On first view, it can look a bit foreboding. When you see it from the outside, many areas that you would expect to find windows are boarded up. When I go past, I am often unsure whether it is open or not.
Inside, the theme continues. When I first stepped in, I was disappointed. The previous business here was a Mexican Restaurant called Tapanco. It was smartly dressed, colourful, and Mexican style murals had been painted on the walls.
That scene has now been replaced with 'dirty' exposed brick walls, industrial overhead lighting, and some small paned windows. It looks like a warehouse. Clearly this is the theme they are going for, but it is personally not my style. I think a lot of 'hip' people will like the decor, but it is probably not the place you want to take your Gran to for high tea.
Despite it not being aesthetically to my taste, everything else about Bill's is lovely. The staff are very friendly and efficient (they also have very good memories because the waiters don't even need to write down your order), and the food is delicious. They serve a breakfast menu till 12pm (1pm at weekends), and they have a selection of all-day lunches and mains that range from a healthy side salad and fisherman's pie to gut busting American style burgers and a fishfinger sandwich. A woman at the table next to me complained about this dish, saying it was too high in fat and carbohydrates, but what exactly do you expect from such a meal? If you don't want carbs why on earth order a battered butty?
Bread is in fact what the restaurant do best. There are numerous side dishes offering different types of artisan bread, accompanied by hummus and tzatziki. They also have a rather extravagant dessert menu, which includes an eton mess and lemon meringue fit for two.
For £1.85 you get a huge pot of tea, big enough to fill more than four cups
By this point, I was too stuffed for something as big as that, but they do have lighter choices on offer. I would not have expected a restaurant designed to look like an industrial warehouse to serve afternoon tea, but afternoon tea they serve. You have a choice of cakes, scones, and toast tea cakes accompanied with various condiments. Many of their jams and chutneys are available to buy at the restaurant or their online shop. They also sell teapots and a recipe book.
Bill's is certainly not a 'ladies'' restaurant - it is more for the younger, 'happening' generation - but the food and service is excellent, and for that, I can overlook the heavy-duty furnishings.