We might as well get the less-good-news out of the way first: unlike most places we cover and covet on Wonderland City, Fontaine’s is nowhere near a tube station or Zone 1. It is a bit of a trek to get there: past Shoreditch, Haggerston and Hackney, a little past Dalston and into Stoke Newington. Unless you’re local, you’re not going to casually drop by. But that’s OK, because when a watering hole takes its atmosphere and mise-en-scène as seriously as Fontaine’s does, a trek might be in order, from time to time.
Unlike a lot of places that reference Art Deco without really getting serious about it, Fontaine’s revels in Jazz Era aesthetics – nightclub style. The pictures, we think, will confirm our point but what they don’t show is the jocose playlist, the accent on classic cocktails and, not least, a patronesse – Ms Fontaine – who is evidently committed to taking fun seriously, not just extracting some cash from your wallet.
Among other activities, they run film noir nights and live music under the “Fontaine’s After Dark” rubric. The intimacy and theatricality of the space lends itself very well to private parties, where different parts of the joint can be reserved. Lastly, there is a Tikki-themed space downstairs, used for some of the events and parties.
And the ‘Arabian Nights’ reference in the title? We though that Fontaine’s is a bit like an mythical oasis; not round the corner but very nice to discover.
Fontaine’s Cocktail Bar
176 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7UY