Date night at Bill’s

Life has been super busy recently. My little sister is getting married next Friday in Essendon (which I’m ridiculously excited about) so my husband, Mr J, and I have been busy at hen & stag dos. Plus, I’ve just been away in Barcelona for my friends 30th birthday! As we’d been apart for a whole week we decided to go to Bill’s for date night on Friday.

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Since the Secret Garden launch in April I’ve been really keen to taste more of the menu as well as their amazing cocktails. In fact I had finished a glass of English Country Garden, a delicious gin, elderflower and apple juice cocktail before I’d even taken my camera out of my bag. I then snapped away at the beautiful interior before more customers arrived.

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We had the loveliest waiter, Alex, who was not only very attentive and had brilliant recommendations but was so personable too. My husband ordered Alex’s two favourite dishes – the pork dumplings and lamb shank. Whereas I started my meal with the seared prawns which were cooked in chilli and garlic. They came with the juiciest tomatoes and crunchy garlic bread.

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However, it was definitely 1-0 to Mr J as the pork dumplings with smoked chilli and soy dip were so so good and definitely what I’d order on our next visit.

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After our starters I was ready to try another cocktail, this time opting for the Raspberry & Rosehip Collins. This gin cocktail comes with raspberry and rosehip infusion, pink grapefruit cordial and Bill’s pink lemonade, which is a personal favourite of mine. While the husband ordered Bill’s beer which is brewed exclusively in Lewes, where the first Bill’s can be found.

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Then the most artistic looking plate arrived in front of me – I’d opted for a slightly healthier main course as I’ve got a bridesmaid dress to fit into next week!

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The ancient grain bowl had red pepper tapenade brushed across the bottom of the plate on which a salad of wild rice, buckwheat, toasted millet, black quinoa, avocado, red peppers, roasted cherry tomatoes, charred broccoli, grilled chicken, mixed seeds & pine nut pesto sat. I totally had to copy all of that from the menu as there was no way I could remember all the ingredients!

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Then we move on to Mr J’s lamb shank which was cooked in a spicy cashew nut and tomato butter sauce, almost like a curry texture with coconut rice. This dish was by far the winning dish of the night and we genuinely couldn’t believe it was just £15.95. The lamb melted in your mouth and was a dish you’d expect at a fine dining restaurant. I seriously had food envy and wished I’d copied all of the waiter’s recommendations too – 2-0 to Mr J.

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So for pudding I listened to our waiter Alex and ordered his favourite – the sticky toffee pudding which even came with a golden date on top. It was heavenly!

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Mr J opted for the melting banoffee sundae which came with a warm salted caramel sauce causing the sundae to collapse as the sauce was poured over. It’s the type of video that you’d see on Instagram… in fact it was the type of video I tried to film, but I pressed the wrong button and by the time I’d realised it was too late! So you’ll just have to believe me when I said it looked, smelt and tasted amazing.

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We had the loveliest evening in Bill’s and will 100% be heading back soon for another date night – this time i’ll be ordering all of Alex’s choices. Let me know in the comments below what your favourite dish is!

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