Sketch Afternoon Tea Three Girls

Sketch Afternoon Interiors

So apparently it’s now the very end of National Afternoon Tea Week in the UK! I don’t know who made up all of these celebratory days/weeks, but this is one I can definitely get on board with.

Coincidentally, last weekend Amy, Charlie and I had Afternoon Tea at Sketch. I also bought a new book on National Reading Day last week, without knowing that it was National Reading Day – apparently I’m really good at accidentally obeying these fake celebratory days!

Sketch Afternoon Interiors

Sketch Afternoon Toilets

The Aesthetic 

Lets face it, most people visit Sketch for it’s gorgeous interiors rather than the prestigious 2 Michelin star food.

There are 4 dining rooms spread over three floors and the afternoon tea is served in the “Gallery”, a very pretty pink and girly room.

Pink walls, pink suede chairs, rose gold accents and even a man in a pink suit (which I was so totally jealous of). Be warned, the low elegant lighting in the Gallery is absolutely shocking for photographs, so I apologise in advance for shoddy photos!

The elegant vibe is enhanced by the string trio who played a whole host beautiful acoustic music – my favourite being The Circle of life from the Lion King!

It wouldn’t be right to not speak about the toilets when talking about Sketch – these futuristic pods have become a tourist attraction in their own right! I’ve never seen so many people taking photos in the toilets (no, not even on a club in Chelmsford on a Saturday night).

Sketch Tea Pots and Cups

The Tea

First up was the choice of tea – where you will be spoilt for choice! I am no tea connoisseur (in fact I only started drinking it this year – am I even British?!), but I don’t think you could make a wrong choice; and even if you did, you can just ask to swap it for another!

RELATED: At Christmas time, I visited B Bakery for their “Festive Afternoon Tea”. If pink and girly isn’t your vibe, maybe you’re better suited to this one! And you can read all about it here

The Caviar Man

Shortly after the arrival of the teas, “The Caviar Man” paid us a visit. A man dressed in a funky pink suit presented us with a small dollop of caviar along with an egg concoction with cheese bread sticks. I don’t eat fish, so struggle with the concept of caviar and didn’t eat this – but I would have happily taken more of the cheese bread sticks!

Sketch Afternoon Tea Sandwiches and Cakes


Then came the big moment – the arrival of the sandwich/pastries on the classic three tiered cake stand.

The sandwiches on offer were duck egg and mayonnaise, coronation chicken, smoked salmon and Jacob’s cream and finally a tomato chutney, lettuce and mayonnaise concoction.

As I don’t eat fish, I swapped the smoked salmon sandwich for an extra coronation chicken slice which was the BEST IDEA EVER. Of the four sandwiches on offer, the coronation chicken was without a doubt the winner and I’m dribbling a bit just thinking about it..

Petits Gateaux 

There was not a single cake on this plate that I didn’t enjoy (and I STILL say that I don’t have a sweet tooth – maybe I need to reevaluate that).

The beauties on offer in this sitting were –

  • Malabar Marshellow – while an unusual addition in an afternoon tea, these were amazing. Amy and I actually ordered another 8 of the marshmellows to nibble on while we continued chatting – they were so addictive!
  • Blueberry and vanilla choux  – the blueberry was a gorgeous twist on a normal choux pastry, I loved it.
  • Strawberry tart – a great classic and cutely presented with a little flower decoration.
  • Apricot and rosemary cheesecake – this cheesecake was served in a mousse format and was probably my least favourite of the bunch but still blimmin’ lovely!
  • Chocolate caramel gateaux – Chocolate is without a doubt, my biggest weak spot, so I absolutely loved this. Despite being so rich in flavour, the cake itself was really light, which is perfect when there are so many other cakes to try!

Sketch Gallery Bar

Cakes from the Trolley

While forks deep in the petits gateux, a waitress came and asked which cake we would like from the trolley – more cake?! The choice was between Victoria sandwich and a pistachio cherry cake. We all opted for the classic Victoria sandwich and it was gorgeous!

The Afternoon Tea Staple – Scones

Another choice was upon us before we knew it – plain or fruit scones. I love scones but was so full by this point that I didn’t even touch it – but the girls looked like they enjoyed theirs!

Sketch Gallery

The Price

After stuffing our faces, chatting the time away and snapping photos at every possible opportunity, it was time to pay up and leave. While bookings are hard to get on weekends, we were never rushed and could have stayed longer – which is great.

The classic afternoon tea is £57 per person and to add one glass of champagne, the price is upped to £72. We stuck to the classic afternoon tea and didn’t think that £15 was a worthwhile investment for one glass of champers!

The afternoon tea includes unlimited food which sounds great but given the amount of food on offer, you probably won’t need to ask for seconds!

While the price is higher than other afternoon teas in London (for example, I recently went to the Charlie and The Chocolate Factory afternoon tea which was great), you’re paying for this beautiful venue and the 2 Michelin star dining experience which in my eyes, was well worth the money.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.





If you're visiting London, Afternoon Tea should be at the top of your "to-do" list! Sketch is the perfect place for afternoon tea if you want a girly beautiful interior and great food!

Now this is a blog post that I have had FAR too much fun researching. To the point where I had a dream that I won the lottery, rented a castle for a month and surprised my friends and family by flying them out on a weekly rota to come and live with me (I’ve since day-dreamed about this idea multiple times and have bought more lottery tickets than I care to admit).

So without further ado, here are 10 castles that you might be able to rent for cheaper than a hotel!

1) The Medieval Keep & The Pavillion (France)

The Medieval Keep InteriorThe Medieval Keep France Interior

  • Location: La Flocellière, Pays de la Loire, France
  • Bedrooms: 5 (Medieval Keep) & 6 (The Pavillion)
  • Sleeps: 10 (Medieval Keep) & 10 (The Pavillion)
  • Bathrooms: 3 (Medieval Keep) & 5 (The Pavillion)
  • Avg. price per night: £412 (Medieval Keep) & £366 (The Pavillion)
  • How to book: AirBnb (The Medieval Keep) and AirBnb (The Pavillion)

This is the particular castle that I dreamt about. I mean, does it get any better than this? There appear to be two properties on the grounds that you can rent (one being The Medieval Keep and the other being The Pavillion). A grand total of 20 people can therefore stay in the 2 properties for a combined £778 per night – an incredible £39 per person!

If the exterior wasn’t grand enough, I am absolutely in love with the curved painted blue ceiling in one of the bedrooms in the Medieval Keep!

Now I need to stop dreaming about eating croissants in the French sunshine and look up some more castles….

2) The Castle With a View… And A Pool (Italy)

Castle With a Pool and Garden Italy Castle in Italy Luxury Dining Room

  • Location: Venturina Terme, Toscana, Italy
  • Bedrooms: 10
  • Sleeps: 18
  • Bathrooms: 8
  • Avg. price per night: £1384
  • How to book: AirBnb

Slightly pricier than the first option but at £77 per person per night (providing you have 16 guests), it’s still cheaper than many hotels! This castle appears to be mainly used as a wedding venue and up to 90 guests can attend! Make sure you check out the photos on the AirBnB link, there’s some amazing views from this property! There’s an added bonus with this castle… a pool!

3) Château de Barnay (France)

Small Turret Castle FranceInterior Small Turret Castle France

  • Location: Saint Martin de Lixy, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Sleeps: 7
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • Avg. price per night: £115
  • How to book: AirBnb

Okay, so you don’t have THAT many people that you want to enjoy your castle experience with (I felt slightly intimidated at the thought of 90 venue guests on the castle above!). Round up 7 of your nearest and dearest and head to South Burgundy to enjoy this little treat.

This castle has a much more modern interior which is great if old buildings can spook you out a bit (I am included in this category).

The stand out feature of this property HAS to be the price! You could pay £115 for a hotel room for one person, let alone a castle for 7 people! At an amazing £17 per person per night, I don’t know what’s stopping you!

4) La Serenella West Wing (Italy)

La Serenella ItalyLa Serenella Italy Interior

  • Location: San Pietro In Cariano, Veneto, Italy
  • Bedrooms: 7
  • Sleeps: 14
  • Bathrooms: 4.5
  • Avg. price per night: £458
  • How to book: AirBnb

Okay, so it might not technially be a castle, but it’s a pretty swanky villa and I feel like it has the credentials to be on this list.

I mean have you seen that interior? And the exterior? And the gardens? I feel like this property is Perfection (with a capital “P”). And if you really feel like splashing out, the owners can organise a private jet at an extra cost – now THAT is what you call fancy!

You might think that a property this big would in the middle of nowhere, but you couldn’t be more wrong! The villa is a 15 minute drive from Verona and 25 minutes from  Lake Garda, this sounds like the perfect Summer retreat! And all for £32 per person!

5) Bernstein Castle (Austria)

Bernstein Castle Austria Ariel ShotBernstein Castle Austria Sunset

  • Location: Bernstein im Burgenland, Burgenland, Austria
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bathrooms: 1
  • Avg. price per night: £120
  • How to book: AirBnb

The ultimate romantic retreat. Who wouldn’t want to watch the sunset over the Austrian countryside with their (arguably) better half? Sign me up immediately! I found hotels very expensive when I stayed in Salzburg, so this whole castle for £60 per person is an incredible deal!

RELATED: Thinking about spending a lot of time in Austria? Salzburg is a 3 hour 45 minute drive away – you can read my top things to do in Salzburg here

6) Cumbrian Castle (England)

Cumbria Castle ExteriorCumbria Castle Interior

  • Location: Cumbria, England, United Kingdom
  • Bedrooms: 10 (whole castle) or 1 (Private Room)
  • Sleeps: 16 (whole castle) or 2 (Private Room)
  • Bathrooms: 8 (whole castle) or 1 (Private Room)
  • Avg. price per night: £6303 (whole castle) or £160 (Private Room)
  • How to book: AirBnb (whole castle) or AirBnB (Private Room)

Okay, this castle is expensive if you want to rent the whole thing (a whopping £394 per person per night), however there is a great alternative to just rent one room for £80 per person! Damn you England for being so expensive!

Located on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and an hour’s drive from The Lake District, this is the perfect setting to enjoy the countryside.

RELATED: I visited an English Castle recently! Read all about my time at Arundel Castle here

7) The Bright Pink Castle (Poland)Bright Pink Castle PolandPoland Castle Interior

  • Location: Warmatowice Sienkiewiczowskie, Dolnyslask, Poland
  • Bedrooms: 5
  • Sleeps: 10
  • Bathrooms: 5 
  • Avg. price per night: £229
  • How to book: AirBnb

Whilst it may not look like your stereotypical castle, this style building always reminds me of Eastern Europe and I absolutely love it – it’s bright pink for gods sake! Another bonus is that the AirBnB host can arrange for dinner to be cooked/served to you and your guests for an amazing 10 EUR per person! Result!

The castle is located 60km west of Wroclaw and is close to highway A4 connecting Germany with south Poland. Given the location, £24 per person is an absolute steal for this beauty!

8) The Uber Modern Castle (Croatia)

Modern Istria Castle CroatiaModern Interior Croatia Castle

  • Location: Grožnjan, Istarska županija, Croatia
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Sleeps: 8
  • Bathrooms: 5 
  • Avg. price per night: £384
  • How to book: AirBnb

Now I’m not sure if I completely agree that this is a castle (yes, it has a big turret, but I think that’s about it), but it’s listed as a “castle”  on AirBnB, so the owners clearly want you to believe this notion! According to the listing, the property has been reconstructed from the 500 original ruins.

I couldn’t not include it because I feel in love with the property! Set on a hillside in Istria (Croatia), for the amazing price of £48 per person, you get a beautiful “castle” with an amazing pool looking out over Istria. And the interior is gorgeously modern!

9) The Iconic Building of The Island (Greece)

Windmill Castle GreeceWindmill Interior Castle Greece

  • Location: Alónnisos, Thessalia Sterea Ellada, Greece
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Bathrooms: 1
  • Avg. price per night: £142
  • How to book: AirBnb

This cute little fortification/windmill structure is located on the island of Milo in Greece. “Milo” means “windmill” in Greek, so this is the most iconic building on the island! A recent crowdfunding exercise has renovated the property to the gorgeousness that we see today! It’s an absolute steal at £24 per person!

This sentence on the listing makes me VERY excited – “We do recommend renting a scooter or a car (rental available at the island) so you can be free to follow your own schedule and reach the more remote places, where true natural beauty awaits to be discovered”.

10) Manorbier Castle (Wales)

Wales Castle DaffodilsWales Castle Interior

  • Location: Manorbier, Wales, United Kingdom
  • Bedrooms: 5
  • Sleeps: 12
  • Bathrooms: 4
  • Avg. price per night: £600
  • How to book: AirBnb

Located on the Pembrokeshire Coastline, you can expect long sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, picturesque villages and plenty of country pubs! You just need to pray that the UK weather holds out! This huge castle can be yours for just £50 per person!

11) Chateau Bouffereille (France)

French Castle DrivewayFrench Castle Interior Fireplace Bath

  • Location: Le Temple-sur-Lot, Aquitaine, France
  • Bedrooms: 6
  • Sleeps: 12
  • Bathrooms: 6
  • Avg. price per night: £773
  • How to book: AirBnb

It would be wrong not to finish on a French castle, because the French definitely excel in this area! I mean look at that entrance! And it could all be yours for £65 per person!

12) Bonus – UK Castles You Can rent A Room In!

Maybe you don’t need a whole castle to yourself, in which case Historic UK have a great list of all the castles in the UK that you can rent a room in!

The Boring Bit

It goes without saying that any listings shown on AirBnB are likely to fluctuate in prices throughout the year. I have used the average price shown at the date of writing this article (October 2016), however I imagine prices could be a bit steeper in Summer!

Please also note that AirBnB have various additional costs such as service charges and extra person surcharges. Please research the properties fully before making any bookings.

The “per person” cost also shown above is only applicable where the property is booked to it’s full capacity.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin