Situated just a short walk from the beautiful V&A museum, The Franklin have drawn inspiration from their latest exhibition Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up to create an afternoon tea, inspired by the legendary artist.
Part of the Starhotels Collezione group, The Franklin London is a small 5-star boutique hotel, set on a quiet road overlooking Egerton Gardens. You wouldn’t even know it was there unless you were looking for it but inside you’ll find a quiet dining room, decorated in glitzy Italian-inspired monochrome.
The table had been decorated with a couple of cute cacti and the dishes are presented on beautiful Mexican tiles. Priced at £35 a head (or £50 if you’d like a ticket to the exhibition included!), you’ll receive a selection of finger sandwiches, inventive scones and sweet treats.
We began with octopus, sweetcorn & capers on brown bread, fresh guacamole had been paired with chicken, eggs with mixed beans and red pepper with ricotta. Not your standard sandwiches, that’s for sure. Scones sounded exciting – with both a lime flavoured version and a banana & chocolate chip on offer – served alongside the obligatory cream and strawberry jam, but also lemon curd. However they broke into a million pieces every time we attempted to pick one up (let along add toppings).
Things fared better with the rest of the sweet treats though with a chocolate praline painting of Frida sat on an easel, bitesize watermelons made out of marzipan and a wobbly flan topped with dulche de leche. And honestly, who can resist a churro, let alone these mini versions with their pot of chocolate sauce for generous dunking.
A good selection of tea is available, including the bespoke afternoon blend which we went for (they recommended you drink it between 2pm and 8pm), a blend of earl grey and oolong, finished with rose petals. Having said that there’s an El Diablo cocktail pairing which we couldn’t resist – priced at an additional £16, the long drink combines tequila (what else?), lime juice, crème de cassis and is topped up with ginger beer.
The exhibit itself was very busy (you’ve been warned!), but focused on Kahlo’s possessions, showcasing her clothes and belongings, with self-portraits and photographs offering a personal insight into her extraordinary life. We found a painting depicting her miscarriage, deeply moving.
Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up runs from 16 June – 4 November 2018
Our tickets allowed us access without the need to pre-book.