The Guilty Lily
Walking into The Guilty Lily is a calming experience; the central area is a large, airy, open space, perfectly cool in summer, but with huge, comfy sofas and solid tables that no doubt provide cosyness in the winter. The long bar flows the length of the two rooms, and the choice is suitably fun; stretching from bellinis to real ale, it's all there and if it's not they seem happy to oblige; our request for Bucks Fizz (we were having a retro day) was quickly fulfilled.
It is a shame, then, that the food menu isn't quite as accommodating; what at first seems to be a wide choice, ranging from standard pub fare – burgers ahoy – through to the more unusual – pumpkin risotto - becomes shortened as it appears several options are only available on weekends, and disappointment is palpable when all puddings are announced to be 'off' apart from ice cream. The quality of the food served is high overall, however; the vegetarian nachos – always a good test – come in a mammoth portion, with chunky fresh salsa and cheese that bites back. The more modest sized lemon and chilli chicken starter is more than adequate, packed full of subtle flavour and zest that lingers. Burgers are obviously freshly handmade, juicy and bulky, served with whatever toppings and sides you like – the wedges of camembert and sticky onion comfit were particularly mouthwatering. All washed down with large complimentary jugs of water filled with chunks of watermelon, chilli and mint.
For the price, the Guilty's food is good value, with the board games, unhurried atmosphere, free wi-fi and muted music making up for service that's a little lacklustre at times. Flexibility and originality are the name of the game – several different music and quiz nights are held there – and if they can pin down a reliable menu the Lily will be an excellent location to while away an afternoon. [Erin McElhinney]