Happiness Forgets in London has won the title of the UK’s best bar in the British GQ Food & Drink Awards.
The team, led by founder Alastair Burgess, collected the award last night at a ceremony, supported by Veuve Clicquot, at 100 Wardour St in London.
The five other bars to reach the shortlist for the award, sponsored by Belvedere vodka, were Bramble in Edinburgh and, from London, Dandelyan at the Mondrian London hotel, The Blind Pig at Social Eating House, Claridge’s, and The Punch Room at the London Edition hotel.
In awarding the trophy to Happiness Forgets in Hoxton, the judges said: “Since Alastair Burgess opened this tiny subterranean venue in 2011, it has become so popular that a free table is a rare gem to come by.”
The annual awards, run by the British GQ magazine, are based on thousands of votes cast by the public, leading to a shortlist. The winners were chosen by judges including chefs Mark Hix, Florence Knight and Gizzi Erskine, restaurateurs Oliver Peyton and Rainer Becker, designer Tara Bernerd, Groucho Club CEO Matt Hobbs, British GQ editor Dylan Jones and Jo Thornton, managing director of Moët Hennessy UK, distributor of Veuve Clicquot. The awards were presented by Claudia Winkleman.
Kitty Fisher’s in Shepherd Market in London was named best restaurant after being opened in December 2014 by actor Oliver Milburn with Tim Steel and All Star Lanes co-founder Tom Mullion. Tom also picked up the award for best front of house.
The award for best interior went to Chiltern Firehouse in London’s Mayfair – designed by Paris-based Studio KO with Archer Humphryes Architects.
A lifetime achievement award went to chef Giorgio Locatelli for his dedication to high-quality Michelin-starred Italian cooking to the UK.
British GQ editor Dylan Jones said: “This is only our second year, and the GQ Food & Drink Awards presented with Veuve Clicquot have already established themselves as one of the premier events in the food and drink calendar.
“I put this down to the rigorous judging process, the exhaustive selection process organised by the GQ editorial team and to the enormous support of the industry.
“We hope to continue to do justice to the men and women who have shaped Britain’s hospitality landscape, and also to encourage those new talents to enter an industry that has become a focal point for modern living.
“GQ takes food and drink incredibly seriously, with the largest, most comprehensive coverage of any non-specific title.”
Waterford Crystal handcrafted the awards given to the winners. Full coverage will be in the June issue of GQ, on sale from May 5.
Full list of winners
Best bar: Happiness Forgets, Hoxton Square, London N1
Best restaurant: Kitty Fisher’s, Shepherd Market, London W1
Best chef: James Lowe at Lyle’s, Shoreditch High Street, London E1
Best interior: Chiltern Firehouse, Chiltern Street, London W1
Best front of house: Tom Mullion at Kitty Fisher’s, Shepherd Market, London W1
Best sommelier: Ruth Spivey at Craft London, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10
Best pub: The Sportsman, Faversham Road, Seasalter, Whitstable, Kent
Best hotel: The Pig On The Beach, Manor House, Manor Road, Studland, Dorset
Best overall experience: The Wolseley, Piccadilly, London W1
Lifetime achievement award: Giorgio Locatelli