A Haunted Halloween at Tatton Park (review)

October half term is here and like many parents, I’ve been looking for fun and imaginative activities for my 7 and 5-year-old girls.  So this weekend we headed to Haunted Halloween at Tatton Park in Cheshire with some friends, in order to get ourselves totally spooked!

Halloween at Tatton Park
The VERY haunted Old Hall

We love Tatton Park.  There’s always so much to do as a family, whether you’re visiting the beautiful gardens, Mansion House, Farm or the Old Hall.  There is also a fantastic adventure playground, picnic areas and places to eat and drink  (my favourite is the Gardener’s Cottage!).  We tend to visit every school holiday and see what activities are on offer as it’s convenient, easy to travel to (we’re based in Manchester) and a beautiful setting.

For October half term, Tatton is currently in Halloween or Haunted mode.  You can visit Secret Hauntings at The Old Hall, which has been named as one of the most haunted places in the country.   You can also follow a spooky “I spy” trail  to spot the eccentric treasures of the last Lord Egerton in the Mansion House, encounter a Mystery Maze at the farm, or go ghoul spotting in the Gardens.

There’s so much to do, it’s difficult to do it all in one day.  So with this in mind, and as it was a blustery day amidst Storm Brian on the day we rocked up (a very apt atmosphere for spooky wanderings), we kept indoors and headed to the Old Hall.

SPOOKY!

I can report if you love being creeped out, this is definitely the place to visit.  As we entered the Old Hall, we were told that our eyes “should soon adjust to the darkness, so not to worry”.  It was dark, and decorated with a number of creepy adornments including skeletons, candles, ghouls and bats.  There was a projecting light show of skulls on the walls.  However the spookiest feature was by far the actors – dressed as ghosts, with silent, stony faces and primed to chase us unrelentingly around the Hall or leap out at our poor, unsuspecting selves.  Other rooms were set up as creepy crypts of hell, with skeletal, gibbering forms and model creatures.  And all this within one of the most haunted buildings in the country!

At this point I should note to my readers that my youngest daughter – age 5 – had to be hurriedly carried out of the Old Hall by my husband!  It was far too scary and upsetting for her.  However, my 7-year-old was fine and quite enjoyed it.  Whereas my fellow 41-year old friend also screamed her way through the Hall and was in and out in around 4 minutes! I would consider your own children’s sensitivity (and also your own?!) to this kind of environment.  I don’t think we’ll be taking our 5-year-old to anything spooky any time soon.

However, next up we visited the Mansion House, which was totally fine, spook-wise, for all family and friends.

Halloween at Tatton Park
Eccentric clues at the Mansion House

The Mansion House at Tatton was home to the Egerton family from around the turn of the 18th Century, and is set amidst over 50 acres of gardens and a whopping 1,000 acres of landscaped parkland.  The collections and exhibitions inside the mansion are beautifully kept and well presented.  I love wending my way around old houses like this; my favourite room at Tatton is the old study, complete with columns of bookshelves full of dusty old tomes.  The kitchens are another favourite.  I’m a self-confessed oven-geek and very much enjoy a browse of the old range ovens used in days of yore to prepare hearty feasts.

For half term, the children are given an ‘I Spy’ quiz sheet to complete.  In each room there is a fact sheet for them to spot containing a clue which will give them the answers to their questions.  All the children enjoyed the quiz and it was difficult to keep up with them as they excitedly ran from room to room.  We spotted many eccentric objects collected by Lord Egerton on his travels around the world, including a table made out of an elephant’s ear!

We’re planning to return later in the week to both the Farm and the Gardens.  My 7-year-old spotted a ghoul through the window whilst in the Mansion House and now wants to see how many more she can find!

A Haunted Halloween at Tatton Park runs until the 29th October and is well worth a visit – just a note that the Old Hall is for the non-sensitive!

Disclaimer:  We were invited to review A Haunted Halloween free of charge.  All opinions are our own.

Fossil hunting and rock pooling in Lyme Regis 

In my Summer Bucket List 2017, I mentioned our planned holiday trip to Lyme Regis where we would spend lots of time relaxing, building sand castles and admiring the views on The Cobb beach.

Well we’re here and we’ve been having a fantastic time.  Our cottage – an old shipman’ cottage – is a 2 minutes stroll down to the East Cliff beach and a short walk into the main town and the bustling Cobb area.

Lyme Regis holiday review
The view by our gorgeous ancient mariner’s cottage

There’s so much to do here. Sunny days can be spent on the beach, taking in the breathless views towards the Golden Cap, finding shrimps and crabs in rock pools, fossil finding and strolling along the seafront with its many bars and cafes. For rainy days, there’s so much to do; in the town itself there’s the Town Mill museum with it’s working watermill, the Lyme Regis Museum and the Dinosaur Museum to name a few attractions. 

Lyme Regis holiday review
The beautiful East Cliffe Beach- great for fossilling and rock pooling

The beach areas are great for families.  The Cobb is where the main events and activities take place, with lifeguards stationed at the Sandy beach area, plenty of amenities and cafes, the obligatory English deckchair for hire and so on.  It feels safe for the kids, which is all the more relaxing for the parents. 

Lyme Regis holiday review
Lots of rock pools!

We’ve never been rock pooling or fossil-hunting before. I was a little dubious we would find anything at all. Not naturally outdoorsy-type people, it makes our brains hurt to think of what equipment we would even need for such activities. 
As it turns out, no equipment is needed whatsoever.  Although I believe you have more success with lines and bait for the crabs and shrimps, when the tide is out a simple bucket will catch many tiny shrimps. It’s easy to spot the crabs dipping in and out of the shady rocks.  It’s a fantastic children’s activity; a good hour or so at a time can be spent pottering around the rocks, in sunshine or drizzle (we did both!).
Lyme Regis holiday review
Success! A fossilised ammonite.
Over at East Cliff, you can see many tourists with hammers and chisels, busting away at the grey Jurassic rock in their fossil hunts.  The tools are sold in the local shops, but you can simply use another big stone to tap along the strata of the rocks, as we found to our success!  Ammonites are most commonly found – a type of marine mollusc.  However, head to one of the museums to see some unbelievable examples of fossils found and read the story of Mary Anning who made some of the most significant geological finds of our time.

Lyme Regis town museum review
Fossilised Ichthyosaur in the Lyme Regis Museum

 At the Town Mill Museum, our two girls learned from one of the best volunteer guides we’ve seen how the working watermill worked and even had a try at milling their own flour.  We really enjoyed our afternoon here, topped off with a beer at the Lyme Regis Brewery across the way. 

Lyme Regis town mill
Learning the daily grind!

It’s important for us as parents to chill out on holiday and I can report that it’s been relaxing so far mainly due to the children being occupied…and helped by the discovery of a handy flask in our cottage.  Perfect for beach-coffees!

Lyme Regis holiday review
Solitary coffee on East Cliff Beach- great for rock pools and fossils

We’re only a little way into our holiday so more beach days to go.  I haven’t even mentioned the restaurants we’ve visited (separate review of River Cottage to come!). Lyme Regis is famous for the 1981 film version of The French Lieutenant’s Woman, so this evening we’ll be visiting the aptly named  French Lieutenant’s Bistro

Later this week we’ll be following in my pal Hodge Podge Days‘ footsteps and moving across to sunny Devon for more fun and adventures! 

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, Manchester (review)

Elizabeth Gaskell's House, ManchesterTicking off another item on the Summer Bucket List 2017, we visited Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Manchester this weekend.

Another very conveniently sited family attraction, Elizabeth Gaskell‘s House in Manchester is the former home of Elizabeth and her family. I’m very familiar with her most famous novels, which include Mary Barton, Cranford, North and South, and Wives and Daughters.  In my (long-distant?) youth, I studied Victorian Literature as part of my degree and obsessed over Bronte, Eliot and Gaskell.

My eldest daughter, who will begin Year 2 in September, has recently been studying the Victorian at school, with a school trip to the nearby Dunham Massey House.  I thought this would be a good place for them to visit during the school summer holidays – educational and fun activities – what’s not to like?

Elizabeth Gaskell's House, Manchester
Victorian tea time for minis

We arrived to find a beautiful period home near Central Manchester at 84 Plymouth Grove.  It’s an impressive,  beautifully restored Grade II listed neoclassical villa with spectacular period rooms, villa garden and a lovely tea rooms.  It was the residence of William and Elizabeth Gaskell from 1850 until their deaths in 1884 and 1865 respectively, and one or more of their daughters continued to live there until 1913.

What’s more, we were most impressed with the volunteers, stationed in every room and manning the tea rooms.  They seemed so dedicated and knowledgable – we could ask them anything!

With 2 hungry youngsters, we actually began our tour of the house in the tea room, situated in the old kitchens and adjacent to the servants quarters.  My two girls (aged 6 and 4) were really impressed that they could sit at their own tea-table and enjoy a piece of home-made cake.

Elizabeth Gaskell's House Manchester
A Victorian lady and her maid

However, they were even more impressed to try out the Victorian costumes in the servants quarters.  This is my best photo of the summer so far – my youngest as a Victorian lady, perchance about to nip out for her afternoon stroll around the gardens following her tea, with her lady’s maid (not sure how good a lady’s maid my 6-year-old would make, however!).

We didn’t actually make it upstairs for quite sometime due to costume-induced hilarity.  However we eventually ascended and made it, back at the impressive entrance to the house.  the girls each had a turn at ringing the doorbell – a traditional wired system whereby a lever at the front of the house is pushed to ring the internal bell.

The girls were each given a clipboard with a pictorial list of items that they needed to find around the house.  The house has been beautifully restored over the years, having lain dormant for some time until the University of Manchester procured it in 1969.  Most of the items there are of the period, with many original Gaskell items held here also (these are kept behind perspex – for example letters, pictures, other personal items).

Exploring the house and activities

We made or way through William Gaskell‘s study, the morning room, drawing-room and dining room.  There are activities for children in each of the rooms, for example the magnifying glass and range of letters, much-loved by my two girls who were fascinated by the tiny, cursive writing.

We saw copies of letters from Charles Dickens which I found interesting.  Mrs Gaskell wrote for a periodical for Charles Dickens and some of her stories later formed the basis of Cranford.

We also found out much more from the volunteers about the life and work of the Gaskell’s and the lives of their daughters and servants.

I was particularly drawn to the Gaskell quotes stationed around the house – so appropriate still to modern times!

We will certainly visit the Gaskell house again.  The house and it’s volunteers host a year-round programme of special events and the loved book shop sells a range of new and second-hand books.  I bought Sylvia’s Lovers as I’ve never read this novel of Mrs Gaskell’s. It will provide me with my holiday reading!

Disclaimer: We were invited to visit Elizabeth Gaskell’s House free of charge.  Admission is £5 per adults – children under 16 go free.  All opinions are our own.

Never a truer word spoken!

 

Manchester Museum (Review)

Kicking off the items in our Summer Bucket List 2017, we spent yesterday at Manchester Museum and had a really great day.

I think the first thing to note about Manchester Museum is that it’s so easy to travel to. To my shame, I’m no public transport person, but I was persuaded by thrifty husband that the bus was by far the easiest and quickest option.  I grudgingly admit it was a good idea. The number 41/43 bus was every 5 minutes, much cheaper than parking in town and it dropped us right outside the door.

Manchester Museum
I’d read that the museum has activities for the kids on every day during the summer, which encouraged me to add it to the bucket list for preferably a rainy day (and boy was yesterday rainy).

We began our Museum journey investigating rocks, minerals and fossils.  Fossils are topical for us currently as we’ll shortly be holidaying on the Jurassic Coast where there are fossils aplenty.  We’ve never fossil-hunted before so it was timely for the girls to learn about how they are formed and view a few great ones.

There were plenty of dinosaur skeletons and footprints to capture the imagination, including Stan the T Rex! We were invited to take a selfie with Stan and of course were only too happy to oblige.

My two girls will shortly turn 7 and 5.  The last time we visited the Museum they were still toddlers.  Their age makes all the difference; they were immediately thrilled with the exhibits on offer, dashing around, pointing at bones, crystals, fossils and meteorites.

Manchester Museum
There are many selfie opportunities at the Manchester Museum

Onto the nature discovery and living worlds sections where again the girls were chasing around learning about the different animals and our impact as humans on the world.  They were fascinated with the beetle collections in particular – forcing themselves to look at them and pulling yuck faces!

We spotted four Book Benches from the Read Manchester project for kids.  They’re currently completing the Summer Reading Challenge so I liked this addition to the Museum activities.
We spent some time in the Ancient Cultures section. My eldest has learnt a little about the ancient Egyptians at school recently and she was hugely fascinated with the “actual, real Mummies” we saw.  Manchester Museum has an important collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts.  This is my favourite of the collections as I do love watching documentaries about the Egyptians.

The Vivarium is a good place for the kids to do a bit of poisonous frog and snake spotting and breaks up the usual exhibits nicely.  I had to remind them it isn’t a zoo – research takes place here and we saw a number of researchers in action.

Giant spider crab manchester museum
We had lunch in the lovely Muse cafe and then spent an inordinate length of time looking at the Giant Spider Crab (above).  Hideous looking thing.  The girls thought it was the best thing they’d ever seen.  Yuck.

We ended the day in the Discovery Centre being Story Explorers.  The girls did junk modelling and wrote their own stories about what they had made.  The centre also contained a huge reading tent and it was nice to end with reading stories.

We enjoyed the day and will definitely return.  My nearly-7 year old now wants to be a palaeontologist

Babe, the Sheep Pig at The Lowry, Salford Quays (review)

Babe, the Sheep Pig at The Lowry, Salford QuaysToday I’m breaking my ‘no social media for lent’ rule by reviewing the most excellent Babe, the Sheep Pig, which we saw earlier this week at The Lowry, Salford Quays.  Has to be done – it was such a good show!

Babe is a great story for young children (although we saw quite a lot of older children and adults, too!) – a story of friendship, adventure and bravery.  I remember reading the book by Dick King-Smith when I was younger and it was one of those early books that I couldn’t wait to read more of, couldn’t put down.

This production features a West End cast and is adapted by Olivier Award winner David Wood who has also adapted the likes of Goodnight Mister Tom, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG.

If you’re not familiar with the story, it follows Babe’s rise to become a world famous sheep-pig. Babe arrives at Hogget’s Farm and is taken in by the trusty sheep-dog Fly who becomes his adopted Mum, learning to lead the most comical sheep! He makes lots of animal friends on the way and faces a number of piggy trials and tribulations.

Babe the sheep pig lowry
Stunning puppetry of the world’s cutest pig

The highlights of this production for us were the stunning puppetry and music/percussion. The clever music gave a sense of momentum and created atmosphere at key parts in the story.  My girls, age 6 and 4, were enthralled by the puppets (and as an adult, we could easily forget they were puppets at all – so clever!).

It’s not easy to entertain young children for 2 1/2 hours in the Easter holidays – but Babe certainly did.  The audience got involved at key parts in he production and this created a sense of fun and adventure that the children could be part of.

The Lowry is also an excellent venue for children. It’s easy to get to, it has lots of restaurants and shops at The Lowry outlet across from the theatre. The theatre itself has a number of bars and cafes. My girls really enjoy visiting.

Babe is on at The Lowry until this Saturday 15th April.  Book tickets on The Lowry website or visit the Babe the Pig Live page for details of the UK tour. 

We look forward to more Lowry shows in the future- next stop Fantastic Mr Fox in the summer!

Disclaimer: My family were invited free of charge to review Babe the Pig Live. All opinions are our own.

Horrible Christmas at The Lowry (review)

Last night, we took ourselves off to The Lowry at Salford Quays to see Horrible Christmas.  

It was an absolutely fantastic show – a great opportunity for our family to spend some fun time together at Christmas.  I was howling with laughter at one point and our two girls, age 6 and 4, loved it. 

Horrible Christmas
Part of the Horrible Histories tour by the Birmingham Stage Company, the show tells the very funny story of how Christmas comes under threat from a bad Santa dressed in red – “Sydney Claus” played brilliantly by Chris Gunter.  It’s up to one young Wendy Watson to save the day, helped by Shirley Holmes.  

I love the Horrible Histories series and the show has reminded me to encourage my two girls to read/watch more of it. This show focussed on Victorian villains, Medieval monks, Puritans and Tudors, telling us how they celebrated Christmas in an extraordinarily funny way. 

My absolute favourite was King William’s rap (“I’ve got the crown, so get down!”) – not to be missed.  There were plenty of songs and actions for the audience to join in with, including a tune about how to stuff a Tudor turkey in King Henry VIII’s day. It involved a woodcock, a pheasant and a chicken – I remember well.  The Tudors were obviously fond of the 4-bird roast!

We travelled through time, learning about Charles Dickens, Oliver Cromwell, King Henry VIII, St Nicholas and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  The show lasted for around 2 hours with an interval which was just right for the ages of my children (they managed to sit more or less still and the songs/actions meant they had an excuse for a wriggle every now and then!). 

If you can manage to get tickets for the show this Christmas, I recommend this show which is loads of fun for the family.  The Lowry is a fantastic venue, with lots of restaurants and shopping centre on the doorstep.  

Merry Christmas! Let the festivities begin! 

Disclosure:  We were invited free of charge to review this show.  All opinions are our own.  For more info please visit The Lowry website.

The best Christmas story ever, by a 6 year old 

Every day, I empty the school bags of my 6 and 4 year old girls.  Usually, alongside school notes and such, there are colourful drawings and scribbles a-plenty.  Nice as they are, I can’t keep all of them and find myself trying to stick them all on the fridge until we can’t reach the milk without fairy drawings falling on our heads.

Occasionally, there’s an absolute gem in those bags.  

This one will certainly get a re-telling by my husband one day in the future – forming part of his father-of-the-bride wedding speech.

Written by my 6 year old, it’s a heart-warming story of the magic of Christmas.  I hope you enjoy. 

Santa needs a wee

One day, Santa was riding his sleigh. But it was so fast, it made Santa need a wee and he didn’t notice he was doing the wee already.

A little bit of the wee came out of the sleigh hole already.  When Santa had finished, his pants were wet.  After a few minutes, the Christmas magic made his pants dry so he lived happily ever after. 

The end.

Half-term fun at Legoland Discovery Centre, Manchester 

Legoland Manchester half-termYesterday my 2 girls and I had a fun packed day out at Legoland Discovery Centre, Manchester.

We enjoy going to Legoland.  It’s easy to get to, jam packed with activities and you’re well placed in the Trafford Centre to go shopping or to one of many restaurants afterwards.  

There’s lots on this weekend, both for half term and Halloween.  The indoor lego playground, has been transformed into the world of Ninjago to celebrate the Ninjago adventure Day of the Departed! Children can also build their own Ninjago Eye Mask, take part in the Ninjago Laser Maze Challenge, and build a Ninjago vehicle in the Build and Test area. 

We arrived and were greeted by Professor Brick as usual and were given a limited edition Halloween Lego brick in return for helping him get his machinery working again.  My girls (aged 6 and 4) are always thrilled to meet Professor Brick (mainly because they get to jump up and down like lunatics to get his ‘Legoo’ machine working!).

We then took a ride on Kingdom Quest – a shoot em up ride during which we saved the princess from Orcs. 

Then we passed through some amazing Lego builds – including a fab Blackpool Tower with a firework display – straight to the main area.  My two headed straight for their favourite ‘pink kitchen’ area complete with karaoke machine, which was perfect as this meant I could sit and drink a Costa while they blasted away at the mic! 

Legoland Manchester half-termThey then took a turn on the 2 soft play areas for a good while, made their eye mask and did some colouring,  before we met one of the stars of the Ninjago series, ‘Kai’, the Red Fire Ninja, who is at the Centre every day until the 31st October. He’s a mean looking Ninja!

We also saw the new 4D film experience starring the Lego Nexo Knights.  This is a great interactive experience.  We wore 3D glasses for the film, and experienced wind and even a spot of rain (note: sit at the back if you don’t want to get wet!). 

We also had lunch at the cafe. As Merlin Annual Pass holders we can not only visit a number of attractions – including the SeaLife Centre which is just next door – but also get 20% off food.  The girls had a kids lunchbox with 4 items each, I had a sandwich and (another) coffee and the whole thing came to £12.95.

Legoland is well worth a visit if you’re still looking for something to entertain the kids today.  Great half term activity!

Disclaimer: Lucky us- we’re ambassadors for both Legoland and Sealife, trying out their Merlin Annual Pass in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are our own. 

A Frightsome Halloween at Tatton Park 

Halloween is exciting for 6 and 4 year old girls. So imagine Halloween coupled with Roald Dahl’s The Witches!  Then: imagine Halloween coupled with Roald Dahl’s The Witches AND Tatton Park!

Yesterday we had a half-term day out at Tatton Park’s A Frightsome Halloween, based on Roald Dahl’s The Witches.  This year, Tatton has had magnificent Roald Dahl themed events and activities and they’ve been amazing entertainment for the children.  Check out my previous posts on Roald Dahl’s Tremendous Adventures over the summer holidays and Easter holiday adventures with The Twits. 

A Frightsome Halloween Tatton ParkWe began our day at The Old Hall, converted into The Hotel Magnificent for the event.  We had a great time just in the hour or so we spent here.  The girls were given an activity sheet to assess clues and find all the ingredients of The Witches’ horrible potion that turns all little children into mice. 

These clues we’re hidden around and in the Old Hall itself.  There were games and carousels outside (including pumpkin skittles!) and a fantastic storytelling event. The storyteller was one of the best I’ve ever seen.  She acted the part of Grandma in The Witches, telling a captivated audience how to recognise a witch. 

I’ll never look at any woman wearing gloves in the same way again.

Inside, the hall itself was completely transformed into quite a scary haunted hotel.  It was really well done, to the extent that my husband jumped out of his skin at one point.  I have to add a little caveat that some children may be scared: ours were fine, however! 

We searched for clues in the scary, dark hotel met by figures dresses as witches and ghouls along the way.  The freakiest part for me was the green model skeleton with chattering teeth!

The girls also got to make their own witch mask at The Old Hall and face-painting was also on offer.  There was lots to do – it was great fun. 

Next we had lunch at Gardener”s Cottage at Tatton, next to the gardens and mansion.  This is a great addition to Tatton and the already popular main Cafe area.  Set slightly to one side, the Gardener’s Cottage is quiet, has (you guessed it) a beautiful garden and really good food.  We had the deli boards- one dairy board and one gamekeeper’s board. They were both well presented, contained lots of cheeses and meats, their signature ‘plant pot bread’ and contained extra touches such as little pies and homemade scotch eggs. The girls tucked into hot, buttered toasted teacakes and were treated to ‘posh lemonade’ (or Rose Lemonade!).


After the restaurant we headed to the gardens where we have spent quite a lot of time this year.  Already the girls have enjoyed seeing The Twits in the Tower Garden, including pulling silly Twit faces and trying out The Twits’ oddly sized chairs and walking sticks.  We’ve also completed a Danny the Champiom of the World adventure trail and seen the BFG and Enormous Crocodile in the conservatory area.

For Halloween, there were also Frightsome witches strategically placed around the garden. This was fab fun for the girls as they shrieked with delight whenever they spotted one! The amazing pumpkin display in the greenhouse area fascinated them.  Who knew there were so many different types of pumpkin? 

The girls always spend a good amount of time running around the gardens and enacting imaginary play in the bushes.  For adults who like gardens and gardening, Tatton Gardens are an absolute must.  They are so well kept with burst of colour at every step, all year round.

We didn’t manage to get to the Halloween activities at the Mansion and Farm – hopefully we’ll get to those over the weekend, too. There’s so much to do here it’s hard to fit it all in!

We’re looking ahead to Christmas and A Glorumptious Christmas Mansion which we’ll definitely be attending! We’ve really enjoyed all the Roald Dahl events at Tatton this year and it will be great to end with this sparkling Christmas Mansion event.

A Frightsome Halloween continues this weekend – be sure to try it.  You won’t be disappointed!

Disclaimer: we are ambassadors for Roald Dahl at Tatton Park and attended this event free of charge. All opinions are our own.

Pizza Express, Didsbury (review) 

Hot on the heels of our review of the flaming hot Etna pizza with Pizza Express/Deliveroo, we were invited back to Pizza Express in Didsbury, Manchester this weekend to sample their new Autumn menu.

The new Autumn menu includes some much loved PizzaExpress classics, including the Rustichella Romana, Basilicata Romana and Cannelloni.  AND – the new melting Chocolate Fondant.  

Pizza express Didsbury
Our local restaurant is just around the corner from us, so we enjoyed a lovely autumn walk on the way there. Pizza Express restaurants are always a good family choice, as they are great with the children meaning the olds can have a relaxed meal while they’re entertained with colouring and activity sheets and crayons. 

The kids menu is really reasonable: 3 courses for £6.45.  Our excited girls had the dough balls which came with an inviting pot of garlic butter and a separate pot of vegetable sticks. 

They then had their own mini pizzas (1 la reine with olives, ham and mushrooms, and 1 marguerita).  They loved these and got to take the remainder back home (in their own ‘special box’, no less). 

For pudding, they were delighted to tuck into chocolate brownies and a bambiccino – a nice touch which was thrilling for them!

Pizza express Didsbury

Onto the adults, where we were trying out the hearty Autumn menu.  We each had the mozzarella and tomato salad to start which was refreshing and light enough to make room for the mains.  My husband had the Basilicata Romana which was topped with lamb, mint and chilli meatballs.  I had the Canneloni, stuffed with spinach annd ricotta and topped with loads more cheese and a delicious tomato sauce. Both were really tasty – and filling!

Despite this, we still managed to squeeze in pudding.  We just had to try the melting chocolate fondant.  It was soooo nice! All warm, melty, chocolatey gooiness.

We enjoyed or lunch at Pizza Express.  It’s a great local family-friendly restaurant for us and we’ll definitely be returning. 

Disclaimer: We were invited to try the Autumn menu at Pizza Express free of charge.  All opinions are our own.