Last week I had the opportunity to visit Bill’s – a restaurant in the heart of Brighton which serves up fresh, homemade food in a friendly and informal atmosphere. Today I thought I’d share my experience with you – seeing as there is actually a lot I could write about if you chose to visit the vibrant city of Brighton and Hove beside the sea. I was a guest of Bill’s Brighton for their grand re-opening party which provided small samples of many dishes from their menu.
The story of Bill’s is great. Starting off as a small and independent green grocer in the historic town of Lewes, Bill’s became a hot-spot for locals and tourists visiting the area. Lewes isn’t too far from where I live and I’ve always enjoyed visiting the town. They also hold a world famous Bonfire event each year – but it isn’t for the faint hearted. You’ll just have to trust me on that one.
If you live in the UK, then you may remember that the year 2000 wasn’t great and it rained a lot. So much so that Bill’s in Lewes was practically ruined due to floods. Not one to be dismayed, the owners started afresh and opened with an on-site cafe which served only fresh, homemade food which was a big hit. As time passed on, Bill’s became more popular and the business grew. Aside from cafe’s in Brighton and Lewes, there are now more than sixty dotted all over the country. Some say that Bill’s was the start of the fresh and local aspect restaurant in the UK on a large scale. Now I agree.
I’ve lived in Brighton for many years, but I have never made it to Bill’s. The dining establishment is located within the North Laine quarter of the city, which is full of quirky and independent shops, bars and restaurants – along with the odd chain here and there. Bill’s is situated in a converted bus warehouse on the North Road.
Evoking an industrial feel, the decor of Bill’s is classic rustic. If you are wondering what on earth I mean then the photo should say it all. Wooden tables, herb plants adoring the walls, and an open kitchen to the side. There is also a mezzanine level which looked like a great place to sit and enjoy a bite to eat. Bill’s is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Food and Drink
Serving up only fresh, homemade produce; the menu at Bill’s is fairly extensive – and actually surprised me. For breakfast you could try the buttermilk pancakes with fresh fruit or streaky bacon and maple syrup (I’d probably want a bit of both), a hearty bowlful of granola, avocado on toast and specials like Eggs Benedict.(How dare they name a dish after me).
Later in the day there is a of food to choose from. Enjoy some mojo chicken skewers, a buttermilk chicken burger, sirloin steak or a gigantic caesar salad. But save room for dessert, you’ll be glad you did. Warm mini cinnamon doughnuts anyone?
For something to quench your thirst, there is an extensive drinks menu which includes botanical cocktails and this rather delicious Pink Lemonade. The Elderflower Cordial also got my vote too.
I was a huge fan of the decor inside Bill’s Brighton – and the atmosphere was great. Being a grand re-opening party, there was a DJ mixing the tunes on the mezzanine level. I actually thought this was quite fun and mentioned it could be something the establishment offers on a regular occasion. Here is a view of some of the seating area on the mezzanine. The artwork was also fab.
In terms of value for money, the prices at Bill’s are comparable with other restaurants in the local area – and I’d say it is certainly a place which appeals to the young and old. I also love how much natural light flows into the restaurant thanks to all the glass at the front.
I was very impressed with my visit to Bill’s Brighton. It certainly felt like a great restaurant in the heart of the city, one that I am certain I’ll be visiting in the near future to conduct a full review. Thanks to the team at Bill’s Brighton for inviting me to the re-opening event which was so much fun. Here’s a (slightly blurry) photograph of me with a lady whom was surrounded by champagne glasses. She wasn’t allowed to leave until all the glasses had been taken!