THAT'S HOUSED IN A PIECE OF OUR CITY'S HISTORY
Over the last five years Bill’s has become the favourite eating place for the business community, ladies who lunch, couples wanting to enjoy a romantic meal or for those gossipy girly nights out or lunches.
Housed in the 18th century home of famous Leeds surgeon William Hey this Georgian Town House in Albion Place is renown for its good food at reasonable prices.
To cheer up the post lockdown blues, Bills has brightened its exterior with a montage of grasses, flowers and plants round its doorway.
Step inside and there’s a friendly atmosphere and the temperature checking and details that must be followed under the Government’s rules are unobtrusive and do not defuse the welcome.
Bills décor is tastefully simplistic and rustic with some ingenious lighting that doesn’t detract from the fact this building dates back to the 1700’s when a large flower garden surrounded this house and carriages clip-clopped along Albion Place.
Even before social distancing of tables Bill’s always had a spacious feel about it with its booths and tastefully distanced tables.
With a new menu in place, Bills still retains some old favourites such as its Fish Finger Sandwiches, Fish Pie and Fruit Crumble with Custard, however I couldn’t help feeling that the new menu had rather less choice than in the past.
For starters my partner chose the Devilled Chicken Skewers. They came with a spicy barbecue glaze, spring onion lime and tzatziki. He just loved them they were very meaty, tangy and nice and spicy.
He fared better than me with his choice. My fried Halloumi Sticks were rather rubbery and tough and were just not as warm as they should have been.
However the rest of my meal more than made up for this. I decided on the Buttermilk Chicken Burger and I was not disappointed. The crumbed chicken breast was tender and the crumb coating was crispy. Served in a sesame bun with rosemary salted fries, I added cheddar cheese and smashed avocado to the burger, which gave it an added flavour.
The Slow Cooked Beef rib was my partners choice. It just was so tender and fell off the bone and the dish was braised with Cabernet Sauvignon wine – a perfect pairing. The chive mashed potato and his side order of Long Stem Broccoli with sugar snap peas and seeds were perfection – and a strong encouragement to ‘eat your greens’.
However the highlight of my meal and my heaven on a plate completely blew me away. Do try this one especially if you love chocolate. The Bill’s Flowerpot is not just a sweet it’s a work of art. It comes on a plate with chocolate soil round it. The flowerpot looks real and is edible because its made of chocolate too with and edible flower. In the flowerpot is a filling of passion fruit cheesecake. Sounds overbearing – its not as the cheesecake filling is tangy and tart.
My partner chose the warm Gooseberry Apple and Elderflower Crumble. I did warn him this is one big dish of pudding. It’s a very vintage pudding and the fact it came with custard and cream did sway him. What he loved about the dish was the fact the crumble topping was crispy and the fruit underneath hot obviously home made.
Bills I know will continue to delight for many more years to come, as it enjoys lots of returning customers, who like its eclectic mix of décor and its general atmosphere. In the hot weather it has an outside dining facility both behind the house’s railing and in an area in Albion Place.
Bill’s 1 Albion Place, Leeds 1. Bookings/Menu bills-website.co.uk
Open: Monday/Tuesday 8.00am-9.30am; Wednesday/Thursday 8.00am-10.00pm; Friday 8.00am-11.00pm/ Saturday 8.30am-11.00pm Sunday 9.00am-10.00pm