£17 for a Belvedere Bloody Mary sounds expensive. When I add that it comes with charcuterie, roast chicken dinner and pudding as part ...
Thursday, 23 June 2011
Happiness Forgets, Hoxton
According to Dionne Warwick, ‘loneliness remembers what happiness forgets.’ Did writers Bacharach and David ever imagine their song would inspire a funky East London watering hole? ‘Please don’t call it “a speakeasy.”’ Mr. Head-Shaker tits, worried the term has been inappropriately appropriated by PRs and hacks (guilty) to describe any liquor lounge smaller than Tiger Tiger, the Haymarket meet-market that’s bigger than Bulgaria. He’s not keen on ‘dive bar’ either, although, technically, that’s what this basement snug is. OK, then: Happiness Forgets is a small cocktail bar.... with big appeal. Happy now, mister? I am: we have Head-Shaker’s undivided attention, given the place is (unfathomably) as deserted as a Detroit dollar-a-daiquiri dive (oops, sorry!) that’s run out of rum. Tonight, it seems, the Happi-inn isn’t for N1’s gelled fin stick-thins, out en masse, for a spot of competitive preening in Hoxton Square. Maybe they begrudge £7 for a top drawer rinse? Their loss! Improved Gin Cocktai, Sazerac and a bone dry Martini are irreproachable. Knocking out flawless classics, not farting around with faddy ‘molecular’ malarkey, is HF's mission statement. I like the look of Harry Palmer (Maker’s Mark, Suze and vermouth). Named after Len Deighton’s spy from The Ipcress File, it’s fatal for Cainers, out dangerously late on a school night. Unaware that I write for the paper, Head- Shaker tells me a PR (I know who you are) dropped in, warning him that the only way his bar could be guaranteed a review in Metro, was if he hired her. Let's be clear. A: it doesn't work like that. B: his bar just got a great review from me... in print...gratis! Update (June 2012). My review and subsequent praise elsewhere have placed this puppy front-of-brain for any booze-hound headed Hoxton way. Prices may have nudged up but standards have deffo not dropped. Journalist and a top tart absinthe and apple sour whose name escapes my one remaining brain cell (Alistair Head-Shaker will know) are your current best calls at this fine basement open, sadly, no later than 11pm. 8 Hoxton Square, N1 7613 0325