Found inside the boutique hotel of the same name, The Franklin is an Italian fine-dining restaurant with Michelin-starred chef Alfredo Russo’s name above the door.
The entire hotel, including the restaurant, was designed by Anouska Hempel (who is responsible for the dramatic black and gold interiors at South Kensington’s Blake’s), who has applied an aesthetic of muted luxury. The dining room is a chic mix of plush grey velvet chairs, a monochrome colour palette and Venetian églomisé mirrors that add a real sense of grandeur and glamour.
During the day, The Franklin is flooded with natural light thanks to large windows that overlook the hotel’s gardens, while come evening, soft lighting makes it a romantic spot, though be warned that this is not the place to dine if you are looking to discuss confidential matters – there are just 30 covers in the restaurant and you’re very much privy to other diners’ conversations.
The menu is a sophisticated mix of mostly Italian-inspired dishes and employs luxury ingredients with purpose, rather than having them on the plate just for show. Witness the four cheese potato gnocchi, which blends toma, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano and Taleggio to create perhaps the most creamy and utterly indulgent dumplings we’ve ever tasted. The kitchen’s flair is evident once again with an impeccably cooked veal dish which comes in a charcoaled crumb coating that adds a layer of smokiness.
Occasionally, the kitchen is guilty of shrouding quality ingredients with too many elements, such as the poached black cod which is lost in the medley of tomatoes, olives and capers that accompany it. For the most part, though, The Franklin really gets upmarket modern dining right.
After desserts (baked cannoli, an all-Italian cheeseboard) we’d recommend a visit to The Franklin’s seductive bar, while if you prefer socialising earlier in the day, the restaurant is open from breakfast.