Has The Franklin become the most sophisticated hotel in Knightsbridge?

The Franklin, quite frankly, has instant appeal to Londoners and tourists alike thanks to its fantastic location right  in the heart of Knightsbridge. When you consider the lavish interiors of the hotel and the quintessentially Italian hospitality that’s helped transform The Franklin – Starhotels Collezione into one of the most outstanding 5-star hotels in London, it begs the question: could The Franklin now be the most sophisticated hotel in Knightsbridge?

Egerton Gardens

Tucked away on a quiet residential street, surrounded by the timeless charm of the Egerton Gardens, The Franklin is nonetheless in the heart of one of London’s most prestigious neighborhoods. Split across four classic early Victorian buildings, the hotel sits on the fringes of Knightsbridge, just a short walk from Harrods and The Victoria & Albert Museum.

While many of the front-side rooms face the beautiful and historic Brompton Oratory, the back of the building looks out onto the private, tranquil lawns, flowerbeds and lofty plane trees of the Egerton Gardens. Dotted with espaliered pear trees, the peaceful and green space provides the perfect counterpoint to the bustling Knightsbridge streets.

Part of a Grade II-listed building, the original house dates back to the 1840s, when it was built as three of the 24 terraces that comprise the sweeping Egerton Crescent, designed by the Georgian architect George Basevi, on one of London’s most exclusive streets.

Acquired by Starhotels in 2014, the hotel has gone since undergone a full renovation, maintaining many original features, and reopened in Autumn 2016 with a completely fresh look from renowned designer Anouska Hempel.

Suite Spot

Peaceful enclaves in the heart of the city, the elegant Suites feature fine Rubelli brocades and taffeta furnishings while Art Deco touches and a luxurious, comfortable bathroom with bath, stylish furniture and mirror TV imbue the rooms with extra sophistication. Full-height windows look out onto the lovely Egerton Gardens allowing guests to enjoy moments of quiet contemplation. Upon request several Suites can be inter-connected.

The unique Presidential Suite reflects Anouska Hempel’s signature style, which is perceived down to the smallest detail. The spacious 62 m2 floorspace includes a cosy private lounge, a spacious bedroom with a stunning view of the traditional English park, walk-in closet and a large bathroom with double washbasin. Its sophisticated sitting room features marbled surfaces, design mirrors and luxury furniture.

Italian Fine Dining

As well as its superb location and magnificent rooms, the hotel is also renowned for its gastronomic offering – The Franklin Restaurant by Alfredo Russo, a fine dining destination for local and international connoisseurs.

The modern Italian gourmet restaurant invites guests to dine with a well calibrated mix of simplicity and sophistication on offerings created with the finest seasonal ingredients. Seating just 30 diners ensures an intimate ambience overlooking the gardens. The grey velvet décor, with silk ikaats and oversized decorative Venetian eglomisée mirrors ensures an exclusive, refined yet personal feel.

The menu continues to evolve under the watchful eye of Chef Alfredo Russo – once named by L’Espresso’s Guide as Italy’s “Best Young Chef” in 2004. After honing his craft in some of the best Michelin starred restaurants in Europe, Chef Russo has made a name for a daring and inventive approach to cooking.

It’s his own extra virgin olive oil – grown and pressed by himself in Italy – that’s served with the bread pre-antipasti; beautiful in colour and rich in flavour, it’s a splendid way to coat the palette. As for the antipasti, try the Pomodori & Burrata. This classic dish features a stunning selection of tomatoes with a fresh and creamy burrata (save some of that bread for this) and basil.

Then when it comes to the primi course, the Spaghetto alle Vongole is so good you’ll wish it was big enough to have as your main course. Gragnano semola spaghetti is served with clams and parsley cream, resulting in a rich but magnificent flavour. There are a couple of highly recommended courses when it comes to the secondi course: the Manzo & Patate is a Fassona beef fillet with potatoes that’s cooked to absolute perfection, or for something a little different try the Agnello da Latte – roasted milk lamb with aubergines and goat milk foam.

Make sure to save room for dessert, especially the Crème Caramel or Zuccotto – white chocolate sponge with Amalfi lemon cream.

Elevated Teatime

Head Chef Roberto Roncolato has taken inspiration for this stylish Haute Couture afternoon tea from the tradition of the Parisian couture houses. Created for the true fashion enthusiast and served with a selection of different teas, the afternoon tea at The Franklin starts with four savoury treats, followed by a sampling of sweet delicacies, all of which take inspiration from Haute Couture and the Vie en Rose lifestyle. Guests will be able to indulge in the taste of fig mousse and orange sable Sheath Dress, walk the catwalk of flavour with a yoghurt and lemon cake Pochette or touch up their lips with a red chocolate lipstick to name a few of the surprises being served.

Afternoon Tea at The Franklin is served daily from 2pm to 4pm, with 24-hour notice required for bookings.

The Franklin Bar

The Franklin Bar, next to the restaurant, with its mirrored walls, provides a stylish, Gatsby-esque escape for pre-dinner drinks or more indulgent cocktails crafted by the hotel’s expert mixologists. It serves seven different Champagnes by the glass and boasts 22 types of gin selected by the hotel’s resident bartenders among an extensive cocktail list. A menu of small plate “aperitivo” dishes is also available to invite guests to indulge in Alfredo Russo’s culinary masterpieces.

The mixologists at The Franklin Bar bring a fresh approach to the art of mixology and always try to surprise guests by making them discover new flavours. Among the signature creations, the hotel is honored with “The Franklin” cocktail: Gin, fresh lemon & lime juice, fresh basil, sugar syrup, egg white and Angostura Bitter.


The wellbeing of each guest is a high priority at The Franklin: the hotel features a spectacular Hammam and a fitness studio with state-of-the art Technogym equipment, while celebrity personal trainer available for private sessions on request. The Hempel-designed, residents-only Hammam treatment room is situated on the lower ground floor, offering a tempting retreat for guests. The handmade crystal doors set the tone for an elegant environment, enriched by a super sophisticated illumination system. Specialist treatments are available on request.

Full of charm and classy touches, guests of The Franklin are spoiled with the professionalism of a dedicated “Guest experience team”, offering unforgettable bespoke tours and other high profile services: “Les Clefs d’Or” concierge is available to suggest anything from jogging routes to sightseeing itineraries, in addition to 24-hour room service and a Personal Shopper service to accompany guests to Harrods or to any boutique they might want to visit. The hotel’s guest relation-service can take care of to everything from shoe shining to selecting floral arrangements for the room – or providing access to behind-the-scenes tours of the Victoria & Albert Museum or Hamley’s toy shop. With this level of attention-to-detail across everything offered here, we feel it’s very safe to safe that The Franklin has taken the throne as Knightsbridge’s most sophisticated hotel.

For more information visit The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione