When I first walked by Bill’s I was in awe. I absolutely love how they have transformed the space into a colourful festival of food.
The walls are covered in shelves featuring all of Bill’s products, everything from Elderflower Cordiale, Beer, jars of thick English honey and pink champagne truffles. Large blackboards hang all around the restaurant, some with parts of menu, others with wise words and quotes about food. Large bunches of dried red chilli peppers and colourful paper hang from large hooks from the ceiling. I absolutely love the décor.
The menu looks quite good but we only have time for a hot chocolate. On each table next to the menu is a yellow sheet of paper with a list of all the products they sell in the shop with little boxes next to them to tick. You can shop while you sit there and they will bring you your bag when you leave. I am thrilled to see that on this shopping list is not one but two hot chocolates that you can buy, one is a special breakfast chocolate and the other is la tazza drinking chocolate bars. The menu for the café only said hot chocolate so I wonder which of these two we will be given.
My hot chocolate arrives and it is sweet…really sweet. I stop the waitress and ask her, out of curiosity, what the hot chocolate is. “We take the chocolate powder and mix it with hot milk until it makes a nice paste, then we froth some more hot milk and add it to the chocolate paste, it’s good isn’t it”. So I ask her what the chocolate it “it’s a powder”. Is it one of the ones in the product menu? “No” she answers, “it isn’t”. So what is this mysterious chocolate. After asking her in several different ways she finally caves. It is Cadbury Hot chocolate powder.
I’m confused. Why would they sell in store two very interesting sounding hot chocolates but then serve their customers something completely different? Do I not deserve a hot chocolate made from la tazza drinking chocolate bar? I think so. I now assume then that they don’t use any of the produce that they sell in the restaurant in the actual menu of the restaurant. That does seem a little strange to me.
Verdict: Such a gorgeous spot (and there are many because it is a growing chain in the UK). But its just a Cadbury Hot Chocolate…not that that is necessarily bad but I was expecting more. I’d go back though just to sit in a corner and take in the colours. Bill’s, 34-35 Green Street, Cambridge, UK www.bills-website.co.uk,