Posted in Food, London, Uncategorized

The charm of Leadenhall market and Pizza Express

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Situated in the picturesque Leadenhall market in the city of London is the newly renovated Pizza Express. Myself and a group of other bloggers were invited along to check out the makeover of the branch and were treated to our own pizza making experience while there. You may have seen my previous attempt at making pizza at the Gloucester road branch and was pretty good and remembering the techniques I was taught the first time round.

We started the evening with some nibbles while getting to know each other before preparing ourselves with hats and aprons for the pizza preparation.

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Stela is the manager of the branch and talked us through a bit of the history of Leadenhall market which has been owned and managed by the City of London Corporation since 1411. Originally it was one of the best places in London to buy meat, game, poultry and fish and because it has kept the spectacular historical look it has attracted the likes of Hollywood and been featured in film and TV including as Diagon Valley in Harry Potter.

To fit in with the character and history of the grade ii listed site, the Pizza Express in Leadenhall recently underwent a stylish refurbishment and Stela took us on a little tour while our pizzas were being cooked.

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The basement area is finished in rich and elegant colours and exposed brickwork, new dark wood timber flooring and artwork that celebrates the history of the area. There is a bar, a section for the pizza making parties and enough room to rent out space for private parties or meetings.

On the street level are the smaller marble tables that are synonymous of Pizza express but they are accompanied by warm, gold pendant lighting and an original spiral staircase. This leads up to a private dining space which is unfortunately not open as yet due to safety issues of carrying food up the ornate staircase.

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Stela with really friendly and informative, you could tell that she has a passion for the restaurant and was eager to please all the customers.

After our tour it was time to tuck into our handmade pizzas. I chose the toppings chicken, mushroom, red onion, yellow pepper and spinach so it was nice and colourful! We finished the meal with either a Baileys, limoncello or Latte, I opted for the latte which was a lovely finish to the meal and warmed me up ready for my cold journey home.

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If you fancy checking out the charm of Leadenhall then go during the week as the city is empty over the weekend with most places closed. The Pizza Express has over 180 capacity so would be perfect to fit in a large group and is open 11:30 – 22:00 Mon – Fri.

*Written in collaboration with Pizza Express, all thought are my own!
Posted in Food, London, Photography, Uncategorized

Live music @ Pizza Express

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You may know pizza express as a place where you go to sit down and eat pizza, well you wouldn’t be wrong but you can also do so much more on your visit. As I have previously posted about, you can attend a pizza making party and create your own dinner before it is cooked and served to you at the table. Well did you know that you can also indulge in your favourite dough balls while listening to sultry sounds of Jazz music from some well known artists and up and coming singers?

There are four locations that host live shows everyday and tickets are available to purchase to attend these, there are also branches across the country that feature free live performances every Thursday. One of these playlist venues is the newly furnished Greenwich Pizza Express restaurant.

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Situated within a world heritage site in the heart of Greenwich the warm blue and brown tones in the décor are designed to compliment the tradition design of the building and the walls are adorned with photographs of artists performing live, including Amy Winehouse who had previously sang at the Soho Jazz club branch of Pizza Express.

I attended Pizza Express with a group of other bloggers to experience the live music performance and sample their food which now includes a much wider range for vegan and gluten free diets.

While waiting for our food to arrive our performer for the evening, Darren Campbell, started his set and I browsed the programme on the table to see who else would be on this month.

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Darren was great, he played a number of well known songs and really blended in with the atmosphere without being over the top. It was nice to have someone singing live in such a small setting and the room wasn’t full so it felt intimate and cosy. Would probably make a great first date for somewhere relaxing with an added something special!

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We started our meal with a platter of classic Italian antipasto which included a selection of Italian meats, olives and sundried tomatoes. It is probably not something I would have chosen to order so it was good to try something I wouldn’t normally eat and I particularly loved the bread with Calabrese sausage and buffalo mozzarella. There were also vegan dough balls and bruschetta for the vegans among us.

For a main course I chose the pollo pesto which is a penne pasta with a pesto and béchamel sauce, chicken, mushroom and a nice added crunch of red onion. The pasta wasn’t as hot as I would have expected it but warm enough to eat. It was really tasty and flavoursome and something I would order again. The other dishes looked equally as delicious too.

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I was actually feeling really stuffed after eating the whole bowl of pasta and finished my meal with a latte while a few others went for the sticky toffee Bundt cake – if only I didn’t eat those starters!

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I had a really lovely night of food, drink, music and company.

I often go out to eat and then cant be bothered to go onto another venue because I am stuffed and just want to relax. If you are the same then the live performance at Pizza express is the perfect way to combine your evening all in one sitting.

If you want to find out more about the Pizza Express live or to see what artists are performing at a branch near you then check out their website. If music isn’t your thing there are also some comedy shows included in the line up too!

 

*written in collaboration with pizza express, all thoughts and opinions are my own!

 

Posted in Lifestyle, London, Uncategorized

Partying at Pizza Express

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I have been to a pizza making party for kids and I have been to a pizza making party for adults and I have to say, the adults party is much more fun!

I was invited to take part in a pizza making party at the Gloucester road branch of pizza express where there seemed to be flowing drinks, tasty food and great company. As I don’t like to arrive anywhere late I was instead very early, so early in fact that I had time to explore the area and stop off at a lovely little coffee shop beforehand!

Upon arrival to the swanky looking pizza express I was greeted by the lovely Alex and showed to a table while the party was being set up. I met with lots of other blogging ladies and had a chance to get to know a few of them in real life, as opposed to via 140 characters on Twitter, which was lovely.

After donning our hats and aprons we were let loose with the dough, luckily it was just a practice as they were being flung all over the place and one ended up covered in prosecco…mmm prosecco pizza…

Our two guides Alex and Gianmaria were great teachers and loads of fun. We were provided with a selection of toppings and my pizza, aptly named Oh Pretty Pizza, had a red onion, chicken, ham, mushroom, lots of cheese and herb topping. It tasted as delicious as it looked!

Once we had devoured our handmade creations the awards were given out, best pizza, biggest tosser and don’t give up your day job we’re the accolades of the day and fully deserving the winners were 😉 We finished the day with a lovely dessert, a vanilla latte and a blogging gossip.

I wouldn’t have thought about a pizza making party myself but if you’re gonna go out for a meal it’s a great way to add a bit of excitement to the evening and at least you’ll know what’s going in the food.

If your looking for a perfect way to celebrate or even just have a catch up with friends then book a table at your local Pizza express and let the dough throwing competition begin.

 

*written in collaboration with pizza express, all views are my own