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                  Check in at The Franklin Hotel, a Knightsbridge escape   When you spend 20 minutes perusing a restaurant menu, you know you’re on to a good thing, courtesy of there being so many delectable choices. When the space itself is filled with tarnished-mirror walls, plush velvet chairs, elaborate candle holders, marble tables and is moodily lit, you’ve struck gold. The inviting sidecar bar is yet another sweet touch at The Franklin, the glamorous new boutique hotel that is luring London’s hippest cats, businessmen, and international crowd. Sink into a velvet armchair and sample the classics or, if you have a penchant for the flamboyant, have friendly mixologist Salvatore whip-up an Old Fashioned with a twist or recommend you a drink from the extensive martini and Champagne menus. Gin enthusiasts, rejoice! There are 22 varieties to choose from. Charmingly nestled in a row of Victorian Townhouses with pretty views onto private communal Egerton Gardens, and brilliantly located close to the action (just around the corner from the V&A, Natural History Museum, Harrods and Harvey Nics), the boutique hotel of 35 rooms and Suites, (including the Presidential) is wonderfully quiet and combines the warmth of a private home, with impeccable service and dramatic Italian-inspired interiors. Most rooms overlook the secluded leafy English gardens, tucked away near to bustling Knightsbridge, making it a welcomed refuge. Dinner here lasts for hours. The rich food at The Franklin Restaurant is a real showstopper. It’s modern Italian cuisine at its very best. Choose from set menus for lunch and dinner as well as fine dining – standout dishes include oyster sorbet, hen pasta, pigeon, Rigatoni pasta, smoked salmon and cream cheese Bruschetta and white fish paired with the most startlingly and beautifully sweet tomatoes. Michelin-starred Italian Executive Chef Alfredo Russo, named by L’Espresso guide as Italy’s Best Young Chef early in his career, is renowned for creating simple, elegant dishes that delight with unusual flavour combinations – poached egg with bacon and tarragon for breakfast for example. If you can’t decide on what to eat, ask Sasha, the maître d’. The hotel owners are Florence-based Starhotels International, and the impressive glossy Italian interiors come courtesy of Anouska Hempel, creator of Blakes Hotel. The sultry, modern interiors instantly make you feel cocooned from the outside world. Everywhere you rest your eye offers another delight. The sensationally stylish bedrooms are indulgent, comfortable, sexy, mirrored, with plump linen and flourishes of ebony lacquer, silk, velvet and arty picture frames. They’re good at minibars too and roomy bathrooms with large rain showers. There’s Apple TV and buttons to press for mood lighting and air conditioning, it’s mixed with all the space and mod-cons a demanding and savvy traveller could desire. Services worthy of noting particularly for business travellers are: the VIP treatment, a pillow menu, and the following services: butler, complimentary pressing, packing and unpacking and shoe shine. There is also a cosy library, slick gym, Hamman, plus a steam and a beauty treatment room too. Here you will feel like you are staying at the most sophisticated home. The atmosphere and service is just the right side of luxurious, and surprisingly low key. A force field of glamour and charisma will hit you upon walking through the front door, The Franklin has it in buckets. Contact your Insignia Personal Assistant for further details. 

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