Pizza Express comes to the rescue…
We went to Lumiere London. It kicked off at 6.30pm and involved a lot of walking for the girls so we only saw a few of the installations. However, we loved what we did see. Then suddenly it was 8.30pm, we were caught in a massive scrum on Regent Street and we hadn’t eaten (the kids usually eat 5.30pm-6pm).
Being the West End on a Saturday night it was heaving. We tried a few places without luck. We got away from the crowds and navigated the back streets. By now hunger was really setting in and we were giving up hope of ever finding a table. I then spotted a Pizza Express. It was very busy, but worth a shot…
The very cheerful waiter who greeted us was really helpful and reconfigured the tables to accommodate five of us. We sat straight down and the menus were brought out promptly.
Pizza Express Children’s Menu
The children’s menus had the familiar format: word searches, stickers and colouring along with the food options. Occupied immediately, the kids forgot how hungry they were. The £6.95 ‘Piccolo’ menu includes a dough ball starter (which comes with a child-friendly salad), main of pizza or pasta, and dessert, complete with a bambinoccino (frothy milk with a dusting of chocolate powder). I think it represents good value, although unlike the Carluccio’s children’s menu (35p cheaper) doesn’t include a drink.
Starters were brought out nice and quickly, which is great as my children go from being slightly hungry to ‘famished’ in a matter of minutes. They absolutely adored the dough balls and their pizza mains (all with different toppings) were finished with similar gusto.
And for the adults…
I had one of the newer additions to the menu: the American Hottest. This boasts pepperoni, hot green and roquito peppers, fresh red chilli, ‘nduja sausage, tomato, buffalo mozzarella and chilli oil. I loved it, but it was too hot to handle for Matt. He plumped for the tamer American Hot. Mine was washed down with a very smooth Chianti Riserva DOCG, which was available by the glass.
It was getting extremely late so we didn’t have time to stay for dessert, but the staff were very happy to parcel up the girls’ three chocolate brownies for us to take away.
Pizza Express – an old favourite
Pizza Express is not fusion, it’s not funky or quirky, but it consistently provides a really good, efficient, family dining experience. My dad’s Italian, and we used to go to Pizza Express when I was little. That’s a compliment as there are very few non-Italian pizza places that he would grace.
Sofia’s request on her birthday was to go to Pizza Express for dinner after school. I’m on their mailing list so get loads of money-off voucher codes. My birthday is eight days after Sofia’s, so I had a voucher for a free bottle of Prosecco, wine or beers – obviously meant to be used for my birthday celebrations with lots of friends. Despite the fact that it was just three children and me, I was still able to use the voucher. They even kept the wine in the fridge for me to take home afterwards!! I looked like a bit of a wino, but hey.
Pizza Express party
Sofia has now been to two pizza-making parties at Pizza Express and came back raving about them, so definitely one to consider for the future.
- You might be interested in other party ideas.