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survey result

Summary

£122
£££££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The third Michelin star must be on its way” say fans of Clare Smyth’s “world class” one-year-old, which – after its “brilliant start” – is much “better than Restaurant Gordon Ramsay Royal Hospital Road” (her former gig); and was the most-nominated restaurant in the survey this year for providing London’s top gastronomic experience. Occupying the Notting Hill venue that some still recall as Leith’s (long RIP), she has created a “smart-but-unintimidating” space, where “superb, friendly, and unpompous staff” steer a course between “slight informality” (no tablecloths) and being “highly professional”. And “Clare and head chef Johnnie always make time to say hello”. “So much original thought has gone in” to the “masterfully-blended dishes, showing occasional idiosyncratic touches” to create “precise, exquisite morsels that look like art on a plate and taste fabulous (if at a high price tag)”. “Words aren’t enough to describe the journey your taste buds go on!”. “Unfortunately, however, it has become almost impossible to book”. Top Menu Tip – “I never thought a potato could taste that good!”

Summary

£115
£££££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“A flying start from the former head chef at Gordon Ramsay” – in this “unmissable” yearling, Clare Smyth “has finally created a fabulous restaurant on this difficult site” (most recently Notting Hill Kitchen, RIP, and in days of yore, Leith’s). “If she doesn’t get at least two Michelin stars this year, it will be astounding!” given the “ethereal cuisine she delivers with confidence, exuberance and pleasure”. “Outstanding produce is allowed to really sing in the dishes” – with the emphasis on two tasting menu options – and “seasonal ingredients (really – not just the lip service you sometimes hear) are centre stage, with an interesting and rare focus on vegetables”: “I mean, how on earth can you make a humble potato so attractive and so tasty? It’s magic!” .The “light and sophisticated” room “has a relaxed feel, no tablecloths or hushed tones” and – with the “faultless”, “friendly” service – the overall effect is “a pleasant, unusually relaxed and unpompous atmosphere”. “Attention to detail is amazing, and watching the kitchen staff quietly gliding between stations behind the pass, overseen by Clare, is like watching a theatre production” STOP PRESS: Having won the ‘Top Gastronomic’ award at the Harden’s London Restaurant awards, on October 1 Michelin followed suit with the award of two stars.

Summary

Clare Smyth, former ‘chef patron’ at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay – and the first British woman to hold three Michelin stars – chose this well-known site (previously Notting Hill Kitchen, RIP, and once the site of the original Leith’s) to launch her first solo venture in summer 2017.

For 29 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.

Have you eaten at Core by Clare Smyth?

Core by Clare Smyth Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Core by Clare Smyth Restaurant in W11, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Core by Clare Smyth restaurant.
Lloyd S
This was our thirteenth visit and definitel...
Reviewed 20 days ago

"This was our thirteenth visit and definitely a dining experience that surpassed all others. We arrived on saturday lunchtime and were greeted by restaurant director Rob as well as Michal , Ale & Kieran. We sanitized our hands before being escorted to the bar to enjoy one of Ale's fantastic pre lunch cocktails. He had already been preparing a little treat before we ordered a Coffee Negroni and the Gin & Pickle. While enjoying our cocktails it was nice for some members of staff to come and say hello and welcome us back. We was then in for a nice surprise as Michal said that we were to be seated at a special table. So with this he escorted us through to our table which was in fact the Chef's Table where we had full view of the kitchen. We'd only sat here once before and that was on our very first visit. As we sat down we were greeted with a welcome back from Clare and chefs Jonny , Antonio. Then Rob came over to tell us about another little treat they had in store for us as Clare and the team had created a special surprise Tasting Menu that would include a couple of completely new dishes. Now it was time to meet sommelier Gareth and choose a bottle of wine to pair with the majority of the menu. We normally leave this decision in his safe hands and even more so on this occasion as we didn't know what we were going to be having. But we needn't have worried because just like our previous visits he came up with another fabulous selection. The South African 2018 Chardonnay from the Callender Peak winery was a delight with it's flavours of vanilla , tropical fruits & lemon that paired with each dish perfectly. Now it was time to start with an amazing selection of snacks that consisted of Pumpkin Gougeres , Jellied Eel , Chicken Wing , Foie Gras and the new Caviar sandwich. This was followed by bread & butter which we enjoyed while watching the team in full flow in the kitchen. Now we could move on to the first course which was a stunning Steamed Cornish Crab with sabayon , consommé & caviar that was just bursting with such amazing flavours. This was followed by a recreation of the Jerusalem Artichoke tartlet with malt , mushroom & thyme that was fantastic. Next to arrive was the Lobster & Spelt with fenland celery , caviar & selim pepper and yet another dish that was a flavour sensation. Now it was time for the next course and a slightly changed Cheese & Onion with alliums , aged cheddar & onion broth which is accompanied with an onion brioche. Then it was time for sommelier Gareth to recommend a glass of red wine to compliment the main course of Rhug Estate Venison with heritage beetroot , cherry & pink peppercorn that was just perfection. He chose a Meyer-Nakel Spatburgunder and a Valenciso 2012 Rioja. These were both a perfect match for the venison and another reason why Gareth is at the top of his game. Before we moved on to desserts we decided to have a Cheese Course which consisted of two varieties of Davidstow Cheddar , Colton Stilton Basset , raisins , pickles , white wine gel and the truly amazing Fig Rolls. We enjoyed the cheese while watching head chef Jonny doing some prep for the evenings dinner guests. This was followed by the pre dessert The Other Carrot which was accompanied by a carrot cocktail. Now we was in for a fantastic surprise as out came dessert in the form of the best Souffle ever so congratulations to young pastry chef George. This Hazelnut Souffle with chocolate sorbet was simply heaven and was paired perfectly with my favourite sweet wine. The Bodegas Bentomiz Ariyanas 2016 is just a marmalade delight. We finished with coffee and petit fours to bring to an end a truly amazing dining experience but not before heading back to the bar for a final cocktail with Ale. The food was sensational and matched by some excellent wine pairings. The service was impeccable and really nothing less than what you expect when you dine hear. This restaurant just has to be a must on anyone's eating out list. I would just like to finish by saying firstly Thank You to Clare , Jonny , Antonio and the amazing team of chefs for the outstanding food and of course George for the soufflé. To Rob , Tiago , Marion , Millie , Marie and the rest of the staff for the excellent service. To Gareth for the amazing wine pairings and finally to Ale , Kieran & Michal for the fabulous cocktails and friendliness in the bar/reception area. Looking forward to seeing you all again soon. #SupportHospitality"

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Lloyd S
Firstly let me say that it was absolutely g...
Reviewed 3 months, 12 days ago

"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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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"

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Clifford B
If only restaurants could eject people that...
Reviewed 8 months, 22 days ago

"If only restaurants could eject people that are more interested in their phones than the experience of the meal. If this had been the case then 5.5.5. Expensive but worth every penny - unlike so many."

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Hilary O
Amazing experience special occasion fab foo...
Reviewed 11 months, 9 days ago

"Amazing experience special occasion fab food and service"

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Ant G
Best dining experience for some years. Had ...
Reviewed 11 months, 23 days ago

"Best dining experience for some years. Had the Seasonal menu... every dish was exceptional and not too fancy. No frills and not trying reinvent the wheel like so many gastro chefs"

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Prices

Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
Lunch   £65.00
Dinner   £85.00
  Cost Availability Courses
Menu1 115.00 Always Available 7
Menu2 135.00 Always Available 7
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £37.00
Filter Coffee £5.00
Extras  
Service 12.50%
92 Kensington Park Rd, London, W11 2PN
Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday6:30 pm‑10:30 pm
Wednesday6:30 pm‑10:30 pm
Thursday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 6:30 pm‑10:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 6:30 pm‑10:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 6:30 pm‑10:30 pm
SundayCLOSED

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