Bill’s Christmas Lunch
I’m not one of these people who thinks chain restaurants are a stain on society. I actually think they are pretty useful – sometimes you just want a quick bite somewhere easy where you don’t have to book a table. Some are obviously better than others, and after having a brief stint of working in Cafe Rouge during a summer between university, you’d have to pull a fast one to get me in there. But Bill’s is definitely one of the best. Bill’s began in Brighton and due to its phenomenal success (down in the most part to an eclectic and reliable menu) it’s now expanding all over the country. When I lived on Hoxton Square, I always passed on the queue at the Breakfast Club in favour of a cheaper and equally satisfying full English brekkie at Bill’s!
Christmas lunches are notoriously difficult to organise – you want to go somewhere with good food, a nice atmosphere and where you won’t be too rushed so you can linger over champagne and exchange gifts. Last year, my friends went for something different and enjoyed champagne afternoon tea at The Marylebone Hotel, which was delightful. This year, we wanted to have a more traditional turkey dinner, and after weeks of research we settled on Bill’s at Clink Street for its central location and relatively low cost three course menu. We gave our meal choices in advance several weeks before (luckily the Chief Organiser Eve, kept a list of what we all chose because we had forgotten by the time the meal came around! I definitely suggest other Christmas Meal planners do the same! The Bill’s team even took a photocopy of it so they could make sure everyone got the right food.)
Throughout the afternoon, the Bills staff were cheery and attentive. To start, I opted for the soup which I thought would be the smallest option, but actually it was amazingly thick and filling pumpkin soup with two pieces of toasted sourdough. That would have about done me for lunch!
However, no matter how full I was from the soup, I absolutely had to make room for my first turkey dinner of the season, complete with all the trimmings! The turkey was rich and tasty, and rather than cut into strips (which can sometimes make it a bit stringy) it was in parcels wrapped with bacon – a delicious variation on a traditional Christmas dinner. I’m pleased to report the food was hot! There’s nothing more disappointing that a lukewarm roast dinner which is warmed up with the gravy.
And finally for dessert, I went a bit rogue and ordered the cheese plate. I’ve been half-heartedly trying to cut down on my sugar intake. Sadly I failed to factor in the fact that I would only like one of the cheeses, and it didn’t come with any crackers which was a bit disappointing.
But that was the only negative for the whole day – my glass was always full of wine and we had a lovely time sharing stories and presents. I’ve eaten at Bill’s plenty of times now and it’s one of those restaurants you can always have up your sleeve, but this Christmas lunch has firmly cemented it in my list of go-to good meals. Thank you Bill’s.