a table with glasses on it

Save room for the photobomb…

A mad hatters tea party, an indoor snow machine, art quite literally bursting off the walls and yes the iconic pink “tea room”. It was all there, and what a scene it was to behold in person. And yes, the food was great. Sketch is easily the most “Instagram” famous restaurant in London and unlike many venues which fall into the cliched style over substance phrase, everything was legitimately excellent. There was just one problem with eating at Sketch – the Instagram fiends.

a group of colorful boxes in a roomIf A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words, These People Are Rambling…

After ordering a Mezcal Negroni for a spot of day drinking, as one does around the holidays when self employed and on a date with their wife, I briefly excused myself. The mens room was calling and I’d heard great things about this particularly nifty shared bathroom. It’s a constantly evolving art feature with individual pods. It’s like futuristic outer space meets garden gnome display and it’s extraordinary. I loved it.

But as I stood up, I found myself trudging through a flooded sea of people who were not drinking, not eating or to the best of my knowledge, patrons at all! They were part of a mob of #Instagram obsessed picture hunters, in a real life game of Pokemon Go. Their treasure: The Sketch toilets! As I photobombed my way through to the exquisite bathroom, in hopes of finding a stall without a tragically hip Sex and the City cast off making a pouty face to their photographer, it dawned on me that this was absolute insanity. Is there another restaurant in the world where people sneak in just to photograph a bathroom?

Back at my seat things weren’t all that different, either. Throughout the three delectable courses it was frankly quite hard to concentrate on the food. The table next to us was like watching a real life montage from the outstanding film “Crazy Rich Asians” where two… putting it politely… very “luxury focused” guests were taking turns doing photo shoots on each other, as the other ate. We’re talking switching out handbags, sunglasses and multiple angles. It was a wild photoshoot masquerading as a meal, with absolutely no conversation. To put it into perspective, the server politely introduced each course with a “are you ready” so that they could get their cameras out.

Of course, I too was guilty of snapping a picture or two, so who am I to kick off? I couldn’t help but snap a shot of the restroom or the iconic pink decor, but my entire choreographed scene took a matter of seconds and a total of 5 clicks. Three screen taps of the interior, away from other guests and two of the restroom, once a pile of Instagram hungry lunatics were disbanded. For a brief moment, I had the place to myself. The worst part of eating at Sketch? The sketchy people.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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