Like Dreambagsjaguarshoes, Dalston Superstore and Stoke Newington International Airport, this café-bar has a misleading name. The casual visitor in search of a ream of Basildon Bond will find shelves of bottles where they might expect a highlighter display, a selection of French groceries instead of a photocopier. Because it’s actually a wine shop.
What sets Printers & Stationers apart from your average off-licence is the small bar area at the back, where you can enjoy any of the bottles for a £9 mark-up and a few by the glass – one red, one white and one rosé.
But there is also a notably fine French sparkler for £6 called Flute Enchantée, made by feted winemaker Xavier Guillaume in the Côte d’Or.
The stock is all from independent producers, mainly French, with many interesting varieties including natural and organic wines. There’s a particularly fruitful selection in the £8-£15 range.
It’s a lovely place, styled somewhere between a ramshackle antique shop and an eccentric French tante’s living room. There’s rickety furniture, chandeliers, candles, piles of leather-bound books, hunting trophies.
Jazz parps away in the background; a snoozing dog was shifted from a Queen Anne-style sofa so I could sit down, but returned expectantly with the arrival of my cheese and charcuterie plate. There are also croques monsieur and a few sandwiches for the peckish.
It’s simple stuff, and normally a limited offering like this wouldn’t merit much attention. But the artfully cluttered, unusual space is easy to spend time in, and the wine and food is clearly chosen with love. It’s no doubt packed on flower market day (Sunday), so perhaps a midweek evening visit might be more agreeable.