Pizza Express is Florence’s favourite restaurant and given the option, for any special occasion like her birthday, she will choose it as a venue for celebrating! I think a lot of it has to do with the bambinoccino (frothy milk with chocolate on top in an espresso cup) that she gets at the end of her Piccolo menu as it makes her feel very grown up but the food is always a winner with all of us too.
The thing about Pizza Express is that they do make absolutely lovely pizzas and with food that is consistently good and a great little menu for children it’s an obvious choice for families. I always say that their restaurants are a little hit and miss but I actually think that’s a bit of an unfair statement. We have been to lots (as we use our Clubcard points which gives you four times the value) and we have only ever had two bad experiences (White City’s Westfield was terrible and we had a rubbish visit to the one in the Forum in Norwich too). which I think suggests that on the whole they are pretty great. We wouldn’t keep going back otherwise would we?!
So we love the food and it is consistently good (although I have to say that recently I’ve been a little disappointed that two of my all-time favourites are no longer available – I loved the ‘Monte Bianco’ pizza which had a bechemal sauce base and the ‘Damore’ was absolutely awesome) but I do find that some restaurants are much better at service than others. The second one in Norwich which is on St Benedicts Street is so friendly and welcoming while the one we went to in Greenwich once was beyond lovely even though they were super busy. They even let Florence make her own ice cream which she loved! It’s always a bonus when you visit one with superb customer care as dining with children isn’t exactly stress free!
This weekend just gone we were asked if we’d like to review the recently refurbished restaurant at Hampton Court which is just opposite the palace and although a fair hour’s train ride away for us I knew the children would love it because A) It’s Pizza express and B) there were trains and palaces involved. Jonny was working so just the three of us set off after church where Florence was part of the service with her Girl’s Brigade troup and we made our way down south.
The restaurant didn’t know we were coming and nor did they have any clue that someone would be reviewing that day. I was sent a voucher and made my own decision on when we went so it literally could have been any time. You could see the restaurant was newly done out and it looked great, I do love how PE has a signature yet each restaurant has its own little stamp and makes way for making something of the area they are in often. We once went to one which was a converted factory and it was awesome and here opposite the palace they had drawings of the floor plan to it on the wall as a nod to the area and some really funky lights making it very modern.
We ordered pretty much our usual so we know the food and hoe it should be very well and the meal was great. A couple of minor things weren’t as they should have been in that Florence had a very small portion compared to usual and my chocolate cake at the end was a little over heated but as soon as I mentioned they had it rectified in minutes. The waitress was so kind and so helpful and noticing I was on my own with the children they really did take extra special care of us it felt. While we were dining an older lady fainted and they also looked after her very well without it even going noticed by me until it was nearly over. Although an ambulance had been called by staff she left with her family and the manager went outside with her to make sure she was ok. He was also very lovely to us and I was very impressed!
The Hampton Court Pizza Express is a lovely lay out with a bright and contemporary feel and the food was top notch matched in every way by delightful staff. I would absolutely go back of course and with it being is such beautiful surroundings it really is a lovely place to eat!