by Carmen Allan-Petale
Often when you walk into a chain restaurant you can spot it’s one of many because of certain telltale signs. The decor seems neutral and simple. Think Pizza Express. Is there anything remarkable about that restaurant chain’s interior design?
Walking into Bill’s Restaurant and it’s an entirely different story. Candles light the room, mismatched wooden furniture decorates the floor and the bar has been fashioned out of large Italian tins of olive oil. It feels unique, it feels like a one off and it feels homely.
But it’s not, and surprisingly I only found out from the website. It’s actually one of 15 restaurants around the UK.
The decor isn’t the only element that’s homely – the food is too. And delicious. It’s British cuisine with a modern twist, recipes that are the brainchild of owner Bill Collison.
Bill’s from Lewes and first started his business as a grocer’s. To this day the restaurant still has a grocery feel to it – you can buy jams, chutneys, chocolate and even beer from stacked shelves and out of wooden crates scattered around the restaurant. However, if you want to fill your growler you will need to look for an actual bar.
His food is simple. I had a prawn cocktail for my entree and two friends and Dave had a mezze sharing platter. I then had mussels with chips and finished with a chocolate brownie and vanilla bean ice cream. My friend had a finger fish sandwich for her main and Dave had a fish pie, followed by pecan pie.
Although the food isn’t extravagant it is tasty. The prices are pretty delicious too. It came to £28 per person and that was for three courses and one bottle of wine shared between four!