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8-9 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU
The poetically named Happiness Forgets continues to bring rays of imbibing sunshine to the cocktail lover from its understated basement in Hoxton Square, London. Owner Alastair Burgess’ uncomplicated approach to bars is an ode to simple pleasures, underpinned as always by Happiness Forgets' infamous promise of “great cocktails, no wallies”.
The menu is a slow-moving beast, changing as inspiration comes to the team and creations come better than what preceded them. Currently, the smoky yet citrus mezcal mix, Bootlegger, is the must-try. It has Burgess’s fingerprints all over it: subtlety, balance and sheer deliciousness on the palate; along with elegance on the eye. This stripped-back space of exposed brickwork, flaking paint and minimalist back bar is the ultimate bartender’s bar. No pretence, just a low-lit vibe with high-end drinks. As the wider cocktail universe clamours competitively for attention, Happiness Forgets is an oasis of calm – the sort of place that doesn’t have to try to be cool, but just is.