Saturday, 6 March 2010

Little sweet nothings

I have arrived. The glamour, fame and glory of being a humble blogger widens your waist, eats up your time, but also occasionally offers a freebie.

I have been invited to a 'VIP cooking party' with a charming Italian chef Francesco Mazzei, of acclaimed restaurant L’Anima: to learn the authentic dough spinning, to glug free prosecco and‏ make your own pizza creations. The event was organised as a promotion of six new pizza recipes that a certain long-standing pizza chain had just introduced...the Pizza Express.

We are being shown how to flip your pizza dough (love the weird picture!)

Nothing's wrong with Pizza Express, you understand. And even though my standards - for pizzas, men and otherwise - have somewhat moved on from when I used to frequent this establishment some 10 years ago, I have some warm memories of this place. Monday Jazz evenings, in Watford were when me and my then-boyfriend used to go out for a bit of 'class'... I remember genuinely enjoying the polished fake-marble tables, posh salad Nicoise and a gentle and undefined ramble of Jazz.

My pizza: mushrooms, truffles and peppers

So, what was my first blagger-blogger event was like? It was actually a lot more lively and tasty that I had anticipated in my up-my-nose mood. Free Prosecco flew flawlessly, organisation was seamless (they had even thought of pre-preparing pizza bases for us to rescue our botched attempts in pizza-base making) and pizzas were good (mine having lots of mushrooms and some truffle paste, which - surprise and horror - was the first time that I tried. I get it now).

Ms Marmite of the famed underground restaurant and her lovely daughter

But the best bit for me came surprisingly at the very in the shape of little dolcetti - 'small but perfectly formed desserts' that accompanied coffees. Such treats as a mini lemon tart with meringue or a scoop of coffee gelato are officially on Pizza Express's menu for £3.50.

Why was I so pleasantly shocked? Not because of the taste - which was ok - but because finally, after my years of moaning that restaurants are only able to offer the unsubtle choice of either a big pud or unsatisfying coffee at the end of a meal, it is Pizza Express out of all places that recognised my need to have something sweet but little after my dinner, to make me feel both indulged and virtuous.

Thank you, good old Pizza Express, the nights of jazz, posh nosh and little sweet nothings are maybe not over after all.

1 comment:

Daily Spud said...

Congratulations on your first blagger-blogger event :)

I would have enjoyed a cooking party like the one you were invited to - I just got to taste the pizzas, not make them myself :D - and I even missed the dolcetti (we got gelato instead) - still, it made for one very well fed Spud!