What better way than to deal with the darker evenings than head out for a celebratory dinner? And that’s just what we did on Tuesday after the team at Bill’s got in touch. They’ve recently refurbished their restaurant in Greenwich and invited me along to experience it for myself. Working in Greenwich, I’ve walked past the restaurant many a time and having spotted they were having some work done, made a mental note to pop in at some point. Of course, I promptly forgot - my brain’s even more of a sieve than normal at the moment, and so I was pleased to have the perfect excuse to take a closer peek at their new look.
And I wasn’t disappointed.
Lights feature heavily in the decor, and the whole effect is characteristically quirky - the decor I mean - if you’re here to learn about the food, I wasn’t disappointed with that either. Sometimes I struggle to choose off a menu, but it was good to be torn between a couple of the options. I deliberated for a while, but in the end went for the burger as I often think you can tell a lot about a restaurant by its burger. This one with the extra cheese and bacon was good, and MOH helped me finish it all (and his own meal too).
My photos don’t do the space justice, but it’s cosy with multiple light sources which you’ll know I think is important for any space. When we arrived at the restaurant we were pleasantly surprised to find it moderately occupied, it’s always a worry isn’t it on an early in the week night, that it might just be you and the staff in the place, but that wasn’t the case.
In fact arriving from a chilly, dark evening our welcome couldn’t have been more different. All of the staff were cheery and friendly in a way that felt genuine rather than forced, and that says a lot about the team at Bill’s. That’s hard to achieve and make natural if it isn’t, or if staff aren’t happy - we’ve all been to restaurants where they plaster on a smile and go through the motions, and this wasn’t that place.
We shared a calamari and Bill’s spiced tortillas to start and both didn’t hang around for long. I remembered to take some pictures of the food, yes I know that makes a change, but that all went out the window when our main courses arrived; mine was a burger with the trimmings and MOH opted for the pan-fried chicken with truffle and wild mushrooms. I didn’t need to ask him if it was good, as he wasn’t for sharing and that’s usually what it means, and I wasn’t wrong.
Of course, I was keen to check out the loos. Not only because that’s a good indicator of elsewhere in the restaurant, but also because given the decor downstairs, the signs were good. Once I got upstairs, the signs were better; the upstairs dining space had an air of a twenties-inspired French restaurant to me, with the same lights from the downstairs space used again here for continuity.
The loos had their own personality too with their almost arsenic green walls and gilt mirrors. The space was relatively small so I couldn’t stretch to its own #LooSeries post with just two photos, but perhaps on another visit. As I’m sure I’ll be back, whether it’s a team lunch, a night after work with my girlfriends, or with MOH after work when a decent meal is needed, but neither of us want to cook - I’m not the only ones that has evenings like that, am I?
Remember that I said lights feature heavily in the decor? Well, that’s before I’d even seen this chandelier which hangs above the staircase. Isn’t it grand?
I said before the decor was full of character, but it’s also full of the unexpected. The chandelier above and the textured anaglypta-like bar below. I love this style, but I know it’s the style that makes MOH twitch, remember he is the man that tried to dust a bottle of wine once that had been given the “dust effect” treatment. I’m certain I’d struggle to swing this as decor in our own house, and so when we’re out it’s the kind of eclectic style I drool over.
Once I’d explored the restaurant, in my usual understated way (or at least I hope it was understated) the best dessert on the menu arrived, and clearly on the best plate of the restaurant too. Sticky toffee and date pudding which arrived with a golden date and clotted cream ice cream - I think we both had a moment where we wished we hadn’t agreed to share.
We had a great night, the restaurant had great ambience, the decor was just up my street, the service was good and MOH’s company was pretty good too. What’s even better is that the wait for the bus home was minimal too. I’m sure I’ll be going back to Bill’s and when we’re out and about I’ll be checking to see if they have restaurants nearby, hoping that they could match our “home” restaurant in Greenwich.
* With thanks to Bill’s Greenwich for the invitation to try out their recently refurbished restaurant. As usual all views in this collaborative post are my own.