 2011

There are few places in the world that I could sit in all day. By sit, I mean arrive in the late morning (early afternoon) and then sit, talk, relax, eat, read and drink. Then once you’ve done this, you do it all over again. I’m talking about the type of place that is so charming and incredible that you just can’t seem to pick yourself out of your seat. A place you go for lunch and, the next thing you know, you’ve been there all day, so you stay for dinner. Do you have such a place? Sketch in London, Napoleon House in New Orleans and Blue Dahlia Bistro are a few special places, where I wouldn’t fuss if lunch turned into dinner.

Setting and ambiance are essential. It also helps if the staff is polite, personable and not on roller skates. It also helps (the staff) if you are equally polite, personable and don’t make too much noise (after your 4th Pimm’s cup). As well, it helps (the restaurant) if you order more than a coffee and a croissant. I mean, if you keep ordering food and drink who’s going to tell you to leave? Let’s also imagine tables don’t need to be turned.

And sometimes you don’t realize or even have the intention of setting up camp at a place. It just unfolds as the day progresses. You become involved in conversation, and in your very expensive but incredible Bellini. The chicken salad is more than you expected (in a good way). Or the Shrimp Remoulade stuffed avocado is so out-of-this-world-amazing, that you have to order another plate of them. And then another. Because Sebastien insists of course…

Well, my lunch at Sketch did not turn into dinner, but. oh, how I wish it had. The staff is personable (as were we) and polite (as was he). The ambiance is perfect in a sort of hush-toned proper– with a possible borderline volcanic (yet contained) sort of way (time of day taken into account naturally). For our lunch we ordered a ‘Croque Monsieur’ which consisted of black bread, mozzarella, basil oil, tomato and courgette. The gentleman had Pierre’s salad (also pictured below). The pastries pictured are a Strawberry-Rhubarb macaroon along with a pleasantly tart Citron cake. Both were memorable. The setting at Sketch is whimsical and fantastic. I’ve not visited too many places that are as spectacular and artistic as this. As for the rooms, well the rooms are something else entirely. You must see for yourself. The bathrooms are uni-sex (always interesting) and the facilities are shaped like white egg-shaped pods. To end your experience, the bill arrives in a sandpaper envelope and the person who brings it to you is wearing roller skates. Just kidding.

It seems at Sketch no detail has been overlooked. If only lunch had become dinner.

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