Breakfast at Bill's

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bill's is a beautiful little shop tucked into a charming courtyard in Covent Garden, in London. The courtyard itself is positively wonderful - you want to sit in the centre and look at all of the beautiful store-fronts with their oh-so pretty names and their oh-so pretty displays.

And look! A chic little bicycle with a pretty wicker basket filled with flowers. How very bohemian.

Directly opposite the lime green store front, there's this one - a little more rustic, perhaps, but the same idea. Only, this one really is a flower-seller and I think that bicycle really is for deliveries. Charming.

It's the perfect setting for produce-selling Bill's, which, by the way, is supposed to have the best breakfasts in London.

So we went there for breakfast on Saturday. With bells on. It was pouring down with rain but Bill's didn't mind: the tables were pretty and inviting, the restaurant was bustling, and the coffee seemed to be free-flowing.

It's very, very pretty inside.

Colourful tissue paper and sundried chillies and tomatoes hang in bunches from the exposed industrial-style rafters. The walls are lined with Bill's produce (which you can take home in a Bag of Bill's if you like, although it is very, very pricey) and the charming chalkboard signs and menus make this really cosy.

Here you can pick up jams for £3.50, olive oil for £9 and tea for £3.50 with plenty of other items too. They don't only serve breakfasts, although we were there at 11am which means that you have to order from the breakfast menu or choose one of their pretty cakes or pastries.

Tempting. We ordered orange juice (which was really good) and coffees which arrived twenty minutes after we ordered them, cold. There were more waitresses in the restaurant than they could possibly need, but they were very, very inefficient which was an awful pity.

Here's G's breakfast:

It's a very 'farmhouse' style of breakfast (also known, on the menu, as 'Bill's Breakfast'). Bacon, tomatoes, eggs, toast, mushrooms, sausage and baked beans for £8.95.

This is my breakfast:

The vegetarian option with toast, tomatoes, hummus, guacamole, mushrooms and two poached eggs (which, by the way, were down beautifully - even for a non egg-eater!). Mine was £7.95. As with the breakfast above, you can add on bubble and squeak or beans for an additional £1.00.

The breakfast was really good - I mean, really good - and I'd definitely go there again for the food. The service, however, was exceptionally bad and the only time we were really attended to was when we put a bank card on the table and made annoyed faces. The people all around us were also generally annoyed which created an unpleasant atmosphere, but after they cleared out and we'd had our breakfast, we quite easily could have sat down and had another coffee. My overall verdict is this: go to Bill's to experience their breakfasts, they're worth it, but expect slow service and do try to nab a seat near the bar (bottom level) because then you could get up and fetch your coffee yourself.

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