The Franklin Restaurant by Alfredo Russo, found inside boutique hotel The Franklin, itself tucked away on a row of gorgeous townhouses in Knightsbridge, definitely falls into the destination restaurant category as you’ll not be stumbling across this place accidentally. And, as there’s only space for 30 diners, it’s best to plan a visit ahead anyway.
The hotel is luxurious without being ridiculously flashy thanks to Venetian stone floors, rich embroidery and plush seating, and the restaurant interiors follow suit with lots of grey velvet and silk. The biggest draw however is the view of the private garden that The Franklin backs onto… not too many places in town can boast that.
Michelin-starred chef Alfredo Russo is in charge of the food and it’s fine-dining Italian, which is more than a match for the impressive surroundings. After nibbling on a bowl of pasta crisps, which are as great (and as crunchy) as they sound, and bread fresh from the oven, we started with tortino di melanzane, a stack of aubergine, tomato and buffalo mozzarella on a parmesan biscuit, and super tender slow-cooked octopus sat in a Piedmont potato foam with capers and olive powder. There’s no denying that the food is smart here but the flavour combinations are familiar, so whilst it looks fancy it’s still comforting.[URIS id=105481]
For the main event, we opted for one primi dish, a rich saffron and gold risotto, and one secondi, which was perfectly cooked pigeon served with crisp polenta and creamed, grilled and popped corn, and was probably our fave of the night. Desserts were the simplest sounding of all the dishes on the menu but both the hazelnut tart and caramelised cream with wild berries were taken up another notch thanks to beautiful presentation.
With excellent food and on point service – you feel looked after but not bothered – in a beautiful setting, a trip to The Franklin is real treat.
24 Egerton Gardens, London, SW3 2DB
The Franklin is a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts LVX Collection