Bill’s, York

When the weather is as incredible as it was this weekend, it just doesn’t feel right not going out and making the most of it. So while we usually reserve our Sundays for some intense chilling, this weekend we found ourselves restless and itching to get out and enjoy the glorious sunshine, and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to go for a summery late lunch at a new favourite of ours – Bill’s. We’ve only been once before and it was wonderful then, so I’ve been keen to go back for a while both to sample some of the newer delights on their menu and to get a chance for what I knew would be a mouth-watering post.

Walking into the restaurant brought a welcome respite from the intense heat outside, but their large open windows towards the front meant we got a little bit of the lovely summery air inside (does anyone else love that scent you only get when it’s really warm and sunny?). Of course we couldn’t forgo a couple of cocktails, so we order two of their ‘signatures’; me, a raspberry and rosehip Collins with gin, raspberry and rosehip infusion, grapefruit cordial and Bill’s own pink lemonade; Dan, the lemongrass margarita – and yes, that is a chili chillin’ in the glass!

These were both refreshing, exactly what we fancied, and although both were delicious I have to say Dan’s margarita was particularly to my taste (minus the chili, which didn’t make the cocktail at all spicy until the very end, apparently!). As an added bonus, not long after our cocktails arrived the lovely waitress came and asked if we wanted a free ‘skinny colada’ (basically a standard pina colada but with coconut water rather than cream) as the bar had accidentally made one, to which we perhaps too enthusiastically jumped at! This ended up being my favourite of the three, I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I loved it so much but it had an almost nostalgic taste – truly yummy.

Next came the food, and we both went for salads to compliment the weather. I picked Bill’s summer salad, which I’ve been dying to try ever since I saw it on the menu (I may have a somewhat unhealthy preoccupation with looking at restaurant menu’s online, shhh), as it has a plethora of delightful sounding ingredients including baby kale, freekeh grains, supersprouts, asparagus, pomegranate, watermelon and blueberries. In days gone by the thought of having fruit in a salad would have weirded me out, but now I just find it exciting; and I wasn’t disappointed. The fruit was refreshing and lifted the salad to new summery heights, the dressing was subtle but tasty and the grains were an interesting addition that added a super satisfying texture. The salad came with a couple of slices of pesto flatbread but I found these a little dry, although they tasted good. I also opted for the chicken skewers as an accompaniment, which were really good, although I was pleasantly surprised by how substantial the salad felt even without them.

DanMan went for the halloumi salad, also with chicken skewers, which was made up of chargrilled veg, capers and herbs. He demolished his salad as happily as I did mine and from the little bits I tried, I can safely say it’s another winner and something I would definitely go for myself in the future too. The smoky tomatoes were particularly amazing – so smoky!

After our incredible cocktails and summery salads we were surprisingly full, although not so full that we didn’t fancy more cocktails in the sun! There were several more cocktails on the menu that I would happily have ordered, but we decided to take a little jaunt somewhere else to walk off some of our fullness. We left fully satisfied, a little merry and feeling like we had most certainly made the most of such a beautiful day – and we will most certainly be back.

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