Happiness Forgets — a cosy speakeasy in London’s East End and a familiar face in the World’s 50 Best Bar Awards — has become something of an institution. Co-owner and exceptional bartender in his own right, Alastair Burgess, took us on a whistle-stop adventure to his favourite bars.
343 Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 9RA
With a 90s hip hop soundtrack, perfectly executed classics and great service, Satan’s Whiskers in Bethnal Green has everything a great neighbourhood bar should have. It’s not on the menu, but ask your friendly bartender for a frozen Gold Rush — a modern whisky sour, simple and super well balanced, exactly like the drinks menu and bar itself.
107 Lower Clapton Rd, London E5 0NP
With a great selection of organic wines that you can drink in or to take home with you, coupled with rotating guest chefs, P. Franco is the perfect neighbourhood wine bar without any of the snobbery. As an added bonus, stand outside, drink a glass and bump into friends and familiar faces.
7 Old Compton St, London W1D 5JE
Inspired by train station coffee shops in Italy, this tiny cocktail and espresso bar in the heart of buzzing Soho is a must visit. Imagine you’re in-between meetings and have fifteen minutes to kill — it is the perfect place to drop in and out for a quick espresso or one of their infamous Negronis.
Mondrian Hotel, 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD
Dandelyan is a hotel bar that doesn't feel like a hotel bar. Informal and relaxed, with prices that won't burn a 5 star hole in your wallet, the drinks have all the bells and whistles and come equipped with one of the best views in London (that isn’t nail-bitingly sky high). It is the perfect place to while away your Sunday, and the afternoon tea is great too. It's closing soon after four brilliant years, so get there soon!
Sager + Wilde, Paradise Row
250 Paradise Row, London E2 9LE
Huge terrace, fantastic cocktails, great wine list, delicious food and wonderful staff — if there were boxes to tick, Sager + Wilde, Paradise Row pretty much ticks them all. Even if the sun isn't shining, inside is cosy and welcoming, and it’s impossible not to have a great night there.
Don't forget, you can also order a Shackleton Whisky over ice at a whole host of exciting bars and restaurants across the Capital. Some of our favourites are Chiltern Firehouse, Devil’s Darling, Social Wine & Tapas and The River Café.