A little soppy fact for you here, Bill’s was the restaurant Matthew and I went to on our first ever date when we met each other in Guildford 3 and a half years ago! It fast became one of our favourite places for breakfast, and whilst living apart we would often meet there for a cute little breakfast date to catch up, so it most definitely holds a special little place in our hearts. When I was invited to the Cambridge branch, I jumped at the chance to go and decided that we should try out their lunch menu, as we have had breakfast there more times than I can remember, but lunch only once or twice.
We both arrived VERY hungry and 10 minutes early (not like me at all) to an extremely busy restaurant, but were quickly shown to our seats by the lovely Alina, who then passed us on to Hector who would be looking after us during our meal. Hector handed us the menus and gave us time to have a think about what we would like to drink. He came over to check if we were ready and was more than happy to help Matt when he wasn’t quite sure on which drink to choose. I opted for a Gin and Tonic (standard Frances) and Matthew for the Bill’s IPA – which he was very pleased to see once he got, is brewed by Adnams, one of his favourites.
Neither of us planned to have starters, but upon noticing the Crumbed Halloumi Sticks, we quickly changed our minds – absolutely cannot turn down Halloumi! I also had Hummus on the brain after noticing a hummus recipe written on one of the chalkboards, which are scattered around on the restaurant walls; so we also ordered the Flatbread, Hummus and Nicoise Olives. The starters arrived in good time, giving us the chance to settle in, chat and have a drink, but not too long that we were questioning where our food was. We soon dug in, and I honestly want to go back and eat the starters all over again now I am writing this post and thinking about it! The Crumbed Halloumi Sticks were OUT OF THIS WORLD. Dipped into the garlic and lemon mayo, it was the kind of taste that makes you feel all warm and comforted inside – and I was impressed with the portion size, despite me never wanting them to end! Please if you make a visit to a Bill’s restaurant yourself, try these – they are revolutionary! The flatbread, hummus and olives were a perfect accompanying dish, just enough for the 2 of us without being too full for our mains.
Just before our mains arrived, AlIna noticed that I had finished my drink and came over to ask me if I wanted another of the same, but did mention that there was another Gin they served called Monkey which was her favourite but was served with lime rather than grapefruit (grapefruit is my favourite fruit served with Gin). We spoke a bit about Gin after I realized that she was a Gin lover too, so decided to go with her recommendation, which arrived just as our mains arrived too. The Gin was not a disappointment, and worked so well with the lime slice, a great recommendation! For main, I opted for the Baked Caper and Herb Crusted Cod, which is served with a warm lentil, kale and fennel salad. I also asked for some sweet potato fries as I know they are so delicious at Bill’s so couldn’t resist! My fish was cooked to perfection, and melted in the mouth. The salad worked so well with the fish, and was delicious – and of course the sweet potato fries were an added bonus! Matthew had the buttermilk chicken burger, which looked amazing. He certainly seemed to enjoy it as it did not touch the sides! He asked to change the sweet potato fries to normal fries, which was no problem at all, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. We were both really happy with our choices and both pleasantly full!
For pudding (I LOVE that they call it this, as I always say that at home rather than dessert), we decided to share the warm mini cinnamon doughnuts as were both very full. I actually had this exact pudding on our first date, so I knew what to expect which I think actually made me even more excited because I knew what was coming. The doughnuts come in dish with sliced strawberries, and a pot of hot salted caramel sauce, and hot melted chocolate. My favourite sauce is the salted caramel, and Matthews the chocolate – which works perfectly, although dipping them in both, is drool-worthy!
We were certainly set up for the day after this meal – and were super impressed by the service and overall experience. The whole team were incredibly friendly and attentive, even down to when one of the bar staff noticed Matt taking a picture of the bar he posed for him! Unfortunately it made Matt laugh so much that the photo is literally a big blur, but we did get another photo of him when we spoke afterwards, so thanks for the entertainment! We couldn’t help but take pictures whilst inside as the décor in Bill’s has always been one of my favourite things about every branch you go to. It has a rustic feel to it, and the kind of restaurant where you feel comfortable in your weekend casuals, or dressing slightly smarter – Bill’s is 100% a winner for every occasion. Nothing was too much for the staff and I left so happy knowing I had such a lovely experience and attended to well despite the volume of customers in the restaurant at the time. All of the customers around me also received their food in great time, amazing service for a busy weekend lunchtime! I would recommend booking ahead, we were sat fairly close to the arrivals desk and I noticed most people who arrived had pre-booked, and I didn’t ever see an empty table for more than a few minutes.
I cannot wait to take a trip back to the Cambridge branch, and probably go back for breakfast, as I haven’t had breakfast at Bills since we moved from Guildford back in August last year! A trip is definitely on the cards!
*Our meal at Bill’s was complimentary, however as always all views and opinions are 100% my own.