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So one thing I LOVE about being a blogger, is getting invited along to awesome events, openings and restaurants. So when Pizza Express invited me and pal Fiona (one half of the Greedy Sisters), to a pizza making party at their restaurant on Oxford Street, Manchester – who was I to say no?!

What’s more, it was on a Wednesday evening and I NEVER go out on a Wednesday evening any more, so I jumped at the chance!

Pizza Making Party

Pizza Express invited a handful of us foodie bloggers to celebrate the new-look Oxford Street, Manchester restaurant and I have to admit, although a seasoned Pizza Express eater, I somehow have never been to this branch! (I’ve been to all the others in Manchester, I worked out at the party…oops!). So was pleasantly surprised when we walked-in and it had a great atmosphere and felt a bit more grown-up then some of the other branches (maybe this is because I didn’t have a toddler in tow like I usually do). What I’m trying to say is, it made the perfect spot for some food and wine with mates!

What a tosser!

I have to say, I’m used to eating the food, not making the food, when I go out to eat. But I was pretty excited at the prospect of tossing my own pizza dough and creating my own perfect combination of toppings (and not before long, my competitive side was out in full force!).

We were given a quick demo by one of the Pizza Express chefs (who made it look way too easy) and then handed a ball of dough all of our very own. And off we went!

Everyone had a different approach or technique if you will. A few were naturals…a few were definitely not!…I was somewhere in the middle.

Topping it off

Then the chef returned with his ladle and a bowl full of tomato sauce. One dollop per pizza. But oh no, not for me! I wanted to go off piste…try something different…“the bechamel please” I said confidently, “I want to make a bianca pizza!” (that’s “white” to those of you not fluent in Italian like me *cough*). Everyone gasped and nodded appreciatively as I proceeded to spread my creamy white sauce across the base of my perfectly round pizza.

We had various toppings to play with and although the temptation was to whack a bit of everything on, I knew that simplicity was key! So I studied my options and finally decided on: mushrooms, aubergine and just a spattering of artichoke. Of course I added mozzarella, for no pizza is complete without mozzarella and when my pizza returned from its stint in the oven, I finished it was a drizzle of garlic olive oil…dreamy!

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The proof is in the…pizza?

I have to say, everyone’s pizza looked pretty delish and professional, but mine was absolutely everything I love in one bite. It was simply mouth-watering and perfectly balanced, even though I do say so myself! I devoured it happily, accompanied by a nice chilled glass of Pinot Grigio. The perfect combo!

We ate and chatted merrily, exchanging tales of pizza and travels before we were anointed with our certificates and trophies for various pizza-related-achievements. I won the “prettiest pizza”. Happy with that!

And we just had enough to take a little bit home for later…mmmmmmm…..

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What a way to spend a Wednesday evening! Thanks Pizza Express…I just know my daughter will love your pizza making party, as much as I did (so we’ll be back)!