With minor pomp or ceremony, Bill’s landed on the Triangle a few weeks ago. They’re a familiar sight further south with their original café in Lewes providing the template for six more in London and beyond.
Clearly keen to hold on to the homemade quirk of their first venture, the place comes with cosy booths, mismatched chandeliers and a stripped back steel and wood interior. The young staff are friendly (and may be new to the catering game) and do a great job despite being tested by granola imprisoned in kilner jars, ‘rustic’ wooden boards instead of plates, tall latte glasses and giant pewter teapots placed precariously on tiny trays or miniature tables for two.
The food itself is fine, though served so quickly it left little doubt that it’s prepared in advance. My pancakes were just sweet enough, while the Egg Poacher’s fruit skewers and yoghurt did exactly what they said they would. Traditionalists will find bacon rolls and a full English on the menu, while caffeine fiends could definitely do worse. More unusually, you can order organic goods and store cupboard staples from your table – a move likely to be well received in market-keen Bristol. There are imported Italian antipasti in oversized tins, organic veg in wicker baskets as well as picnic hampers and Bill’s own brewed beer to take home.
Bill’s is perfectly pleasant – fans of Jamie’s Italian or Carluccio’s will no doubt find much to like here, too. This particular brunch hunter may head for more independent shores, but decent coffee and a reassuring menu will bring students and shoppers in their droves.
Price: from £2.50 (toast & jam) to £7.95 (Bill’s breakfast).