When I told a colleague that I was going to a relaunch of Bill’s Restaurant in Covent Garden, St. Martin’s Courtyard, she said: “Oooohhh Bill’s! I love Bill’s! Their food is fantastic! You must try their fish pie.” I have to admit, I had never been to a Bill’s before, so her enthusiasm made me quite curious.
Founded by greengrocer Bill Collison in Lewes, East Sussex as a café and fresh produce store, Bill’s Restaurants have really taken off and there are now over 80 restaurants up and down the country serving British dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients.
Not resting on their laurels, Bill’s Restaurants are now rolling out a new concept, with the first three sites involved (St Martins Courtyard in Covent Garden, Westfield and St. Albans) offering their customers an even better dining experience and menu.
The new concept sees the restaurants adapting their menus to the location and featuring new and improved dishes unique to the restaurant. Changes also include the introduction of small plates at St Martin’s Courtyard & Westfield suited to after work drinks and sharing dinner options in St. Albans for family dining.
Bill’s Restaurants cater to their clientele from morning to late at night, making it the ideal destination for breakfast or brunch, lunch and afternoon tea, as well as dinner and a late-night tipple.
Breakfast (until 11.30am) offers classic favourites as well as new dishes like açai smoothie bowl, apple & cinnamon waffle and a mouth-watering selection of pancakes. The weekend brunch (11.00am to 4.30pm, Saturday & Sunday) menu has also had dishes added. How about spicy lamb & beef meatballs or beetroot and goats cheese rice balls, or why not try a steak and blue cheese sandwich or crab and avocado? Bill’s classic egg dishes can now be enjoyed until 5pm, and the Eggs Benedict with Chips definitely have my name on it.
During the week the all-day menu has something for everyone. The famous fish pie, roast chicken, fish & chips, macaroni cheese; carrot, mushroom & cashew nut Wellington as well as burgers, steak & rarebit pie and a fishfinger & prawn sandwich, to name a few. Special lunch plates are available from 11.30am-4.30pm, for example wild mushroom soup, ½ a grilled cheese sandwich & salad or avocado & smoked salmon Royale. Supper specials (from 5pm until they are gone) change daily and include green chicken curry on Wednesdays and wild boar & apple sausages with mash and kale on Thursdays. There is a set menu available 11:30am-7.00pm Monday to Friday, two courses £12.95 and three courses £14.95.
In the afternoon you can pop in for a cream tea or one of the delicious desserts – warm triple chocolate brownies, apple & gooseberry crumble or lemon meringue roulade anybody?
After work Bill’s is the perfect place to go for drinks or meet up with friends. Even if you are not in the mood for a full meal, grab a place at the bar and order some nibbles like devilled chicken skewers, fried halloumi sticks with chutney, calamari with garlic and lemon aioli ore just some of their seriously moreish spiced nuts, corn & crunchy chickpeas or giant green Gordal olives to go with one (or two or three) of the delicious cocktails, all classics but with a Bill’s twist: I would get a Sloe Royale – Bill’s sloe & blackberry gin liqueur, topped with Prosecco £6.25 or a Bramble Mojito – Pampero Blanco rum, blackberry purée, fresh mint, vanilla, lime juice, topped with soda water £7.50 or the Raspberry & Rosehip Collins – Beefeater London dry gin, raspberry and rosehip infusion, pink grapefruit cordial, Bill’s pink lemonade, raspberries £6.95 and of course the Bill’s Signature Negroni – Beefeater London dry gin, Campari, Gancia Rosso vermouth with cherry jam spoon £7.25.
As we went to the St. Martin’s Courtyard relaunch, all the references to the menu are for this branch only. Please check on www.bills-website.co.uk for other restaurants to see what they have to offer.
The restaurant is situated in the traffic free St. Martin’s Courtyard at the top of Upper St. Martin’s Lane, a few minutes’ walk from both Covent Garden and Soho. The restaurant has two floors with glittering chandeliers hanging from the ceilings and with shelves, filled with interesting bits and bobs to look at, lining the walls and there is also an outdoor terrace, which is heated in the winter.
So, back to my colleague. I was happy to report back to her that the fish pie is still on the menu and that we had a fab time trying some of the new dishes and cocktails. I think she’ll love it even more!