We were pretty gutted when we realised we had missed out on tickets to the sold out Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at The V&A Museum. Luckily for us (and you!), The Franklin Hotel is currently hosting a ‘culinary fashion experience’, which includes tickets to the exhibition – we headed to Knightsbridge to check it out.
The ‘fashion experience’ (which is essentially afternoon tea with some cutesy, subtle twists) takes place inside the ultra-glamorous, five-star Franklin hotel, just a few minutes’ walk away from the V&A.
Guests are seated in an elegant tea lounge, decked out in a chic monochrome colour palette and jazzed up with mirrored walls and a view of the hotel gardens (not easy to come by in the middle of Knightsbridge).
Bespoke event planning company La Fete have helped to conceptualise the entire experience, and while the design elements are subtle, they help to tie the experience together – take the scattering of pink flower petals which add a whimsical touch, or the vintage-style sweetie jars which are filled with miniature blushing pink and white meringues.
The tea follows the traditional structure of savouries followed by sweets – we were a little disappointed that our savoury bites arrived piled high all on one plate, rather than a tea stand, but the flavours soon made up for it.
Highlights include a deliciously decadent cheese and truffle éclair, and a twist on the classic jambon beurre, which swaps out the traditional baguette for butter bread, and is served looking like a savoury Swiss roll, oozing with melted cheese and smoky strips of ham.
The attention to detail is meticulous, with each dish on the menu accompanied by a short note which explains how it was inspired by the life of Christian Dior. Take the choux filled with foie gras and strawberry jam (a sweet and savoury combo which works surprisingly well), which is a nod to Dior’s rumoured last meal of an entire foie gras.
We were much more thrilled with the presentation of the sweet selection than the savoury – arriving on a marble-wrapped Lazy Susan, two of the sweet offerings were housed in mirrored trinket boxes, while a lemon-flavoured pink macaron was perched on a miniature transparent chair. Our petit fours also had a touch of glamour (served inside a faux eyeshadow palette), while a Dior-inspired perfume bottle contained vaporised Calvados, which we were encouraged to spritz over our peanut sponge with chocolate cream. Other top shouts from the sweet selection include a densely layered square of white and milk chocolate cake, and a zesty citrus and banana aspic.
Of course, the whole thing is accompanied by delicious varieties of teas, but you can also opt for a specially designed vodka-based cocktail, called The Mitzah. The tea is available for £40 per person (a bargain in this postcode), while if you want to include tickets to the exhibition, it’s an extra £15 per person. It’s a great shout for client entertaining, as you’ll be giving them access to an otherwise sold-out exhibition.
Just remember to look your best, it’s how Dior would have wanted it.