When we lived in the UK our home was about twenty minutes from the beautiful town of Windsor. It is famous as the Queen of England has a castle there. We spent many Sundays visiting the town, shopping, and dining. Not only is Windsor historical with its amazing architecture and location on the Thames river but it is also a real place where people spend time to eat and drink.
The historic railway station has been redeveloped into a trendy shopping complex which includes cool bars and restaurants along with upmarket shops. Bill’s is located in this station. It is interesting how they have sympathetically developed the space using the existing architecture.
The interior is hip, cool, and trendy; yet I still felt like there were echoes of old-fashioned style to it. I loved the colors and the lighting that was used in the space. It has a relaxed atmosphere. I’d label this more of a gastropub level of restaurant. It definitely has gourmet flare to it. The website says: “British seasonal and fresh food has always been important to us.” From my experience with the place, I would say that was pretty accurate.
As we were dining with one of our best friends, I felt that a glass of sparkling rosé was in order. It was delicious. It was dry, fruity, and wonderfully bubbly. The Brit ordered a bramble mojito and our friend picked a glass of Bill’s Tempranillo. Everyone was thrilled with their drink orders. The bramble mojito was particularly good. I loved the flavor of the berries, mint, and the sharpness of the lime. It looked really great too.
We all just had just one course as we knew we’d be eating out that evening. Our orders were: shepherd’s pie, fish pie, and the buttermilk chicken burger. The day was cold and a bit damp, so we were in the mood for comfort food. They were good choices all around.
The food looked and smelled so good upon arrival. As we were in a great mood, things tasted extra good. I really enjoyed my dish of fish pie. For those of you who don’t know; fish pie consists of pieces of seafood cooked in a white cream (often wine) sauce and then topped with mashed potato. It is one of my favorite dishes. One of the things I loved about Bill’s version of the dish is that they provided extra sauce in a little jug on the side so that you could really wallow in its deliciousness. All of the seafood was cooked beautifully. There was cod, smoked haddock, salmon, and shrimp in my dish topped by a mustard mashed potato. Perfect. I was in heaven. It was accompanied by peas and carrots which are traditional.
The Brit’s Shepherds pie got moans of delight. It was lamb, gravy and onions with a wonderful topping of the mustard mashed potato and cheese. They also added slices of tomato for texture and a bit of pop. We both really enjoyed the dish.
The Brit comments: I have a tee-shirt that says “Misuse of the word literally, makes me figuratively insane”; which accurately reflects my pedantic fury about the incorrect use of some words and phrases. Shepherd’s pie must me made with minced lamb. If you make the dish with beef it is cottage pie. I feel my ire rise when I see shepherd’s pie on an American menu with as in almost every case the dish presented is in fact Cottage pie. At Bill’s, though the correct meat was offered and as an added bonus it was beautifully cooked, but of course the correct use of language was what really won me over.
Our friend ordered the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich. I tend to shy away from American classics in the UK because they never live up to my expectations. With this, I was wrong. It was delicious! Piled high with toppings and a nice crunch, yet still tender and juicy in the center. It was served with beautifully cooked sweet potato fries. A real win. Lovely.
I would highly recommend if you are in the UK that you visit Bill’s in Windsor. If you see The Queen, please tell her that I still haven’t received my invitation to tea. I’ll just wait by my mailbox for it.