Descendant chocolate pancakes in bed for breakfast, a deep bubble bath and leafy views outside not to mention perfectly chilled martinis… had I died and gone to heaven?
Fortunately, I was still in the land of the living I discovered after giving myself a pinch, and instead I was enjoying the confines of the dreamy Franklin London hotel.
Tucked away on a quiet backstreet in Knightsbridge this is now high up on my list of top boutique hotels in the capital.
This is a jewel box of a place, with slick interiors courtesy of Anouska Hempel and faultless service at the heart of the operation.
The Franklin, which is housed within a red brick Victorian building, has 35 rooms and suites.
It also boasts a mix of amenities which smaller London hotels lack, the standout one being its cosy restaurant with changing menus designed by Michelin Star chef Alfredo Russo.
Other features include garden access, a basement gym with a good mix of equipment and views over the outside space and a Hamman.
I checked into the Franklin on a Sunday afternoon after what had been somewhat of a hectic weekend.
It was just the slice of peace and calm I was craving.
On walking into the venue, I was invited to sit down by the amicable receptionist in the sultry black, mirrored lobby area. She then run through timings and what was on offer.
I was thrilled to find, as the hotel was quiet, my room had been upgraded to a junior suite.
As it was Sunday, I was also informed that the main restaurant was closed but the bar would be open that evening with a good spread of culinary treats and tipples on offer.
I made my way up to the room on the third floor and another member of staff informed me that he would follow with my luggage.
On walking into the room, it had an instantly calming feel, with neutral interiors, sunlight streaming through the large sash window and lots of space to play with.
At the centre of the suite was a giant double bed, with a metal four poster-style frame, with mirrored panelling behind it.
There was a small dining table, couch, well-stocked mini bar area, well-proportioned closet space and a roomy bathroom.
The main feature of the wash room was the large bath tub – big enough for two – and a double shower enclosed within a wet room-style area.
After a rest, a nibble of some nuts from the mini bar and a wash with some sweet-smelling Penhaligon’s products we ventured downstairs to the Great Gatsby 1920s-styled bar for dinner.
THE FRANKLIN BAR
We were the only ones sitting in the intimate bar area and the head bartender took very good care of us.
The Franklin bar boasts a nice concise menu and ingredients can be altered on request.
To start with, we ordered some drinks. There is a great drinks menu featuring some eye catching medleys such as the Hanky Panky (a blend of gin, sweet vermouth and Fernet Branca) and Naked and Famous (a blend of mezcal, Aperol, Chartreuse and lime).
However, in the mood for something clean and simple I opted for the Stolichnaya vodka-based Franklin Martini.
It was one of the most perfectly-chilled martinis I’d had in a good while and the Italian bartender explained that he uses a thermometer to ensure that the temperature is just right.
This attention to detail demonstrates the kind of place the Franklin is…
Moving to the food, we opted for a pumpkin soup to start, followed by octopus, an avocado salad and portion of pan-fried sea bass for mains.
All of the flavours were on point, the octopus was beautifully tender and the soup was packed with sweet strings of red onion.
With a little stomach space free, we were advised to try the tiramisu. This came served in a tea cup. Despite its dinky size, its creamy density defeated us and we made our way to bed feeling amply satisfied.
If you want to round out your stay at the Franklin in style, make sure you fill out your breakfast order card before falling to sleep in the soft bed (which comes with a pillow menu to further aid a good night’s sleep).
I’m not sure if I filled out the breakfast card correctly as we lifted the lid on the wooden tray the next morning to find the most decadent stack of pancakes I’d ever seen at daybreak.
My partner had asked me to tick for pancakes with berries but instead we ended up with pancakes oozing with praline chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
There was no complaining though and we fell silent as we gauged our spoons into the fluffy round sponges and lapped up their saucy coatings.
There was also a pot of maple syrup on the breakfast tray, to take things to an even sweeter level.
Luckily, I’d ordered a fresh fruit salad on the side which I figured balanced things out a little!
Taking the last bite of pancake while dressed in my soft robe and looking out of the window to the leafy gardens below, I felt lulled into a heavenly state.
I was thankful for a noon check out time, so I could let the feeling last a little longer.
In just one night the Franklin London had managed to calm me from my fairly stressed out state.
Just what the doctor ordered…
The Franklin London is located at 24 Egerton Gardens, Chelsea, London SW3 2DB
To book a dining experience or stay, visit www.starhotelscollezione.com or call +44 20 7584 5533