London-City and East London
- ‘Drinking holes’
- ‘Great food’
Apr 16, 2018
This subterranean watering hole in Hoxton is not a speakeasy. Got that? London has recently acquired a rash of ‘speakeasy-style’ bars but Happiness Forgets marks itself apart. So what is it instead? It’s part of a new breed of cocktail bar, laid-back but intelligent, drinks taking pride of place, rather than over-baked concepts or theming: the strapline is ‘great cocktails, no wallies‘ and we think that’s a pretty accurate assessment.
Happiness Forgets (the name comes from a Dionne Warwick track) has considerable character. It’s small and dark (very dark), but that’s part of its charm, all bare bricks and candle-light. The drinks are a huge part of the draw. Their classic cocktails are executed with precision and care. Go for the Perfect Storm or an Eastside Fizz. The French Pearl is particularly delish, a gin-based mixture of fresh mint and lime with a dash of absinthe. The Mar*Tea*Ni is crisp and chilled and elegant to boot. The wine list is also worth dipping into and food comes care of the Thai restaurant above.
The music is usually cranked up high which can make conversation difficult but otherwise this is a great place to hang out, pleasingly free of pretention, with an appealingly mixed crowd and a distinct lack of the usual Hoxton hipster crowd.