Review: Dining with kids at Pizza Express

Sunday was my husband’s birthday and so the boys decided to make Daddy’s day really special. The boys are 5 and 8 though so of course this meant that they chose something they wanted to do and Daddy just tagged along, then we called it Daddy’s birthday treat.

First we headed to Jump Nation, a trampoline park in Trafford, Manchester. I sat this particular activity out because I’m not ready to bring on labour quite yet, but the boys had a wonderful time.

An hour of bouncing around like crazy means they had worked up quite the appetite by the time we were leaving, and so we nipped over to intu Trafford Centre to refuel ourselves at Pizza Express.

boys at table pizza express

I’ve never actually been to Pizza Express before and I had it marked in my mind as a fast food type place with seating but actually, the name is a bit misleading because it really isn’t like that at all. Instead, it’s a great pizza restaurant with other Italian dishes on the menu too.

We arrived and were seated promptly by front of house staff, then shown the menu and our drinks orders were taken. There was no waiting around for service and our drinks arrived within a couple of minutes.

Ted and I opted for the 3 course set menu and the boys each chose from the children’s menu. There is also a brand new Spring menu at Pizza Express which looks lovely – you can find that here.

There wasn’t much of a wait for any of our courses, but the starters arrived within just a few minutes of ordering. ย The kids hadn’t asked once where their food was anyway because they were suitably occupied with the activities that were provided for them. Half the battle of enjoying a family meal in a restaurant is keeping the children entertained between courses but the activity pack, crayons and chef’s hats were an immediate hit with the boys.


Dough balls for the children, garlic bread with mozzarella for Ted and tomato and mozzarella salad for me.

Starter collage

All of the starters were tasty and well presented, the portions weren’t too large and we all thoroughly enjoyed them. I have suffered with considerable heartburn recently and was worried the tomatoes might not be the best choice, but they were really sweet and juicy and weren’t a problem at all.

The boys polished off their dough balls in record time and even designed their own dough ball characters in their activity packs.


Pasta Bolognese for Rowan, Pepperoni Pizza for Louis and Pollo Ad Astra Pizza for me.

(Ted had a pizza too but the photo didn’t turn out well. For the record, he said it was delicious.)

Mains collage

The portion sizes for the boys were generous and neither of them finished their main course, though somehow they found room for their dessert!

My pizza was really lovely. The base was thin and just crispy enough, the quantity of toppings was sufficient but not overwhelming and the salad with dressing in the centre of the pizza worked really well.


Cheesecake for me, Brownie for Louis.

Dessert Collage

Again, simple, tasty, well presented dishes with sensible portion sizes for both adults and children. The boys also received a babyccino as part of their set menu which made them feel quite grown up.

Louis and I enjoyed our desserts after I took some photos. However, there was someone that couldn’t wait any longer for his ice-cream…

Dessert Rowan

Finally, I asked the boys to tell me what they thought of their visit to Pizza Express. Bear in mind that when I videoed Rowan for the second clip, I’d told him to smile for the camera!

*Disclosure: we were invited to Pizza Express in order to give our feedback on our experience. All views are our own.


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