Pizza Express is like a bus (sort of.) You don’t go for over ten years and then end up going twice in a month. It’s a rubbish analogy, but a great meal!
We were invited to go along to our local branch of Pizza Express, which is in Rochester, Kent. I decided to ask along my best friend, who’s also a single mum, so that I’d have company, neither of us would have to cook and the kids could talk to each other. And when I say talk to each other, I mean play on their phones and laugh at stupid private jokes that neither myself of Jo ever get.
The restaurant is very stylish, with large paintings of Charles Dickens dotted around – like this one! (At least I think it’s him.)
It was awfully hot though, not sure if there was an issue with the air con (or if there was any) but either it was roasting or I’m definitely pre-menopausal. What a lovely thought, enough to put you off your La Reine.
Having been to Pizza Express last month in Brighton, I knew I’d have the Bruschetta to start with again as it was so delicious. However, we were here to review the childrens’ Piccolo menu, which is £6.95 for three courses, and so the kids chose some dough balls to start with (and which also came with a small selection of sliced salad vegetables), a small pizza each, and then we let them have an adult dessert each … that’s always the best part of a meal after all. And especially if you have younger children, just to let you know Pizza Express are doing a great Ice Age Collision Course collaboration at the moment (although you’re never too old for Ice Age!), so that all children get an Ice Age activity pack with the Piccolo meal, and there’s also an Ice Age Collision Course competition you can enter too – details to be found HERE.
I can’t fault the food at all. You always know what you’re going to get when you order from a Pizza Express menu and especially if you’re with children who can sometimes be a little fussy, then this is a great thing. I inhaled my Brushchetta, swiftly followed by a Sloppy Guiseppe Romana pizza (the thin and crispy one) and, my new favourite thing, polenta fries. OMG, they are to die for! We ordered the fries for the boys as well, but one liked them, the other not so much. Which was great news for Jo and I as we got to eat twice as much!
Suffice to say, I wasn’t following Slimming World that afternoon.
But talking of watching your weight, I did look at the menu to see if it would be suitable for someone following Slimming World and, if you’re careful, there are plenty of items you can have – salad, the lighter/smaller pizzas and lower calorie sorbets/desserts. The great thing is everything is labelled with nutritional information and I only wish more restaurants would follow suit, so a big thumbs up from someone who normally watches their weight!
The service was great and although perhaps some of that can be put down to the fact the manager knew we were there to review the restaurant, the waiter didn’t and was friendly, helpful and chatty, as was the staff at the Brighton Pizza Express, so I like to think that great service is just customary across the board. And if you follow this blog regularly, you’ll know that I’m a real stickler for good customer service – my eldest always cringes when he comes out with me in case I have to complain (I’m not that bad!) and there was nothing to complain about whatsoever at this meal.
It’s at this point, I’d love to show you a photo of my dessert. But I ate it. It was so delicious – I went halvsies with Jo on a Tiramisu and Honeycomb dessert, and I just forgot to take a photo! Here’s the leftover evidence … but trust me, it was gorgeous! But if you want to see what the Honeycomb cream slice dessert looks like, my blogging pal Jaime at The Oliver’s Madhouse, was a much better blogger than me and took some great photos.
A big thank you to the manager of the Rochester branch for treating us so well – nothing was too much trouble, he gave us the nicest round table at the front of the restaurant and then kindly offered to take a photo of us all from outside! It’s a little blurry but I appreciated the sentiment – plus you get to see him!
Most importantly, the boys had a great time. At 12 and 11 years-old, they would probably prefer to eat from the grown-ups menu if I’m honest, but that’s because Dexter is the size of a grown man. Having said that, they ate every last scrap of food they chose from the Piccolo menu, and it was exactly the same as what was on the main menu, just smaller. Oh, and the Chocolate Fudge Cake didn’t touch the sides.
We had a lovely walk back from the restaurant along Rochester High Street, which is really rather pretty, especially when no-one is around! The photo above was taken sat on the wall outside Rochester Cathedral with the sun setting, and was a beautiful end to a rather delightful evening.