Core by Clare Smyth

Firstly let me say that it was absolutely great to be out in a restaurant again and to support the hospitality industry. I really couldn’t have picked a better place to begin than with a return visit to Core. After enjoying a very quiet journey across london we arrived in Notting Hill to where we took the scenic route down portobello road before arriving at Core. We entered the restaurant and received a fabulous welcome back from the team before immediately using the hand sanitizer machine which has been installed at the front desk. We would then have normally sat at the bar and enjoyed one of Ale’s amazing cocktails but due to the current situation the stools have had to be removed. So with this we took a table in the bar area which had been spaced out nicely so that would accommodate between eight to ten guests. My wife chose her favourite cocktail the Gin & Pickle whereas for myself I decided to try something new so opted for the Whiskey & Seaweed which I have to say was a fantastic cocktail and one that I will definitely recommend.

Whiskey & Seaweed

Once we’d finished our drinks it was time to again sanitize our hands before moving into the dining room. On the way it was nice to have a chat with Clare , Jonny & Rob who with great delight also welcomed us back. You really could see the happiness on their faces that the restaurant was back open again and that so many of their regular diners had returned. We then continued on to our table which was one of the booths in the corner that gives you a great view of the restaurant. You could clearly see how much more space there was between each table where larger tables had to be removed to either leave a gap or was replaced with a smaller one. Now on to the important part which is of course the food. After a quick chat with Rob who thought we’d like to have the classic menu as he said we’d not had this for a while to which we delightfully agreed.

The Personal Touches

We started with the amazing snacks of Pea & Mint Gougeres , Jellied Eel , Chicken Wings , Foie Gras and a little extra treat the CFC (core fried chicken) . It was then time for head sommelier Gareth to discuss our choice of wine to compliment the menu and once again he came up with an absolute beauty. His recommendation was a 2018 Balaton from Hungary which was a blend of Riesling & Furmint that gave you a fabulous fruity yet crisp and elegant finish.


Balaton 2018

Now it was on to the first course and the stunning Isle of Mull Scallop Tartare with a sea vegetable consommé. This really is the most perfect opening dish to a tasting menu. This was followed by the classic and amazing Potato & Roe with a dulce buerre blanc , herring & trout roe. It’s simply heaven on a plate. We followed this with yet another delight the Roasted Monkfish with morecombe bay shrimps , swiss chard & brown butter.

Isle of Mull Scallop Tartare

Potato & Roe

Roasted Monkfish

It was now time for the next course but first another visit from Gareth to hear his red wine recommendations for the following two courses. It will not surprise you in the least when I say that he chose another fabulous wine. His choice was a fabulous San Leonardo 2003 which was soft and smooth on the palate with a delightful mix of black & red fruits. This matched perfectly with first the Lamb Carrot with braised lamb & sheep’s milk yoghurt and accompanied by the Lamb Bread Rolls. This was followed by the main course of Duck & Nectarine with thyme honey & timut pepper a truly delightful dish.

San Leonardo 2003

Lamb & Carrot

Bread Rolls

Duck & Nectarine

Before moving on to dessert we decided to have the Cheese course consisting of a Davidstow Cheddar , Colton Stilton Basset Blue & a Goat’s Cheese. The cheese is accompanied by the amazing Fig Rolls , Crackers , pickles , raisins & a wine gel.

Cheese Course

Now we moved on to pre dessert which is the fabulous Core Apple that is served with an Apple cocktail. This led us to the main dessert and the recreation of the Lemonade Parfait. We were honoured to be the first to taste test this new dish and the feedback we gave was a massive thumbs up. This dish is lemon heaven and was also matched to perfection with a stunning dessert wine. The Chateau Rabaul – Promis 2011 Sauternes with it’s honey flavours was an excellent choice.

Core Apple

Apple Cocktail

Lemonade Parfait

Chateau Rabaud = Promis 2011 Sauternes

We then headed back into the bar area to finish with coffee & petit fours as well as a couple of surprise little cocktails from Ale to truly round off another fantastic visit to Core. I would personally like to thank all the team for their hospitality and wish them the very best during these tough times. The efforts that have been made to make everyone feel comfortable is first class and therefore I would highly recommend firstly if you haven’t been then to do so. Secondly to all the diners that have been before to try and return as soon as you can as the hospitality industry needs you.

Petit Fours

Stay Safe and Thank You for our wonderful dining experience. Looking forward to our return in October.


By Lloyd Stevens

I'm a big Foodie and love Fine Dining in AA Rosette and Michelin Star restaurants also enjoy good Pub Food especially Desserts . I been living in Hornchurch for 20yrs now and this year celebrate my 25th Wedding Anniversary to my wife Jane . We do enjoy our holidays with Italy & San Diego as our favourite destinations I've decided to focus more on my Foodie life due to over 3 years ago being struck down with nerve damage and recently spondylosis I do enjoy my sport and follow Chelsea , Juventus & San Diego Padres

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