Restaurant review: Bill's, Lewes

Today I'm going to attempt something I haven't done before: A restaurant review. When I was in Lewes, we visited Bill's (which, I have on good authority, is the place to eat lunch in Lewes), and it just seemed to deserve a whole post of its own. So here goes!

Bill's has a really relaxed vibe about it: It's hipster without being too cool. Let me put it this way: I felt like I could Instagram my food without being judged! The decor has a really great, rustic European grocers thing going on, with rows of jars and bottles of French produce. In fact, you can buy these groceries whilst there, so it's a great place to go to pick up some quirky bits and pieces. It's not just food you can buy either- Bill's is well-stocked in raffia, twine and crockery. Although it's a chain with many, many branches across the south of England, it has a real independent feel about it. This may be because Lewes is the original branch, or it could just be the whole French larder theme. 

There was a great ambience to the restaurant- It was informal and relaxed, with easy listening music in the background, such as Andy Williams. The customer chatter resulted in a quiet buzz, which was at just the perfect level for a natter over lunch.

The staff are friendly and welcoming, although it's a little difficult to tell who works there as they're not all in uniform. There were plenty of staff on the floor, but it was difficult catching their attention at times and there was some lack of initiative (after clearing our dessert plates and asking if we wanted anything else, the waitress walked off, resulting in us trying to catch her eye for 10 minutes in order to get the bill). 

The menu is well stocked with the sort of meals you'd find in a gastropub, but there were also some more unusual additions such as fishfinger sandwiches. The prices were pretty reasonable too, varying around £6 for a starter, £9 for a main and £7 for a dessert.

For my starter, I ordered the crispy lemon squid, which came with garlic mayonnaise (£5.95). It was the best squid I have ever eaten in my life! The batter was perfectly crunchy without any trace of grease, and the squid was the perfect chewy texture. As for the mayonnaise, the sweet citrus complemented the garlic perfectly. 
I know it's unoriginal, but I always feel comfortable with a cheeseburger. You can't go wrong with a burger! The burger I plumped for was the Bill's hamburger with monterey jack cheese and skinny fries (£9.95). The fries had a lovely crunchy texture with light salted seasoning, but the burger was the star here. It was delicious! Juicy, but not greasy, with a real homemade taste. There seemed to be nothing artificial or processed about it. By the end, I was feeling nicely full but I had none of that bloated feeling that you might feel from eating burgers in chain restaurants. 
Of course I still had time for dessert, and I chose the Eton mess (£5.95). When it arrived, I was honestly a little disappointed. It came in a huge bowl and looked like a tiny portion in the middle. As it turns out, there was almost too much! I found the strawberry sauce a little overwhelming. It was far too sickly for me and the strong flavour overpowered the rest of the dish. However, the strawberries were perfectly ripe and the cream had a wonderful light, airy texture. It was hard to tell whether the meringue was made on site or ready-made, but either way, it was delicious!
My meal was accompanied with a bottle of La Mortuacienne pink lemonade, which arrived in this beautiful bottle. It has a very interesting taste- Quite sharp but with a subtle aftertaste and an incredible fizz. It was very refreshing so I was disappointed that my long journey home meant I couldn't buy one of the large bottles for sale.  
 All in all, my experience at Bill's was fantastic. At £29.55, my meal was on the pricier side of affordable (or the affordable side of pricey, depending on the way you look at it!), but it was worth every penny. A delicious, filling meal in a wonderfully interesting place. I'd definitely visit again!

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  1. I love Bills, it really is THE place in Lewes! I know exactly what you mean about the chilled out, almost-hipster vibe, I always felt a bit cool whenever I went there in my uni days! x

  2. the food looks super delicious!

  3. Tried their crab cakes the other day - sooo good. If you like fish, I'd definitely recommend them! I do love their decor - great pictures.

  4. I love Bills - took my Nan and Mum to the Chichester branch for Mothers Day for afternoon tea - definitely recommend their warm scones and lemon meringue tart! That cheeseburger looks soooo good x

    1. They sound SO good! The cheeseburger was delicious!

  5. I'm not one to turn my nose up on dessert but sometimes there's a little too much sauce and it can ruin a good dessert... Looks super yummy though :)

  6. I love Bill's one of my favourite chains in London because they don't really feel like a chain at all! x


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