If you’ve been reading my blog lately then you’ll have noticed a bit of a Pizza Express theme! I’ve been working on a project with Katy from Modern Mummy and a great gang of other bloggers to show just how wonderful the restaurant is for families to dine out in.
We all went to our local restaurants to review a family meal along with the new menu (you MUST try the Hawaiian, my WORD it’s good!) and then we ran a Twitter party on 31st March where talking about all that’s good in PE was so popular we trended in the UK for THREE whole hours! It seems that my family are absolutely not in the minority choosing it as their go to restaurant for everything from quality of food to family friendliness! Pizza Express are definitely the popular kid at school and it’s no wonder! To celebrate we gave away some great prizes during the party so that you guys could go and sample some Pizza Express delights yourself and to finish it off we launched a big competition to win a family meal! The lucky winner is Kelly Brown who now gets to enjoy a slap up meal in her own local Pizza Express, well done Kelly!
And that wasn’t all we wanted to show you when it comes to the children having fun at Pizza Express so we decided to finish off the #PizzaExpressFamily project with a great big birthday party. The fact that it was no one’s actual birthday mattered not as we just wanted to celebrate and having now had a sample of how PE run a birthday party we are fully decided that this is going to be the choice for us this year!
Take a look at my video of our pizza making partt at Pizza Express!
In the past I’ve always been a fan of running my own, old-fashioned style parties just like the ones I used to have. Think pass the parcel, oranges and lemons, home-made cakes and lots and lots of work for Mummy… (and Gram if you’re me and rope your own Mum into helping). However, Florence was so thrilled with Sunday’s party that she is absolutely set on the idea for her next party and I don’t blame her. It was absolutely brilliant!
Our pizza making party was held at the Pizza Express in Westfield Stratford City and from the moment we arrived I knew it was going to be a smooth and effortless time for the grown ups while the children would have lots of fun. We were met by manager Mike who showed the children to their table to have some squash (all laid out on the table in jugs) and then he introduced them to their party host, the ebullient Gene! We couldn’t have asked for a better person to run our party as he immediately won the children (and the parents) over with his infectious laugh and chatter. He projected enthusiasm onto the children in a very encouraging and coaxing way, easing them into being happy at what they were doing and this was all before the party had even really started!
Next the children were marched around the restaurant happily lauging so that they could all visit the toilets and wash their hands and then they were shown to their pizza making station where some dough and flour was all set out for them. Gene and a Pizza Express chef (who also had a great smile and way of interacting with the kids) showed them how to roll the dough and top it with their favourite toppings. I loved the fact that Jimmy added far too many to his pizza but they took it away when it was time to cook and assured me not to worry because they would take some off but make it look like they hadn’t. And they did!
All the children were wearing chef’s hats with numbers on and then the pizza’s were numbered to match before being sent off to the pizza ovens with the chefs. The children then sat down to work on their activity menus with Gene making it a little bit different and more fun by asking them to draw a picture of him and then going around the table helping each child. Soon the dough balls were brought out, more drinks were poured and before long out came the cooked (and delicious) pizzas. Silence ensued!
Now you don’t have to do this but I think it’s a lovely touch to then have all the adults sit down on another table. We ordered (separate payment) some anti pasti and a few pizzas from the main menu so that the grown ups could eat while the children did and although we none of us sat and had a proper meal, it was lovely to sit and chat and have a nibble. Obviously this would add a little to the cost and is not at all necessary but it was a nice touch and something I will definitely do for the parents that choose to stay when we have a party of our own. Just a couple of pizzas and some anti pasti doesn’t cost the earth but made the whole experience enjoyable for the grown ups as well as the children (for the Pizza Express Pizza Making Party costs and full details please see the bottom of this post).
Gene entertained the children with chatter and by cutting up their pizzas and then we were super lucky because our lovely chef came out and did some pizza dough spinning! The whole restaurant cheered which made it feel like one ginormous party with everyone else who was dining and we couldn’t help but leave with massive smiles on our faces! And the left over pizza in boxes!
The party was 2 and a half hours of something wonderful and I can’t wait to book one for Florence. It’s Jimmy’s birthday first but as we’ve just moved house and he’s not at school, we don’t really have anyone to invite (get the violins out) so we will make do with just a family meal there instead for him! Watch out December though because Florence has made her mind up and it’s definitely a Pizza Express Birthday Party on the agenda! Heck, it might even be so for me too, did you know they also do adult parties?! How cool is that, I HAVE to have one! HAVE to!
To book a Pizza Express Birthday party please contact yur local Pizza Express who will be able to help you find a date and time for your party. A typical Pizza Express Party will have a minimum of 8 guests, last 2.5 hours, cost £11.95 per head and includes party invites, party games, all you can drink squash and gelato.
Check out all the other #PizzaExpressFamily bloggers who have all written reviews of their local restaurant and the lucky few who could make the party have written about that on their blogs too (links below). We sent them away with some lovely goodies (what birthday party is complete without a goodie bag eh?!) and I’d like to thank Bananagrams (what a game to take to a restaurant all neatly in a bag!), Teapigs (the perfect finish to a meal and served in Pizza Express too), Little Tikes (muchos bath time fun with the Lil’ Ocean Explorers), BKD London (amazing pizza shaped hand-made cookies) and most importantly, because ALL bloggers love gin, 31Dover (for their very generous gift of pink, elderflower or rhubarb gins! Yum yum)!
Modern Mummy – http://www.modernmummy.co.uk
WhatTheRedHeadSaid – http://whattheredheadsaid.com
DeepInMummyMatters – http://deepinmummymatters.com
MummyEndeavours – http://mummyendeavours.co.uk
MyMonkeysDontSitStill – http://www.sitstillmonkeys.co.uk
MakeDoandPush – http://makedoandpush.co.uk
MyLifeUnexpected – http://www.mylifeunexpected.co.uk
ChelseaMamma – http://www.mylifeunexpected.co.uk
MeandMyShadow – http://www.mylifeunexpected.co.uk
BlogByBaby – http://www.mylifeunexpected.co.uk
Jacintaz3 – http://www.mylifeunexpected.co.uk