Bar review: Fontaine’s – new Martini menu in East London

Fontaine's Bar London martini menu
Tim Firmager
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Located in Stoke Newington, Art Deco bar Fontaine’s has launched a new martini menu. This menu explore the various flavour combinations and well-disputed variations of the classic drink, from those who prefer it gin-based, to vodka-based, or even vermouth-based.

Fontaine’s Bar

We at Vada popped in to find out the mood of Fontaine’s. Drawing back the black curtain unveils a 1920s themed interior in midnight blue and gold. This tries to embody the Golden Era, although with some showy, but nonetheless playful pieces such as golden palm trees. Vintage cabinets and other trinkets dotted around add to the effect of a living room from a Golden Era filmset. Table service with drinks brought on a silver platter add to the sophisticated reminiscing of the 20s-40s.

New Martini Menu

Fontaine’s has been open since 2014, and four years on has launched a new martini menu, which reflects the filmset opulence of the bar. This new menu is based on Belvedere vodka and Oxley Gin, and the bar team at Fontaine’s have added their own twists to create a selection of classic martinis.

  • For gin lovers, try the Roku Gin Martini (£12) made with Geinmacha infused Roku, Martini Ambrato vermouth, and a lemon twist.
  • Martini drinkers who prefer a Vodka base, should opt for the Vesper (£11.50) made with Belvedere vodka, Oxley gin, Lillet blanc and a lemon twist, or the Belvedere (Lake Bartezek) Martini (£12), made with Lemon verbena infused Belvedere, Lillet blanc, Noilly prat vermouth, and a discarded lemon twist
  • The most citrusy on the menu is however the vermouth-based Portobello Martini (£12), made with Ambrato Martini vermouth, grapefruit bitters, grapefruit twist.
  • As a playful finisher, something akin to what one may expect at a dinner party chez Nigella, is Fontaine’s Belvedere Espresso Martini (£5.50), served in a polished silver cup and saucer.

Overall thoughts

Fontaine’s execution of Golden Era (interior design, service and drinks menu) is a refreshing improvement over the overpriced mediocrity of London zone 1 bars. The price you pay for this however is not in money but location – the north-east London geography does not make this the most accessible bar. For residents anywhere between Stratford and Finsbury park, Fontaine’s is the bar to discover your favourite martini, but those further afield be prepared to travel.

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Fontaine’s is located at 176 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7UY

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About Tim Firmager

Tim divides his time being a Digital Consultant in The City and as a food and travel writer across the globe. When he's not working as one of the Lifestyle Editors here at Vada, he's planning his next trip, or on the lookout for the latest food crazes or unusual foods in London's markets.