Core by Clare Smyth

92 Kensington Park Road, W11 2PN

WLC Rank : 11

Food Type Cuisine: Seasonal British

Glass PriceGlass from : £ 11 (125 ml)

+44 (0)20 3937 5086


Vintage Champagnes and rested Rhône
Impeccable dishes
Clare Smyth’s personal musical playlist
A bar which is a destination in itself

A confident, complete and inquisitive list created by the masterful Gareth Ferreira to complement the pristine flavours of head chef, Clare Smyth.


Review 2019

A regular judge for Decanter, South African, Gareth Ferreira has won the Ruinart Sommelier challenge and been named South African Sommelier of the Year (2016) and runner up in the UK Sommelier of the Year competition (2017). However, though born in a wine producing country, he “never grew up around wine nor anyone working in wine and hospitality,” he says. “After high school, I took a tourism diploma with the thought it would open doors to travel and ended up working behind the bar in a hotel in Jersey!” Two years with Ritz-Carlton ensued, “mostly in Naples, Florida training in their in-house food and beverage programme.” However, it wasn’t until he took a job in his home country at the boutique Saxon Hotel that his passion for wine was truly ignited – and he was ultimately appointed head sommelier and beverage manager. He later spent over a year as the senior sommelier at seven-star Burj Al Arab, Dubai.

In London, Ferreira worked alongside chef Tim Allen as the sommelier at Launceston Place. “I knew I wanted to work for Ronan Sayburn at some stage and got the opportunity to do so as part of the opening team at 67 Pall Mall.” After two and a half years at the wine club, “and many happy memories,” Ferreira knew it was time to run his own wine programme, “and an opening by Clare Smyth was something I didn’t want to miss out on.”

Ferreira notes it takes time to build a wine list, and his is incidentally printed using Capitolium New for headings and Benton Sans for content. “I’m constantly working on it and I don’t think I will ever think it’s perfect – though that’s what I am striving for. We have certainly considerably increased the number of wines and the stock holding over the last 18 months, doubling it in size, adding a lot of vintage depth to the classic regions while making sure to offer a diverse selection at the lower price bracket.” In particular, Ferreira has made a real effort with his Rhône selection. “It’s a region (particularly the north) which I’m incredibly fond.”

Northern Irish chef, Chef Clare Smyth MBE, voted World’s Best Female Chef Award by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, “loves a good Meursault and a Bordeaux in its prime,” notes Ferreira. She offers both a classics menu, showcasing signature dishes and a seasons menu featuring newer dishes highlighting ingredients in the very height of the season. The latter may feature the complex Jerusalem artichoke confit in butter, malt, mushroom and Cheddar as the second course, accompanied with a biodynamic red from Burgenland: Blaufränkisch Rosenberg 2008 (Gerhard Pittnauer). “Serving a red wine so early on in the menu, then going back to white is a risk, but I thought why not? So far the risk paid off and I’ve had nothing but great feedback.”

Ferreira recalls the unforgettable afternoon spent with from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s Aubert de Villaine. “He took us through his vineyards and then into the cellars for a tasting going back as far as the 1950s. I hung onto every word he said.”

When not at Core, Ferreira spends a lot of his time studying. “It is the sacrifice you have to make to be better, but it is my choice, so I have no complaints,” he says. “I played lots of sport when I was younger, but now if I get the chance to relax on the couch and watch sport while having a glass of wine, well happy days…”

By Douglas Blyde.

Review 2018

South African, Gareth Ferreira, the former assistant head sommelier at private members’ club, 67 Pall Mall, has compiled an inquisitive, if generally rather expensive list (with little, and indeed little of interest below £50 per bottle) with particular attention lavished on food and wine matches, which is probably the best value and most interesting option to go for if dining here.

Dishes, meanwhile, by Clare Smyth, previously the lead light of Gordon Ramsay’s three Michelin-starred Chelsea restaurant flagship, may include skate with Morecambe Bay shrimps to begin, then Swiss chard and brown butter, Scottish venison with smoked chestnut, pearl barley and whisky, with the much photographed ‘Core apple’ comprising Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples pepped with Somerset cider brandy and Gosnells London mead to follow.

The cocktails in the bar, authored by mixologist, Alessandro Villa, accompanied with arguably London’s most impeccable bar ‘snacks’, make this part of the business a destination in itself.

Note the cheerful, innervating playlist throughout the uplifting venue.

WLC Overall Score 97.1


WLC Overall Rank : 11

Food Type Cuisine: Seasonal British

Glass PriceGlass from : £ 11 (125 ml)

+44 (0)20 3937 5086