There’s a new fine-dining Italian in town: we checked out The Franklin’s 30-seater restaurant and why its exclusive dining offering should be on your radar.
Everything about five-star boutique hotel The Franklin exudes sophistication. Take its location: tucked away in an elegant row of red-brick Victorian townhouses in the heart of Knightsbridge.
Inside, the sophisticated feel continues with The Franklin’s recently opened 30-seater restaurant and adjoining bar. Both overlook the manicured Egerton Gardens, which we’re told can be used for private events – a fine spot for a small-scale cocktail reception, we think.
Also good for an aperitivo is the Franklin Bar, where we’re treated to a bespoke champagne cocktail on arrival, with a side of Gatsby glamour. As well as signature creations (‘The Franklin’ mixes up gin, lemon, basil, sugar syrup, egg white and Angostura bitter), resident mixologist Salvatore Maggio hosts private mixology classes – our idea of a fun teambuilding.
As we make our way to our table, the lavish interiors continue to steal our attention: think dark hues, velvet banquettes and Venetian mirrored walls, elegantly juxtaposed by celebrity designer Anouska Hempel.
There isn’t any private dining room, but the smart layout and slick design give the space an intimate, private feel that would work well for an important client lunch or dinner. You can also hire out the whole restaurant for up to 30 guests.
Michelin-starred chef Alfredo Russo is behind the refined Italian menu featuring plentiful seasonal ingredients, subtle flavours and prettily presented dishes inspired by his homeland.
The expertly crafted wine list is also worth a mention – it includes picks from Russo’s own vineyards in his native region of Piedmont (northwest Italy). We particularly love his ‘Filly’ moscati d’asti, a sweet sparkling wine we’d pick over prosecco any day (controversial, we know).
Now, if there’s anything that the Italians love more than their food, it’s sharing it – an experience where indulgence often knows no bounds. The tasting menu Russo has put together for us tonight is no exception: an amuse-bouche is followed by a mighty five courser, a pre-dessert and a dessert, all washed down with carefully paired wines.
Thankfully, most of the dishes are light and packed with delicate flavours. The green asparagus with a soft egg and toma cheese foam is a delight, while the fassona beef fillet with potatoes and black truffles is hard to fault. The veggie beetroot salad with caramelised goat’s cheese is also a hit.
Fast-forward a couple of hours later and we’re practically rolling out of the restaurant. That’s why the refreshingly light strawberry dessert (the last one) was a warm welcome. Taxi please!
Exclusive hire 30