To celebrate the launch of Pizza Express’s partnership with Puffin Books, Pizza Express with a partnership with Mumsnet invited us over to their restaurant located at the iconic Corn Exchange area which is ideally situated in the heart of Manchester city centre, just walking distance of both Victoria train station and the Manchester Arena. We were invited to try out their Piccolo Kid’s menu as well as to take part in their Piccolo Story Explorer
activities which included getting our picture sketched by a local caricaturists. We were told that guests to any of their restaurants will have chance to draw inspiration from the limited edition Piccolo Story Explorer activity pack and describe their family to the artists in their chosen style and setting who will then bring it to life right there and then. So if you are as curious as we were when we heard this, do read on..
We totally loved the ambiance at Pizza Express
here as its the first time we have been to Corn Exhange. The atmosphere was so inviting and with plenty of room to move around and the staff were so friendly and accommodating. Its perfectly situated close to the shopping area and just 15 minutes walk away from Piccadilly Train station, which was convenient for us as we took the kids on the train as it was half term holidays.
We soon got ourselves seated at the restaurant and were greeted by Karolina the Assistant Manager who chatted with us and provided the kids with their Piccolo Story Explorer Activity pack which was great as it meant the kids were seated quietly reading and getting creative as they explored each and every activity in the pack. While this was going on, we adults had a quiet moment to look through the menu and ordered our food.
As we finished ordering our food, we were greated by Richard Ellis
, a caricaturist
who came by to say hello and he started sketching the kids portraits, he asked our kids how they would like their picture sketched and if they wanted to look a certain way. He barely took 8 minutes for each picture and worked very quickly..this was perfect as our kids don’t like to be sitting still for a long time. He also sketched us adults and you can see more photos of this on our Facebook Page
. We were told that we could keep the sketches and these were Free
as well as part of the Pizza Express and Puffin Book tie-up. There will be a caricatirust present in every Pizza Express restaurant from now until the 16 June between 12noon and 2pm if you would like to get similar picture done with your family.
Just as he finished sketching, the kid’s food started to arrive. The Piccolo Menu had a varied selection to choose from. For a 3 course meal of starter, mains and dessert including a Bambinoccino, it only cost £6.95 per child. We added some cartons of juice for an extra £1.50 each.
Here’s a short HD video slideshow of our Piccolo Story Adventure at Pizza Express, hope you enjoy viewing it.
For starters, our kids were served Baked Dough Balls which came with a mixed fresh salad of tomatoes and cucumber. The dough balls also came with garlic butter. This went down a treat as kids totally loved the dough balls.
For mains, kid’s had a choice of Pizza – Margherita, La Reine, Pollo or American Pizza or Pasta – Bolognese, Napoletana or Bianca Pasta or Pollo Salad to choose from.
Our kids decided on the Margherita Pizza and the Bolognese Pasta which was delicious…this we know for sure as their plates were clean.
While the kids were having their meal, we adults indulged in a glass of Kopparberg Mixed Fruit Cider which costs £6.40. It was so refreshing and the flavours delicious …even more so because it was a hot day.
For starters, we ordered Pizza Express Dough Balls, priced at £4.25 which was served with garlic butter, Marinated Olives which costs £2.95 with Garlic Cloves and Pink Peppercorns as well as Chrispy Oven Baked Polenta Chips which costs £4.50 and lastly the Mixed Salad which costs £4.40
For our mains we ordered our favourite Pizza which is the Pollo Forza, their pizza is the perfect size to be shared by two adults or one very hungry adult and this costs £14.30. The pizza toppings include chicken, smoked chilli, garlic oil and dried chilli flakes with red & yellow peppers, Roquito pepper, mozzarella and tomato, finished with Gran Milano cheese, fresh parsley and chilli oil. Not too spicy but it has a very nice spice kick to it if you want a little sizzle in your palette.
Here’s a shot of all of us taken by Pizza Express’s friendly Staff, Ewelina who was ever so patient with the kids and who assured us that Pizza Express was a family friendly restaurant so it was okay for our kids to be moving around and making a little noise..as kids do..(without us feeling out of place).
Here’s a photo of the Bambiccino which the kids enjoyed very much after their meal with their dessert.
Our kids enjoyed their dessert very much…they had a wide selection to choose from…which was Chocolate Brownie, Piccolo Sundae (which you see below), Pip Organic Fruit Lolly (photo below) as well as Claudi & Fin Mango Yoghurt Lolly. They totally enjoyed it.
We totally enjoyed our experience as we have been to Pizza Express many times before as its a family restaurant but noticed that with the Puffin partnership, Pizza Express has become an even more fun place to head to with the kids. We found that while we waited for our food, our kids were totally engaged in their Piccolo Story Explorer Activity Pack and this encourage them to get creative. The competition is also a great idea for the kids to get imaginative. The Kid’s Piccolo Food Menu was really varied and had a healthy selection for the little ones to choose from. Richard’s caricature of the kids and adults was excellent as well and we have that the picture up on our wall at home. All in all a fabulous day out for the whole family.
What is the campaign all about and how long will it be for?
- In-restaurant activity pack in the style of Dough Ball Times branded with PEX and Puffin
- Competition (online and in-restaurant) to win Puffin & PEX prizes: A drawing by Jeff Kinney of your family adventure and a year’s worth of books & pizza to be won
- The campaign was launched on 27th March and will run until 18th June.
How do I join the competition?
Step 1: Pick up The Story Explorers Adventure Journal in-restaurant or download their book cover template by using crayons/felt tips/tomato sauce… anything you like!
Step 2: Take a photo or ask an adult to take a photo of your masterpiece
Step 3: To enter, submit your details here by uploading your photo to the ‘Upload entry’ field. Good luck. See the full Ts&Cs, competition closes 18th June 2018
Where is Pizza Express in Corn Exchange?
Just about 15 minutes walking distance from Piccadilly Train Station.
The Corn Exchange
0161 834 6130
What are their opening hours?
Open everyday from 11.30am until 11pm
** Note: This is a collaborative post, we were given a small fee and invited to Pizza Express in return for a feature of their food and activity. All opinions are our own.