1 Angel Gate Guildford Surrey GU1 4AE
While we're not given to featuring chain restaurants, this one warrants a mention for its setting alone, which includes a downstairs eating room in the 14th century undercroft of the old Angel Hotel. Bill's isn't a large chain - they have 14 venues around England and their reputation is built on affordable good-quality meals made with fresh produce - but it certainly isn't what you expect when you walk into Guildford's historic Angel Hotel, an old posting inn and stables that dates back to the 1300s. Taking up residence on the ground floor and in the basement of one of the most iconic (and haunted) buildings on the town's cobbled High Street is obviously working out well for Bill, and the place is typically buzzing - although there was some disquiet when they moved in last year and ripped out a lot of the original features. In terms of architecture, the undercroft remains largely the same as it's presumably looked for several hundred years, with a great spiral staircase, atmospheric ceiling and down-facing lighting - all very gothic and slightly incongruous with the chirpy and vaguely American-esque menu and table settings, but if you're looking for somewhere different to tuck into your breakfast pancakes, this is it. They also do full English-style breakfasts and a wide range of lunch and dinnertime mains, all with very reasonable price tags, from steaks to duck pie. Veggie options available too. For a fancier meal, head upstairs to the Angel Dining Rooms, but for a good feed in an interesting setting in the middle of town, this is a good shout.
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