If you prefer a stay with personality, privacy and pizazz, then it’s time to book a night at The Franklin London, says editor Sophie Ritchie
Stepping inside The Franklin London feels a tad like wandering into someone’s very suave front room. This is a petite property, nestled snugly along a row of prestigious Knightsbridge townhouses, with a front door that blends seamlessly with its elegant neighbours.
Reopened in 2016 after an extensive refurbishment, The Franklin features just 35 elegant rooms and suites. As well as an exclusive nature, the central location is one of its most attractive features, boasting a covetable postcode just a five-minute stroll from Harrods’ marble hallways and Kensington’s world-class museums.
Despite its residential neighbours however, there’s far more than the usual doormat and coat rack to welcome you once over the threshold – inside is a design haven, with ravishing grey interiors courtesy of Anouska Hempel (whose extensive portfolio includes projects for Blakes London, La Suite West and Grosvenor House, to name just a handful).
Inside, The Franklin is a world away from the busy main roads nearby. The subdued tones emulate a calm, relaxed feel, whilst lavish Italian-inspired interiors feature huge hexagonal tables, leafy foliage and silky velvet-backed chairs.
Everything coordinates smoothly, resulting in a gorgeously symmetrical space. I drink it all in with a welcome cup of coffee as I check-in (note, don’t forget to bring I.D if you want to spend the night here, along with a credit card for holding) before I’m led upstairs to a suite on floor three.
My abode for the night, a suite divided into living room, bedroom and adjoining bathroom, is both glamorous and compactly chic.
The walls are painted in smooth dark grey, covered in carefully-positioned artwork consisting of framed pressed flowers. It’s both soft and sultry, ideal for a romantic citycation.
In the living room, I take a seat on the plush velvet couch and admire the wooden floors with another coffee courtesy of the room’s machine.
Design details are everything here – the moonlight blue seating, large bed and tower of pillows create a relaxingly suave atmosphere. Keep the curtains drawn if you have a forward-facing room (the opposite townhouses are so close you can practically see what residents are enjoying for dinner) but there’s still plenty of peace and privacy to be enjoyed.
As well as free WiFi, rooms come with all the necessities: TV, desk, minibar, GHD hair straighteners and hairdryers.
The small but luxurious bathroom features all the pampering essentials – a tray laden with toiletries from Penhaligon’s, enveloping robes and a bath complete with overhead rain shower. Face mask and chill has never looked so inviting.
From breakfast to afternoon tea, all meals are served in The Franklin Restaurant, an equally sophisticated space with modern Italian dishes courtesy of Michelin-starred chef Alfredo Russo.
With just 30 covers, this petite restaurant is the epitome of an intimate dining experience – with an ambience amplified by silky furnishings and immense Venetian églomisé mirrors.
Order everything from mixed prawns with avocado emulsion to (of course) platter after platter of pasta, with dishes including fresh clams spaghetti and cuttlefish ink risotto.
The Wordrobe Verdict
Livin’ La Dolce Vita – The Franklin London is the embodiment of indulgence, with a careful balancing act of both decadence and distinction. Ideal for a romantic citycation, enjoy the designer perks of this Italian-inspired property with some of London’s most la-di-dah districts nearby.
Make it happen
Where: 24 Egerton Gardens, Chelsea, London SW3 2DB
How: Rooms from £224 per night. Visit starhotelscollezione.com to find out more and make a booking.
Words by Sophie Ritchie, editor