Tag Archives: Pizza Express

P-Iz-za Express for Mother’s Day

IMG_2492Okay, so we weren’t able to get into Pizza Express until 6pm but that only made it all the more exciting for Iz (and us) as it would be dark when we arrived so would feel like we were going out out rather than popping in during the day.

It took us a while longer to get there though as Iz insisted we weren’t able to stand on any cracks in the pavement…and then she was tired of walking so I ended up carrying her.

Still, we made it on time  and settled down for a pizza (or pasta) the Mother’s Day action.

Pizza Express has always been great with us right from Iz being in her pushchair and it’s a real child-friendly restaurant.

Sarah enjoyed her free glass of prosecco before moving onto a bottle of rosé, with Iz savouring the bubbles of a different kind in her rare Coke.

IMG_2494Iz plumped for some dough balls as starter, whilst Sarah and I had a deliciously stringy cheesed Melanzanine (or perhaps as better described in the menu as a mini al forno dish of layered aubergine, passata, mozzarella, garlic, basil and Gran Moravia cheese

That was followed by a small  margherita for Iz and two Romana pizzas that practically enveloped our entire table which came complete with own pizza cutter so we could slice away merrily of our own accord.

Between courses Iz was merrily colouring away in a Sofia The First colouring book we’d brought along and she even found time for some role play with one of the serviettes – to be fair she had been watching Ghostbusters earlier that day.

IMG_2499Iz loved her dessert, an ice-cream sundae but easily took her greatest pleasure from drinking her bambinoccino, even scooping out the bottom of her cup with a spoon to ensure she got…each…and…every…mouthful.

It spluttered a little at the end with them running out of the honeycomb cheesecake we were after – perhaps if they weren’t quite so long between clearing our plates between courses we might have been in with a fighting chance – and then when we received substitute cheesecakes from the list they were served in still warm dishes – the blob of ice-cream was like it was filmed melting in time lapse.

IMG_2500Hardest hit of all though was Iz who was really looking forward to giving Sarah her free Mother’s Day card – we’d asked for it earlier to no avail.

Plucky Iz chirped up and asked again before we left – it was obviously important to her – but they had run out, even though she got everything else in her pack.

Iz may have made Sarah a card at school, written and drawn in one we’d got her but she was really looking forward to completing the trilogy and writing another card for our special evening out.

Sure the food had been nice but that final flurry of faux pas – I know they’d been busy all day but i’d expect the same choice and quality of service…and Mother’s Day card availability – made pizza express seem a bit sloppy (giuseppe).

Iz was still lamenting her missing card on her way to school the next morning. More d’oh! Balls than dough balls.

Operation: Day Out

The new Newman clan had their first solo outing this weekend. Destination: Freeport shopping outlet – it basically looks like ‘The Village’ from The Prisoner but with more clothes rails, it is almost as difficult to escape from though!

It also marked Izzy’s first visit to a Pizza Express – which is pretty much as close as it gets to a religious experience for me, a church of pizza if you will. So, obviously very much a Kodak moment. Funnily enough though such a visit doesn’t seem to warrant a caption card and photo space in any of our ‘Baby’s first year’ books, but then nor does first trip to the cinema, first play.com purchase or first pun delivered.

And so we find ourselves at Freeport in Braintree and – I can see this being a recurring moan – most of Joe Public are oblivious to a bright green buggy that is only seconds from mowing them down. If this does continue I think we’ll have one of those things fitted that they used to have on the front of old trains in Westerns to clear cows off the line – although rotating chariot blades would be another obvious option.

The other thing worthy of note is just how buggy unfriendly most places seem to be – not Pizza Express I hasten to add which is perhaps why it seems to be home to two-thirds of the world’s high chairs. Most other places have uber thin aisles that make the trenches in the Death Star look like autobahns in comparison. This seems to be especially true in shops with lots of plates, decanters or porcelain figurines on display, but perhaps the worst culprit of frankly crap layout is the Mamas and Papas store. It’s more like a garden maze than a store with constant dead ends due to ridiculously placed displays that make safe passage or passage of any kind impossible.

"Dad, put the camera down"

Most of the coffee places we found on this particular jaunt, vital for those all important drinks and nappy changing pit stops, were just as bad, looking more like lower class on the Titanic all in the quest to cram just one more table in to sell that one extra latte with chocolate sprinkles. It was a good job we could rely on Starbucks then.

Anyway, back to Pizza Express, the restaurant itself sounded perhaps more like a children’s swimming pool party as it was full of a constant child chatter, not that this is a criticism, it was nice and friendly, relaxing and the food was great as well. The waiting staff were even so nice that when I was scribing the bare bones of this on a napkin – if Orson Welles could write on beer mats then I’m musing on napkins – they even offered to get me some paper. At least they didn’t offer me the crayons and colouring in set!!

The eating of the food itself though proved to be an interesting exercise as Sarah and I were practically like a tag team, swapping between cutting the other person’s food whilst the other held Izzy. Thankfully we only had the three courses, bonus points also for pizza not tasting awful as it cools down, as if it had been one of those eight course meals it would have ended up being more like the Le Mans 24 hours.