Bonechina interior with wooden bar lined with unevenly jointed blue and anthracite diamond cut tiles
(Image credit: TBC)

At Frankfurt’s Bonechina – the latest venture from the Lindenberg group who are also behind the Libertine Lindenberg hotel – the humour begins even before you step in. For starters, the charming three-storey shingled block that dates back to the mid-18th-century on a cobbled street features an old-fashioned signboard. Hanging off the side of the building, its rebus declares the pre-emptive alibi of the evasive criminal: ‘I was at home last night’.

Step inside, and the interiors are so entirely unexpected, it’s almost as if you’d accidentally wandered onto the set of a grown-up version of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. For this, hats off to Studio Aberja for conceiving a bar in which there is a literal elephant in the room. About the size of a St. Bernard, the all-blue porcelain pachyderm – its trunk spurting tonic water – was created by sculptor Marc Rammelmüller and stands astride a broad-based plinth that doubles as the bar. Meanwhile, unevenly jointed, diamond-cut ceramic tiles in shades of blue and anthracite ripple in a glossy wave around the walls of the bijou room. These are inset with shallow timber-lined vitrines that hold objets and pot plants.

Bonechina’s other conceit is the absence of a bartender. Instead, guests, once roused from the backless wooden benches and deep backed stools, gather around the elephant to mix their own drinks. The ice-cubes are infused with Vetiver and sandalwood, whilst whiffs of yuzu and bergamot float from hidden aerosol diffusers, proving once again that not all bars are created equal.

Bonechina bar with blue porcelain elephant on top

(Image credit: TBC)

Bonechina interior with backless benches with blue cushions and wooden flooring

(Image credit: TBC)

Bonechina interior with blue chair, diamond cut blue wall tiles and shallow timber vitrines with pot plants

(Image credit: TBC)

Bonechina interior with wooden flooring dark blue wall panelling and blue diamond cut ceramic tiles

(Image credit: TBC)

Bonechina exterrior shingled three storey with humorous sign and cobbled streets

(Image credit: TBC)


Grosse Rittergasse 64
60594 Frankfurt


Daven Wu is the Singapore Editor at Wallpaper*. A former corporate lawyer, he has been covering Singapore and the neighbouring South-East Asian region since 1999, writing extensively about architecture, design, and travel for both the magazine and website. He is also the City Editor for the Phaidon Wallpaper* City Guide to Singapore.