Tuesday, 28 December 2010

A billion Bill's please

Finally! My most favourite home-town caff has opened a branch in London, and in a great spot: St Martin's Courtyard just off Long Acre in Covent Garden, a road which is shop rich but cafe poor.

Bill's is a bit of an institution in Brighton for it's huge plates of colourful Aussie-style food. A typical lunch time meal might include a goat's cheese tartlet with herb leaf and tomato/basil salad, or a couscous and feta salad with spelt. Everything tastes fresh and somehow rather life affirming, as if every bite is taking your digestive system to a happier place (in a good way- there are no wholegrain hair shirts on the menu here).

The food is carefully presented throughout but I'd recommend leaving room for one of the showstopping cakes on offer, studded with flowers or draped theatrically with fruit. The attached deli stocks a range of beautifully displayed fruit, vegetables and groceries which act as a sort of staging ground for the orgy of consumption in the cafe.

I used to live around the corner from the Brighton store and buy the more affordable fruit and vegetables on my twice-weekly dash home from the swimming pool. The staff were universally sweet and friendly but must have thought I had some terribly scalp condition as my hair was always slicked back with deep conditioner. Needless to say I will be making more of an effort for my first visit to the London branch!

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