Review: Christian Dior at The Franklin afternoon tea

The Franklin hotel in Knightsbridge has launched a Christian Dior-inspired afternoon tea, in collaboration with the current Designer of Dreams exhibition. This blockbuster show at the Victoria & Albert Museum has sold out, but the cost of this £55 tea includes a ticket. We sent Flora Neighbour to try it out. 

Greeted by welcoming smiles, I was taken through the low-lit hotel entrance to The Franklin Bar – which looks onto the residential gardens – and handed the extensive drinks list while my table was being prepared. I sipped on a Fog Cutter in the mirror-lined cocktail bar (it’s a strong sip that lives up to its name), before moving into the restaurant.
The Franklin hotel restaurant knightsbridge london
Once seated, the waiter ran through the set menu; inspired by Christian Dior’s life, it was created by the restaurant’s reknowned Italian chef, Alfredo Russo, in collaboration with luxury events planner La Fête. The delicate, savoury bites to begin were rich and delicious. The flavours from the foie gras-filled choux pasty (a reference to Dior’s last meal) coated my taste buds, while the moreish ham and cheese butter breads were a treat. Other buttery savouries included a cheese and truffle eclair and a mushroom flan.

The luxurious tea continued with sweeter bites. You can enjoy a pot of tea of your choosing, or the suggested cocktail (+£16) – I went for the cocktail. The garish, pink Mitzah (vodka and crème de violette) was the perfect pairing for a selection of French fancies: peanut sponge with vaporised Calvados brandy in a perfume bottle; macarons that were the same pastel colours as the designer’s home; and a selection of petit four that pay tribute to Dior’s make-up range. Just like Christian Dior’s designs, this culinary experience was thoughtful, fashionable and decadent.
Christian Dior Designer of Dreams La Fête afternoon tea menu at The Franklin hotel knightsbridge london
Starting with Dior’s first Paris couture show in 1947, the V&A’s Designer of Dreams exhibition explores the label’s influence and reveals why Monsieur Dior loved England so much. Expect dramatic haute couture, original sketches and exquisite vintage perfume bottles. It’s received brilliant reviews since opening in February, so we’re not surprised that it has sold out. 
The Franklin, 24 Egerton Gardens, SW3 2DB
020-7584 5533 | [email protected] 
The Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams afternoon tea menu costs £55 per person and includes a ticket to the V&A exhibition 

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
020-7942 2000 | 
Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams (until 14 Jul 2019) 

Prices correct at time of publishing 

Read about London’s very best afternoon tea experiences here

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