Ever since my friend (who lives in Lewes) told me about Bill’s, I’ve wanted to go. I love their story, oh and the food looked rather delicious… I was chuffed to bits when she told me they were opening up in Durham.
Bill’s opened their doors in Durham about a month ago and is located on Saddler Street in a Grade II listed building. It’s right in the centre of town and dead easy to find, nestled in amongst the cute little shops.
My friend and I went along this morning for a late breakfast. Breakfast is what Bill’s first became famous for, so I knew my first trip had to be for breakfast (I love breakfast food for any meal, often dinner). Having checked out the menu beforehand, I was really looking forward to it but typically hadn’t been able to make up my mind. Life is hard.
Bill’s fits in very well in Durham. It looks like it’s always been there. From the outside, I was expecting it to be quite small and cosy… I was right about the cosy part, but small it most certainly is not. The decor is a style I like and have seen in lots of places over the past few years – eclectic furniture, lots of wood, vintage style chandeliers, painted brick walls, exposed metal work. There are also shelves full of Bill’s groceries for sale, you can even order groceries from a tick-list from the comfort of your table. I was tempted by the pink lemonade, just look at how pretty it is.
We ordered coffees, had a quick look at the menu and then the very lovely Henry showed me around the place so I could snap some pics. There are two main dining areas plus a private dining room which is gorgeous and bright with a great view. They’ve also begun work on an outdoor terrace, which will be lovely for the summer.
Our coffees arrived while we perused the breakfast menu again. I picked the blueberry & buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup and bacon (after a lot of inner turmoil choosing between this and eggs florentine) and my friend ordered the granola with yoghurt, plus some toast because “granola is too healthy”. Ha!
Ready for food photos?
LOOK AT THE BACON! This was the right choice for sure. Perfectly crispy bacon and thick blueberry pancakes soaked in maple syrup. I could have done with a little pot of maple syrup on the side for good measure. Luckily for me the granola & yoghurt came with a small pot of warm honey which my friend didn’t want. I took it.
We sneaked a look at the lunch & dinner menu and there is a great selection to choose from. When there’s a combined lunch & dinner menu, it’s hard to get the balance of options right but this works. I’ve got my eye on the mac ‘n’ cheese with butternut squash. Or the burger. Or the cod fish finger sandwich. They’ve also got a really comprehensive Allergen Menu to comply with new requirements – super helpful & lots of gluten free options from the looks of things.
I know Bill’s is a chain – but it doesn’t feel like one, nor does it look like one and most importantly it doesn’t taste like one. Maybe I’d feel differently if I’d known and loved Bill’s before they were bought out. The staff were attentive, friendly and given they were rushed off their feet, service was mostly quick. Our second coffees took a while to arrive but we were busy eating and talking so I didn’t mind too much. Henry brought them over and apologised for the delay. The place was packed, people without reservations were turned away as all tables were accounted for.
If you happen to be in Durham and looking for something tasty, I’d recommend paying Bill’s a visit. It’s definitely worth booking ahead to avoid disappointment. Their phone number is 01913 867 672 (or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org). I’ll be back soon, I couldn’t wait and posted a photo on my Instagram earlier today so I’ve already got a few friends who are interested in a trip to sample the menu.
Would love to hear your thoughts if you’ve already been!
* Our meals were provided free of charge for review purposes, but as with everything on my blog, my opinions are 100% honest*