Whiskey and seaweed sounds great… if you’re a mermaid with a hangover.
For the rest of us, we’ll just have to make do with the new jewel box of a cocktail bar at Core by Clare Smyth.
Tucked inside the Three Michelin Star restaurant in Notting Hill, the place is bathed in the warm glow of copper wall sconces, and it exudes a clandestine charm thanks to rich teal paneling punctuated by abstract artworks, and plush emerald bar stools. But the main thing that’ll draw your eyes will be the collection of whiskeys locked safely behind a glass display case.
Helming the bar is Vincenzo Ciaccio, a mixology maestro who’s concocted an introiguing menu that takes advantage of the creative attitude he’s been given. The bar itself it named after the centrepiece drink, the ‘Whiskey & Seaweed’ cocktail is a mix of butter-washed Irish whiskey, kelp, and black cardamom. It’s actually inspired by one of the more iconic dishes on the restaurant menu, the ‘Potato and Roe’.
Beyond that there’s a ‘Fruits of the Forest’ for a gin-based journey or an ‘IPA’ that manages to bring the punchy flavours of an IPA to the refined attitude of a cocktail. And for those with a sweet tooth, their Irish Coffee – blending whiskey with brewed coffee & whiskey caramel – is basically a dessert disguised as a drink.
And if cocktails aren’t your thing, then good news: you’ll have access to their collection of whiskey, which will take you on a mini pilgrimage through half the distilleries in Scotland, as well as dozens in England, Ireland, Wales, America, Japan, and even Australia.
Just one point to note: the cheapest of the drinks is £18, and that’s non-alcoholic. So go with an expense account..
…or at least someone who’ll split the bill.
NOTE: Whiskey & Seaweed is open now, from Tuesday to Saturday. You can find out more, and make a booking at the website right here.
Core by Clare Smyth | 92 Kensington Park Road, W11 2PN
While you’re in the area… check out Notting Hill’s best bars