We may have just had a couple of beautiful Indian Summer days but let’s face it, a lot of August and September has been pretty miserable and it’s officially now the start of autumn. The season of over-indulgence (for me, anyway!) and wanting lots of warming food and drink. PizzaExpress have recently updated their menu with a few new seasonal additions and I was invited to my local PizzaExpress Greenwich to see their new look, try some food and enjoy a little live music.
Greenwich is one of my favourite spots in London, just a 15 minute drive and 20 minute train journey from home. We go fairly often either for the cinema or to walk Maddie on Sunday mornings in the park before checking out the market. Surprisingly, it was my first time at the PizzaExpress Greenwich which has recently had a little revamp.
If you’ve never been to this part of London, you may not be too familiar with the heritage and history that surrounds it. Although PizzaExpress are a chain, the interiors revamp of this branch has done well to reflect the prestigious surroundings. Located in a World Heritage Site, the new look incorporates famed historical maritime activities through artwork and colours. Think blue panelling and brass accessories, topped off with tan banquettes. It’s warm and inviting and helps to mark it out from other branches.
I’m not going to lie, eating out is often a bit of a chore for me. Diagnosed gluten-intolerant nearly two years ago as well as reverting to vegetarianism/veganism wherever possible, makes me that super awkward person who needs to be accommodated. Thankfully it’s getting easier with every month that passes, and whether people make food choices for health reasons or fashion fads, please just let them be.
To be fair, most chains have always been fairly good at providing a mix of options for people regardless of what eating habits they may have. Still it’s always pleasing to see new menu options which accommodate the fusspots amongst us. I was really pleased to see that the Giardiniera recipe has been updated to include vegan cheese and one of my fellow bloggers chose this. I decided to try the new pasta special, Broad Bean Rigatoni since it was both vegeterian and gluten-free. How yummy does this sound? ‘Broad beans, spinach and vegetarian Pecorino in a creamy white wine sauce, with gluten-free rigatoni, finished with Gran Milano cheese, pesto and fresh parsley‘.
My meal was delicious, especially starting with PizzaExpress’s gluten-free staple of dough balls. I do think the kitchen suffered a little in trying to accommodate a group of us however since a couple of dishes came out not terribly warm. Everyone commented that the flavours were great though, so perhaps just a little better coordination needed when catering for larger parties.
What really topped the evening off was far and away the live music. Certain branches are now offering weekly Live Playlist sessions and in PizzaExpress Greenwich this takes place in the fabulous basement area. With its own bar, it can also be used for private parties. The idea behind the live contemporary music sessions is to promote new and emerging local artists and we were delighted to experience a 90 minute set list from Darren Campbell. With his take on firm favourites such as Oasis, Green Day and Coldplay, it added the perfect ambience to our evening.
I also had the added bonus of bumping into my lovely friend Julianna. We met when she launched her interiors business and I was just starting the blog, but she has since transitioned fully into travel blogging and is rarely in the country. We caught up on life over a few glasses of red wine and realised all too soon that the evening had whizzed by. Thank you PizzaExpress Greenwich, I’ll be back with husband in tow!
Post in collaboration with Pizza Express.