Bill’s is a restaurant founded on fresh produce and good food. Bill’s started off as a Green Grocer, selling fresh fruit and vegetables. The shop was hit by a flood, so when they decided that it was time to re-open, they added a cafe! Fast forward a few years and 70+ restaurants later, Bill’s is a chain with a great menu, great staff and great morals. Each restaurant has a shop attached, where you can buy the lemonade, jams, cookies and more.
I was invited along to try the lunch/dinner menu after trying their breakfasts one morning. My dad told them about my blog and why I was taking 100’s of photos of pancakes, and they very kindly invited me back! My pancakes were adorned with strawberries, blueberries and bananas which made me feel a little less guilty about drowning them in syrup!
I love that Bill’s have such an extensive drinks menu, and there’s really plenty to choose from. Not just alcohol either! There’s different types of lemonade, soft drinks, milkshakes and more. I opted for the Bramble Mojito. White rum, blackberry puree, mint, vanilla and lime juice. It was refreshing but sweet, and I really enjoyed it! I liked that it wasn’t too strong and white rum is my favourite spirit.
My Dad ordered the Pink Lemonade and my brother a coca-cola. Bill’s have their own Pink Lemonade that is made exclusively for them with their recipe and is available to buy in the store in some beautiful bottles.
After I finished my cocktail, I really wanted to try a milkshake. Milkshakes are one of my favourite drinks and many places don’t get them right. I opted for the standard strawberry. I really enjoyed the milkshake but I do wish it was a little bit thicker!
My brother decided against a starter but my Dad and I both wanted to try one. I got the Crumbled Halloumi Sticks with Lemon garlic mayo and pickled red onions and my dad went for the Ham Hock, Mustard and Pea Terrine with Bill’s red onion marmalade and toast. My dad and I have similar tastes when it comes to food, so we shared these starters. Whenever I go out with him, I always end up eating most of his meal and we’ll swap. He has good taste.
I can’t fault our starters, they were large portions but not too much. The Ham Hock terrine was wonderful, and the marmalade complimented it extremely well. The halloumi sticks with the lemon and garlic mayo, I could eat these every single day. I love cheese, but I find cheese based dishes can be too much or too sickly but this wasn’t. The breadcrumbs and mayo balanced it out and they were cooked to perfection. They were sat on a bed of lettuce and presented so beautifully. I don’t have anything negative to say about our starters because they were truly wonderful, while I’m writing this I’m dreaming of eating them again!
As for main courses, my brother and I got the same. We both went for the Bill’s Hamburger, which is a toasted bun, lettuce, tomato, red onion, horseradish mayo and skin on fries. We’re both a little fussy so I asked for no horseradish mayo but to add cheese. My brother wanted just lettuce and ketchup! They were extremely accommodating to our request and didn’t mind at all. The fries were crispy and crunchy, but full of potato. I find sometimes fries can be done so wrong but I really enjoyed these. I have to admit, I didn’t eat much of my burger. That’s only because I saw what my Dad ordered and he insisted I try some, so I did and I LOVED it. Truly one of the best mains I’ve had in a long time. From what I did try the burger, the meat was cooked very well and the lettuce and tomato were fresh and juicy. Which is so important to me, I love tomatoes and I could eat them like fruit if they’re juicy ones.
My Dad went for the Chargrilled Chicken and Bubble and Squeak Rosti with buttered baby spinach and wholegrain mustard cream sauce. My goodness, it was heaven on a plate. I’m waiting until I next go to Bill’s because I’m dreaming of eating this again. It’s rare I have a meal that even a week or two afterwards, I still could eat it all again. I eat out quite a lot, with friends and family. It’s a great way to catch up and have a chat without a noisy bar or coffee shop. However, I’m not a food critic. I’m just a 21-year-old woman who loves good food and good company!
I hate plain food. It has to have sauce or cheese or something to make it moist and full of flavour for me to enjoy. The mustard cream sauce was exactly that, it was wonderful. The Bubble and Squeak Rosti was delightful, the rosti pulled apart easily and you could taste how fresh it was. Even the spinach I could eat a bowl full! I didn’t eat much of the chicken but what I did try, it was succulent and full of flavour.
We decided to go all out and get desserts. My brother and I hadn’t seen my Dad over Christmas so we give him his presents before we ordered. It was a special occasion and well actually… It doesn’t need to be a special occasion for me to order dessert. It’s my favourite part of a meal and I need to stop trying to justify it to myself, ha.
Are you ready to drool over what we had? I went for the Warm Mini Cinnamon Doughnuts with fresh strawberries and warm chocolate sauce (that I got to drizzle myself, which made me excited). They were so great but very indulgent! It’s the type of thing I’ll always go for as I love anything full of sugar and chocolate – apologies to my dentist!
Peter, my brother got the Chocolate Brownie with warm chocolate sauce and crème fraîche. Judging by his clean plate, it was good. The same goes for my Dad, who ordered the Apple Tart with lemon crème fraîche. His plate was cleared too! The manager at Bill’s also brought out the Lemon Meringue Pie Cheesecake in a Glass with Bill’s lemon curd, yoghurt ice cream and poppy seed meringue. This is a popular choice and I can see why, it looks beautiful.
Every single dish that came out of the Bill’s Kitchen was presented beautifully, which is important and really adds to the overall satisfaction of your meal. It’s not just slapped on a plate. I truly thing this meal was one of the best I’ve had, ever. The service was impeccable, the food was delicious and the ambience inside of the restaurant was lovely. They even played lots of my favourite songs and artists – just by chance. The music is relaxing and you can tell they put thought into what they wanted their customers to listen to while they ate. Music can easily ruin an experience (I mean, who can go shopping these days and come out without a headache? It’s so loud!) but they really pay attention to every detail.
Bill’s is one of the fastest growing restaurants in the UK right now, and with the quality of food served – I know why. I wish there was a one a little closer to me in Newcastle. I’d be there every week! We visited on a Tuesday evening and it very quickly filled up. I’ve not seen a restaurant so busy on a Tuesday in a long time – especially in January.
My brother and I ordered from the main menu which you can find HERE and my Dad ordered from the set menu, which is £10.95 for two courses or £12,95 for three. Incredible value for money and lots to pick from. You can find that menu HERE. Oh, and the breakfast HERE, because I know you were eyeing up those pancakes. If you’d like me to do a review of the breakfast, let me know in the comments below.
A huge thank you to Bill’s Durham for a wonderful meal for my family and I. We thoroughly enjoyed it and we will most definitely be back!
*This meal was provided to us in return for an honest review. All words are my own as are the opinions*