It was strange to think that for many years, Clare Smyth – former Chef Patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, and the first female British chef to hold and retain three Michelin stars – didn’t have her own restaurant.
That all changed in 2017, when she opened her own buzzing Notting Hill eatery, Core by Clare Smyth. And just to really bring everything full circle, she made her debut solo entry into the Michelin listings with two stars, right off the bat. Now, she has three.
Fresh from a top-to-toe refurb, Core by Clare Smyth is a light, airy space tucked into a townhouse at the peak of Portobello Market. Inside, you’ll make your way through a dinky 18-seater bar, Whiskey & Seaweed (where they not only serve up exceptional cocktails, but also a vast array of whiskies), before arriving in the breezy dining space, with its walnut shelving, plush carpets and cream seating. No pressure: don’t spill anything.
The food offering at Core comes in the form of two tasting menus (seasonal, or classic), and an ever-evolving three-course à la carte, with four options per course. The dishes change depending on seasonality and availability, but currently there’s options like buttery charlotte potatoes served with herring and trout roe; skate with Morecambe Bay shrimps and Swiss chard, and oxtail-stuffed Roscoff onion, served with beef short rib. There’s a strong push for sustainability, too, so don’t be surprised if your chicken breast arrives with a side of chicken heart and liver slicked together with confit egg yolk.
And over on the drinks menu? You’ll find straight-up classic cocktails, and a 400-strong wine and Champagne list, with award-winning Master Sommelier Gareth Ferreira on hand to recommend the cream of the crop from Burgundy, Bordeaux, northern Italy, and California – although you can always cut the decision-making, and plump for the curated wine pairing instead.
At least, that’s the Core concept.
NOTE: Core by Clare Smyth is open for dinner Tues-Sat, and lunch Thurs-Sat. You can make a booking, and find out more, HERE.
Core by Clare Smyth | 92 Kensington Park Road, W11 2PN
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