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Happiness Forgets

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars Hoxton
5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(43user reviews)
Happiness Forgets (Rob Greig / Time Out)
Rob Greig / Time Out
Happiness Forgets (Rob Greig / Time Out)
Rob Greig / Time Out
Happiness Forgets (Rob Greig / Time Out)
Rob Greig / Time Out
Happiness Forgets (Rob Greig / Time Out)
Rob Greig / Time Out
Happiness Forgets (Rob Greig / Time Out)
Rob Greig / Time Out

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

The only problem we’ve encountered here is an excess of popularity: if you haven’t booked, don’t bank on getting a table whatever day of the week it is. Hoxton is not short of a bar or two, but this basement room packs in the punters with a lively vibe, incredible cocktails, and, in our experience, dazzlingly wonderful service. Staff go out of their way to make sure you’re happy.

Some drinks have been on the list since the bar opened. They’re innovative but sensible, based on a tight grasp of cocktail fundamentals. Decor is minimal, table lighting is from candles, no standing is allowed. One of the best bars in east London – or in all of London, for that matter. 

By: Richard Ehrlich



Address: 8-9 Hoxton Square
N1 6NU
Transport: Tube: Old Street tube/rail or Shoreditch High Street rail
Opening hours: Open 5.30-11pm daily. Food served 6-10.30pm daily
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Users say (43)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:25
  • 4 star:11
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:4
2 people listening
1 of 1 found helpful

Great atmosphere.... went out a wednesday evening so it wasn't too busy - imagine it could get rather hectic on a weekend. Agree with the ice cubes (breezeblocks/icebergs).. But i'm not barman so what do I know! 


One of my favourite cocktail bars! Happiness Forgets' cocktails are just fabulous and super creative, I will usually come for just one drink and end up drinking 3! Staff is really knowledgeable and nice and the speakeasy atmosphere of the bar makes it a great place for a date. I would recommend to go there during the week and to book a table, weekends get incredibly busy so you may have to wait a bit to get a table.


This small unassuming bar downstairs from the Petit Pois Bistro is another dimly lit older sister of Original Sin in Stoke Newington. It’s cosy, the drinks are delicious and the bar staff have great chat. And sometimes, that’s really all you need. The bar snacks are pretty darn good from cheesy croquettes to large juicy olives and definitely worth picking over with one of their tasty concoctions. Happiness Forgets is a place where you can chill out, enjoy a drink (or a few) and have great banter with the staff. A pretty awesome local if you ask me.

Tip: get in early if you’re a bigger group as they’re usually first come first serve and there are only a limited number of seats; however they do take bookings for 2-6 people maximum but only 2 weeks in advance.

Good For: date night, catch up with friends, small groups, intimate drinks

Dimly lit, atmospheric little basement with interesting cocktails. While the seating is cozy, the busy nature of this bar means that there's a good chance you'll be shouting to be heard.


I love speakeasy's so much! Hidden doors, passwords and prohibition era decor make me extremely happy.

So with that is mind, my boyfriend took me to Hoxton Square. We keep circling the area, the smell of alcohol tweaking James' nose; shark week came early. We found it and walked down the stairs to the dimly lit bar. We were seated at the cosy bar, which was amazing.

Drinks are fairly limited, however they are very good at their jobs and we both ordered off the menu. Drinks were delicious, the atmosphere was very fun and bustling, even at 6pm! Tables were getting full very, very quickly - so bookings seem completely necessary! 

Overall, pricey drinks, however for the experience and taste, they are worth it.


I actually came to this place on a first date, we had just before eaten at Meat Mission; erm yum. But anyways, so I had no clue about this place, this was all down to the now ‘boyfriend’s’ (hashtag cringe) planning skills, the whole night had been thought about from start to finish. So when walking down the small set of stairs I was a little apprehensive about what this place would be like; what a real little hidden gem. The bar itself is very small, but the atmosphere is great and really intimate; it’s actually refreshing and much more pleasant as to how small and not overly crowded it is in there, it’s quite nice knowing you’re not barricaded by a number of people in hope that the bartender may spot your hand swinging in order to be able to serve you. The menu is brilliant, nothing but cocktails. A really nice range of drinks to choose from, but fancy something a little different? The staff are incredible, a real big factor of this place, not feeling any of the drinks, they’ll be quick to whip up something that would be more to your taste. Definitely hit this place up, but I would suggest getting that booking in place; nothing worse than arriving to be turned away. 


Happiness Forgets is a bar that is worth visiting often due to its constantly changing menu which shifts to follow themes and certain tastes, always set to delight in one way or another. Beyond the menu, however, the staff remember the tastes you might have missed - the drinks that have been rotated out. The waitress that served me was beyond excellent, with perfect suggestion for what I fancied at the time.

The environment is classic basement bar - a dark place where the bar is the focus above all. The music and chatter never rise enough to force you to shout, however. Be sure to book a table in advance, however, as the place isn’t large and the clientele are plentiful.

Happiness forgets is a tiny cosy corner of calm in the hectic surrounds of Hoxton Square. It's really small and I'm not sure what the protocol on booking is so it might be best to have a back up plan on a Saturday night as the tiny space can only really accommodate a handful of people. Still, if you get a table, its the perfect place to settle in for a few hours and sample unique cocktails at not too eye watering a price. 


There's often a lot of hype about cocktail bars sometimes, especially when they're small and "hidden". Often I have been let down by these types of bars, but Happiness Forgets is great! The menu isn't too large which is nice, and every single cocktail I've tried has been great. The cocktails are all unique creations, you won't find many "classics" on the menu. 

A lot of people don't seem to know you can book a table, so if you are organized enough, definitely make a reservation and just enjoy a relaxed evening without queuing!

This cocktail bar is teeny tiny,  and hidden below Hoxton Square in an unmarked location, but it's a really wonderful spot if you are lucky enough to get a table. We went around 10pm on a Wednesday night and had ordered and recieved our drinks within 5 minutes of sitting down, which is impressive considering some cocktail bars can seem to take ages to make your drink. Great staff and lovely, intimate atmosphere.

Went on a Friday night so there was a long wait to get in. Well worth waiting though, a really cute underground (very dimly lit) vibe. The cocktails weren't cheap but were delicious, and it definitely seemed like a date location. They seem to pack people in quite tightly, but a great spot if you like cocktails. Very attentive, friendly staff who subtly manage to give you the drinks menu without feeling too pushy.


I visited on a Sunday evening before catching a play, was easy to walk in and grab a table. It was busy for a Sunday with chilled music, dim lights and overall relaxed atmosphere. Quick, swift service and beautiful fresh cocktails. Not an extensive selection of cocktails on the menu but what they did have was unique to them. If I return I would be tempted to go off menu and really test the bartender, he looked like he could create something amazing all on his own.


The venue is a tiny little basement, but the cocktails really pack a punch. The flavours are great and they're not your boring martini or whatever you have to drink in boring venues. Since the place is so small they only allow you to order if you can sit, which is quite nice for London. You definitely don't end up climbing through the crowd like in most places. The staff is great, and somehow you always befriend the people sitting close to you. Its great for a slightly quieter drink out than most of Shoreditch. 

Really cool bar with great cocktails! Quick service. Perfect for post work drinks or a date night! 

Yes its a cool spot and the cocktails are amazing BUT the ice cubes are what fill up the glasses and you end up with only a few sips for a high price. I wouldnt go back.

Always my favourite. A warm, dark, little cave of a place. The drinks are amazing, the bar staff are warm, knowledgable and fun, and will mix you drinks based on your tastes. In fact, they get disappointed if you keep ordering on menu! Perfect for dates.

I've been going to Happiness Forgets for nearly two years now and it never fails. The cocktails are fabulous; expertly made, unusual without being weird and they are very reasonably priced for the quality you get. The menu also regularly changes so there is always something new to try. I always get a lovely welcome, the staff are brilliant. Sit at the bar, get chatting to the bar tenders and before you know it, they'll have your tastes worked out and be suggesting amazing cocktails they can make for you. I go to many cocktail bars and this is my favourite (and is also a favourite of many of the bartenders at the other bars I go to!).

I was so impressed by Happiness Forgets. It was a cosy and secluded bar, full of life and busy but not too crowded. Drinks were reasonably priced and the service was outstanding! I could not flaw the two waitresses who knew exactly what sort of drink to recommend to each customer. This is the perfect place to go on a date, I had a fantastic night and will no doubt be going again soon.

One of the better speakeasy style cocktail bars in London...nice staff, cool space, interesting drinks!!

The staff at Happiness Forgets exude a warmth so welcoming that any other such establishment has little chance of succour when it comes to delivering the same sepia tinted libation sensation as you’ll find here. Combine that with a formidable sense of craftsmanship and the result is a bar resplendent in so many qualities that you’ll be more than happy but you certainly won’t forget.

Best bar in London without a doubt. Amazing staff, fantastic cocktails, great music, lovely atmosphere. Perfection!

love it, been coming for years, a few staff changes recently, but they have picked well. Will still be going for what is my fave old fashioned in London.

Top date spot. Had several good and bad dates here, at no fault of the establishment of course. Dim lighting, romantic, perfect cocktails, cozy. Sure to increase your chances of getting lucky with this venue!

lived in new york and boston for 3 years and this does nothing but remind me of my favourite bars there, relaxed, comfortable friendly and knoledgable staff, beware though as they do get really busy, was told they are fully booked on the weekends a week in advance and there is no standing space, super small bar. We were lucky and nabbed to stols at the bar. so glad i found it, and ill be back soon.

I love this place, been 2-3 times now and it's relaxed and laid back atmosphere. Amazing cocktails and wonderful bar staff... they saw that there we some whisky fans so the went off drinks list to create some cocktails for the gang! Will be back asap!

Tried to go to this bar last week - a girlfriend and I took two empty seats at the bar but were pointedly ignored for at least 15 minutes by both bartenders (no eye contact, no "I'll be with you in a moment", nothing). After I finally stood up and said "excuse me" to get the attention of a bartender, he glared at me and said "those seats are taken" quite rudely. (I'm not sure how we were supposed to have known that - there were no "reserved" signs and no sign at the entrance saying that we should wait to be seated.) We left and won't be going back.

Best bar in Hoxton Square! Amazing Cocktails and relaxed atmosphere, nothing even in the whole of London can beat it

This is the best bar in Hoxton, the drinks are great, the music is great, the decor is great, the staff are great. It's not pretentious, and I like that they bring you water, as I always ask for a glass of tap water when I drink alcohol anyway. But I don't want more and more people to go so yes, you're right, it's simply AWFUL don't ever go here honestly!!

gorgeous cocktails and gorgeous barmen... ;) a fab atmosphere and no pretention only friendly faces and comfy seats. Give it a try

Swung by last night at 10:15 it was very busy but the wonderful waitress said if we didn't mind we could have a seat on some stools, having ordered a clover club for myself it arrived in good time and tasted fantastic! The BEST I've had in my life so far. Don't be put off by reviews calling it pretentious it's just people actually enjoying their company and drinks. I will be back.

A very pretentious and uncomfortable experience. Having been greeted several times by all of the staff, which just felt odd, we were informed that you "shouldn't bring someone here if you wouldn't leave them alone in your own home." er ok. You're given this cucumber water straight away, as if to say, "you can't handle your drink." We were asked to move bar stools twice because they wanted to accommodate a group of 5 that had come in. The staff are good and they know their stuff but it just seems poorly managed. All the staff are forced to chat to you which just isn't natural and feels it. Overall not a great experience and not somewhere I'll be going back to any time soon. Plus notes are the cocktail menu, if a little absinthe heavy. Much prefer Bluu.

Wednesday night cocktails were absolutely perfect, lovely atmosphere, service and great cocktails. I will definitely be heading back with more friends!

my first time in this bar and most certainly won't be my last... faultless service and drinks... guys, thanks once again... will be back down the next time I am in London for sure. Laura.

Great bar on a Friday night. The staff were polite and helpful, even put my martini in the freezer when I went for a cigarette to bring it straight back when i returned. Small touches like this make all the difference. Staff knowledgable and Lovely atmosphere, would high recommend. I'll definitely be going back

You certainly will forget your happiness at this place, if you're coming as part of a group deemed to be too large or if you're tolerance for sitting dripped in your own sweat in 30-degree plus temperatures is limited. The cucumber-infused water (i.e. jug of water with some sliced cucumber in it) is a nice touch but it doesn't excuse what I found to be a fundamentally rude manager, constantly asking you not to stand or not to sit there - and so on. The rest of the staff do a great job though. Cocktails are okay - not as good as LoungeLover but then not as expensive either. At least they know how to make table-service work properly though. Good spot if there are only one or two of you but don't go as a group.

I honestly don't think I've encountered such unfriendly staff as they have at Happiness Forgets. I was there for a friend's birthday drinks on Saturday which was constantly marred by an unbelievably rude waiter harrassing the birthday girl - 'You booked for fifteen people, I can count seventeen here', 'Stop standing up to greet your guests'. Best of all though was the moment when, after waiting over twenty minutes for a drink, the bartender handed me my cocktail only to snatch it out of my hands two minutes later (by which time I had taken a couple of sips) and hand it to someone else on the other side of the room. Extraordinary.

What a great little find, in a mess of an area that is shoreditch, i can imagine many people not being able to find, just look for the steps heading infont of Ruby Cafe. Never to busy no matter what night, great cocktails, even if you dont want a drink that is on the menu they will make what you want. I have been a few times but on friday went with 5 friends and they didnt have a table, but they too our phone number and called us when one came free, it took 25 minutes but we had got a table. What service. checck this bar out, its just what the area needs.

Great chaps behind the bar, great drinks, great atmosphere and, as has been mentioned, a complete lack of pretention. A grown up bar for grown ups, exactly what the area needs. I absolutely love it!

When you've gotten sick of pretentious barmen and poorly made cocktails make your way down to Happiness Forgets. It has a menu that can please most any palate and if you are feel daring let them make you something special off the menu, the staff is extremely knowledgeable and approachable. I highly recommend stopping by.

smashing little basement bar hidden away in hoxton square, went in tonight for my sister's birthday and for once was glad it shuts early!! thanks as ever guys.. kelly xx

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