*This post is sponsored by Bills restaurants... Hello dreamy*
This post has got to be one of the most fun posts I've ever put together. I really enjoyed getting a wee bit creative and combining different types of photography in one post.
Last week my best pals, myself and George headed to Bills for their Summer Of Music evening; a gorgeous summer series taking place in Bills restaurants around the country* celebrating great food, live music and basically a great summer night out with friends.
Back when I was younger, going out with friends ALWAYS involved buying a disposable camera and getting snap happy on my evenings out. I've always loved taking photographs, however there is something totally wonderful about film photography and whilst I'm yet to invest in a top notch film camera, I thought I'd pay homage to my younger nights out with friends, and kick it old school with a disposable camera or two. There's just something so exciting about not knowing how the images will turn out, it made for a truly relaxed evening, of course helped by the absolutely gorgeous and swoon worthy interiors and vibe of Bills, but snapping away without the option to reshoot 'cause "my eyes are closed" or "I don't like me in that one" was really, truly refreshing, especially in my world.
And whilst the majority of the images are underexposed, I'm thrilled with how the others turned out.
Note To Self: disposable cameras ALWAYS require the flash!
I really hope you enjoy seeing into a typical night out with George and I and our beautiful best friends Ollz and Beattie, of course with hearing about just how delicious the summer menu is at Bills.
*Includes Bills restaurants with outdoor areas only
The four of us booked a table at Bills and were lucky enough to have the best seats in the house. As we caught up on what we've been up to, we sampled the new cocktail menu, a Raspberry & Rosehip Collins for me, a totally delicious and oh so refreshing gin cocktail that complimented our starter choice, not to mention my outfit perfectly! George tried out the Bills draft beer and Ollz & Beattie selected a bottle of wine to sip as we sat back and enjoyed performances by Ollie Lloyd and Lucy Mayhew both of which were the perfect acts to compliment our delicious summer's evening at Bills.
As HUGE starter fiends we all struggled to choose just one dish each from the uhhhmazing starters on offer at Bills so instead opted for the mezze sharing plates. Both the meat and the veggie mezze boards were utterly delicious consisting of spiced tortilla chips, chicken skewers, calamari, crab cakes, olives and salsa, with the veggie mezze board offering grilled garlic mushrooms, crumbed halloumi sticks (absolutely DREAMY), falafels, hummus and tzatziki.
It was the perfect way to kick off an evening with friends, we were all able to share and sample a little bit of everything which is my favourite way to dine as it eliminates the food envy woes.
I remember my first ever time in a Bills restaurant, the one on Hoxton Square in London to be precise. It was back in 2013 when I was interning and I went with my all new intern pals. I remember being totally in love with the place from the off, everything from the relaxed and uber friendly atmosphere, to the delicious food and cocktails and of course, the truly beautiful interior design. Each Bills restaurant is decked out in the most rustic of ways, vintage inspired arm chairs and threadbare rugs give it a real homely feel, however with accents of modernity which in my eyes is the perfect way to nail interiors and makes for the ultimate destination to catch up with friends, old and new.
For our mains, the boys both went with Bills Smoky Barbecue Ribs, something I could have predicted George would go for as soon as I caught sight of the menu. Beattie opted for the Sea Bass which she thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed (she didn't stop going on about how great it was) and I went for my usual of the Halloumi Burger. I was VERY tempted by the all new Diabolo Gnocci; king prawns, spicy nduja sausage, chorizo, cherry tomatoes, garlic butter and cheese, but I'm an absolute sucker for the delicious halloumi burger, what with the red peppers, tomato hummus, guacamole AND sweet chilli sauce. But fear not Diabolo Gnocci, I WILL be back to try you out very soon.
By the time our main meals had arrived, Ollie Lloyd, the first act of the night had finished. He was SO awesome and really, really great with the crowd. Playing a mix of covers and originals acoustically it was a really wonderful way to introduce us to the Bills Summer of Music series.
Following Ollie Lloyd came Lucy Mayhew, a truly beautiful singer who again, indulged us with a mix of originals and covers; her cover choices were absolutely amazing including Arctic Monkeys- Mardy Bum, Drake and Tame Impala, the four of us were singing along whilst digging into our dishes.
In-between courses we took it upon ourselves to sample more from the Bills Summer cocktail menu, Gee and Beattie bravely discovered the Lemongrass Margarita that came garnished with a whole red chilli(!!!!) it looked seriously impressive indeed and they both bloody LOVED it, opting for a second glass to accompany their deserts. I went onto my fave of Gin & Tonic and discovered a new gin fave thanks to Bills; the Monkey 47 Gin was out of this world delicious, I certainly know what I'm ordering from now on!
Deserts tipped up and I must have said "OMG" around 131264788349543957328432 times whilst digging into my Cinnamon Donuts, but OMG they were SO insane! Warm, fluffy and sweet, what more could you want from a desert. They even came with fresh strawberries and hot chocolate and caramel to dip into!!! I'm not normally a desert kinda gal, but my goodness I'll be ordering the donuts from here on out!
Ollz is a sucker for a cheesecake (as you can see from how pleased he is in the image above) so selected the Lemon Meringue Cheese Cake, which looked insane, whilst Beattie opted for mango sorbet and George the Sticky Toffee Pudding.
The deserts were phenomenal and the absolute perfect way to end such a gorgeous evening with friends.
It really was such a wonderful night and one I really valued as I've not had much time to see my good pals Ollz and Beattie lately, so it was really wonderful to sit back, relax and catch up over some delicious food, fantastic cocktails and awesome music.
I really hope you enjoyed reading up on our friends night out, it was a truly lovely evening and one I really enjoyed putting together to share with you. If you fancy checking out the Bills Summer of Music then simply head to the website here, check out the music listings for a restaurant near you and book yourself a table.
AND if you're anything like me and want to decide what you're having before you arrive, then the menu is here for you too... You're welcome 😉