survey result

Summary

£130
£££££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Where’s a fourth Michelin star when you need one?” – Clare Smyth’s “world-class” Notting Hill luminary offers “a supreme gastronomic experience” and now dominates our diners’ poll, topping not just votes as top gastronomic experience and highest food rating, but also the most-mentioned restaurant this year: an incredible achievement for somewhere charging top dollar. “From the moment you walk in to the moment you leave, everything is perfect”, but “despite being in the top echelons of restauration, everyone is so friendly and unstuffy” and “Clare and head chef Jonny Bone always make time to say ‘hi’ from the kitchen doorway”. The service (led by Rob Rose) is so smooth and slick “it’s almost like a ballet” and “Gareth Ferreira’s ability to pair wines is also exceptional”. When it comes to the cuisine itself, the third Michelin star awarded in January 2021 was “well-warranted and overdue” thanks to the “unsurpassed levels of sophistication, technical expertise, and the sheer culinary pleasure of the majestic tasting menu”. Dishes are “consistently bursting with flavour” (“I have never been so excited by a potato dish!”) and “look like works of art”; while “vegetarians and pescatarians are clearly no afterthought”. “After two cancellations for Covid restrictions I finally made it… well worth the money!”.

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

£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.

For 31 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at Core by Clare Smyth?

Restaurant details

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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.
Gavin P
A fantastic meal, we had the classic and th...
Reviewed 2 months, 10 days ago

"A fantastic meal, we had the classic and the seasons menu both excellent - standout dishes for me were the potato, lamb, other carrot and the core apple. I had the wine pairing very pricey but all went well with the food. Service was above a 5 best ever very attentive without being intrusive. "

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Richard F
Probably the best meal I have ever had. The...
Reviewed 4 months, 24 days ago

"Probably the best meal I have ever had. The service was impeccable. Well worth staying up past midnight to be able to make the booking. "

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cyril c
Top of a game no one is playing...
Reviewed 5 months, 19 days ago

"Top of a game no one is playing"

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Darshan B
Food was absolutely stunning, staff were at...
Reviewed 6 months,

"Food was absolutely stunning, staff were attentive and they really added a personal touch to the dining."

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Nick P
If there were a 6 for service I'd give it. ...
Reviewed 8 months, 16 days ago

"If there were a 6 for service I'd give it. It deftly straddles that line between fine dining but not being stuffy. If we'd have turned up in jeans no one would have treated us any differently. There are some in-jokes, like the Eponymous Clare Smyth (she says hi when you walk in) fingerprint glazed on to the crockery, but it's all good fun. And they send one of the chefs out to present one of the dishes to the table. If they didn't appreciate it, we did. The food, is, of course, on point and there aren't many duff points. Well selected and highly seasonal."

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David D
A return lunch visit. Prices all 20% up sin...
Reviewed 9 months, 16 days ago

"A return lunch visit. Prices all 20% up since booking (not notified) was a little frustrating. But won over, of course, by the sheer quality of the food and friendly, rarely overbearing, service. The lunch a la carte not though quite the cracking value it was, now more in line with (or more than) other central London 3 stars."

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Sally M
Fantastic meal as always although not somew...
Reviewed 10 months, 13 days ago

"Fantastic meal as always although not somewhere I want to visit too often. 4 times a year is perfect. "

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Ant G
A revisit…. Simply outstanding ...
Reviewed 11 months, 1 day ago

"A revisit…. Simply outstanding "

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Prices

  Cost Availability Courses
Menu1 185.00 Always available 7

Traditional European menu

Pudding
£0.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £30.00
Filter Coffee £5.00
Extras  
Bread £0.00
Service 10.00%
92 Kensington Park Rd, London, W11 2PN
Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
TuesdayCLOSED
WednesdayCLOSED
Thursday12 pm‑2:15 pm
Friday12 pm‑2:15 pm
Saturday12 pm‑2:15 pm
SundayCLOSED

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