As much as we all love our old favourite haunts - the bars where the barman knows how you like your martini, where you've got hundreds of tales that are only funny to you and your besties...
...and where there's been a dodgy snog or five - it's always nice to try somewhere new.
Core isn't just new to me though, Core is new full stop. Located between Bank and St Paul's, it's in its own corner of awesome with a drinks menu that's hard to rival and food to make you forget any beach body diets. The drinks menu has been put together by the mischievous mixologists behind Foundation in Covent Garden, so that's a pretty good indicator of what you can expect!
After my very enjoyable trip to The Gable a few weeks ago (you can read about that here) I was excited to party party in the City again. The whole St Paul's/Bank area is an easy location for seeing people after work and with bookable spaces and 2-4-1 cocktails on Thursdays, it didn't take much persuading for me to book an area at Core and see what all the fuss was about.
I wanted to be prepared for the drinks that I would 'have to' consume in the name of research, so we ordered a 'Bites Platter' which had everything from onion rings to lamb kebabs to crab cakes to chorizo sausage rolls...but we still managed to add some cheesy garlic bread and chicken wings to the mix.
Everything was delicious, but the best thing had to be the rosemary fries which I devoured before I could take a pic. Next time I'll go one step further and opt for the 'Epic Fries' - that's the rosemary fries I'd enjoyed but with the addition of Louisiana hot sauce, melted tangy mature cheddar cheese and spring onions. Epic indeed.
I will definitely go back and have a full on meal at Core in the not so distant future, but we were really just after snacks to prep us for the main event - THE COCKTAILS.
I started off rather naughtily with the Morning Glory - Smirnoff Apple Vodka and yoghurt liqueur shaken with a squeeze of honey, crushed blackberries, a dollop of strawberry jam and a splash of cranberry juice. Oh and some Fruit Loops.
Please excuse the quality of my pics, it was dark and I was getting drunkerer and drunkerer ;)
It was delicious and I highly recommend this cocktail. I would have it every day for breakfast if I could. (Hey Core, fancy applying for a 24 hour license?!).
I needed to have something a little lighter as my next drink, so opted for a Slim Jim...
The Slim Jim features Finlandia Vodka, limes, cucumber, ginger and honey and was completely delightful. It almost tasted good for you. Blame the cucumber.
Next we opted for something fruity (five a day, eh?!) with the Raspberry Rum and Peach Daiquiri - a blend of Bacardi Superior, peach puree, Archers, raspberries and lime juice.
Having spied the drink I wanted to have as my 'drink pudding' and knowing how sweet it would be, I decided a sour cocktail would work well before moving on to a sugary finish.
So what better than a Jamaretto?
I wouldn't normally opt for Jack Daniels, but this heady blend of JD with an amaretto sour just fused together gorgeously.
After some scribbling in the menu (that's encouraged btw, it wasn't just petty vandalism on my part) I was ready for the cocktail of my dreams...
I can't describe how excited I was about trying the Chocolate Orange Martini, but it beat all expectations. And my expectations were HIGH.
Possibly the best cocktail of all time, this drink sees Baileys, chocolate liqueur and Smirnoff Vanilla vodka mixed with liquid chocolate, cream and marmalade. This is then served with an actual segment of a Terry's Chocolate Orange. IT WAS SO GOOD.
All evenings out should end with a Chocolate Orange Martini. It should be Going Out Law.
It was a brilliant evening with great music, great food and GREAT booze. I will definitely be heading back to Core asap to continue working my way through the extensive cocktails menu and I suggest you do the same. Just make sure you save room for the Chocolate Orange Martini, it;s like a cuddle in a glass!