Celebrating Occasions with bakerdays & Competition

Baker Days Cake Review

It was so lovely to come across bakerdays lately, what they do is simply wonderful.

No matter the occasion, bakerdays can help you celebrate with the most gorgeous personalised cakes that can be delivered through the letterbox – amazing!

You can personalise them by writing a lovely note to your loved ones and you can even add your own photo to some designs to really make it personal for the recipient.

bakerdays offered me the opportunity to check out their service and allowed me to chose a design and send it wherever I liked. Pretty great of them right? So instead of sending myself a cake and eating it all myself, I opted to send my parents a little early festive cheer, with a Christmas themed cake.

How cute is this!

Baker Days Cake Review

Baker Days Cake Review

It arrived in a lovely little tin with a sweet little Christmas cracker too!

When choosing your cake, you can pick the design you like, add a photo if you have the option on your design, add a little personal note or any numbers you’d like, choose the filling and tell them where to send it to!

As much as I think this could be an amazing gift for anyone – maybe a super awesome surprise gift to drop through someone’s letterbox!? …I really think this could also be such a lovely way to wish family or friends a Merry Christmas who may live far from you. I’m sure they’d love to receive such a fun and personalised gift in the post like this.

For my parents I went for a vanilla flavoured cake, but you also have the option of Chocolate, Fruit, Gluten & Wheat Free or Dairy Free – how good is that?

We delved into the cake today, after I’d taken my piccys of course and it tasted amazing! So light and moist, and the icing was very lovely indeed. Both my parents thoroughly enjoyed their slices with a nice cup of coffee, whilst I sipped on a tea.

Baker Days Cake Review

Fancy winning your very own personalised cake from bakerdays? Here’s your chance!

How to enter…

Enter on Twitter *here* by just following me and retweeting the pinned competition tweet or over on my Instagram *here* by following the instructions on the competition photo. One overall winner will be chosen at random from both social channels. UK only. Competition closes at midnight on Friday 1st December. Good luck! :)

Head over to the bakerdays website www.bakerdays.com to discover all their amazing cake options. They also do personalised balloons, cupcakes and corporate orders too!

Thank you to bakerdays for sending me and my parents a yummy cake free of charge and for letting me run a giveaway too!

Join me on social… Twitter: @Amanda_Alston // Instagram: @Amanda_Alston // Facebook: facebook.com/amandaalstonblog

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Discover The Brasserie at Milton Keynes College

The Brasserie Milton Keynes College

Firstly, did you even know that you can dine at the Milton Keynes College Bletchley campus? Well you certainly can. You can even hire out the venue for your own events and parties.

I was invited down by the MK College team to dine in their beautifully refurbished brasserie and to enjoy a little taster of what’s on offer this Autumn/Winter.

The Brasserie is looking mighty fine after its refresh. Warm brown comfortable chairs compliment the navy blue bench seats and yellow cushions. And I am totally in love with their use of copper. Stunning contemporary tealight holders, pendant lighting and utensils hanging on the wall…it just looks so cool.

Take a moment to appreciate the wine glass chandelier hanging in the centre of the room, which is over the table Ian and I were lucky enough to dine at. There was even a TV on the wall enabling us to watch our meals being prepared in the kitchens behind!

Milton Keynes College The Brasserie

Milton Keynes College The Brasserie

Milton Keynes College The Brasserie

The Brasserie at Milton Keynes College is not just like any old restaurant, they were awarded the prestigious AA College Rosette: Highly Commended which adds to the rosettes they won in both 2015 and 2016 too.

All meals are prepared by the stars of the future restaurant world, so dining there means you are supporting the next generation – which I think is a pretty important factor of why you should give The Brasserie a whirl.

Now before I even mention what we had to eat, I simply have to tell you that everything we had was simply divine. I mean, that’s it. You needn’t even read on past this line. Just book a table.

But if you’re adamant you need to know what we had and see some pictures of delicious food to taunt you whilst you eat your boring cheese sandwich for lunch, read on…

Milton Keynes College Brasserie MK

Milton Keynes College Brasserie MK

Usually me and Ian both go for a different meal and try a bit of each, but this time we both had eyes for the same thing. For us, the beef rib and tiramisu just had to be ordered!

Before our dinner was served, we were treated to a little pumpkin amuse-bouche which was absolutely divine and I wish I asked for the recipe (not that I cook…). It was beyond tasty.

We were so suitably impressed when the beef rib arrived to our table. It was presented so beautifully. But oh my goodness did this meal taste gorgeous! The meat was perfectly cooked, just fell off the bone and just tasted so amazing. The vegetables were just as amazing, and that garlic mash? Heavenly.

Dessert was definitely not disappointing either. Our Tiramisu came in a deconstructed form, which was really different. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, but as I delved into the soft cakey pieces and whipped up little bits of cream and chocolate from the plate, I was in love. What a dessert.

What an entire meal!

Milton Keynes College Brassiere MK

Milton Keynes College Brasserie MK

We were so impressed with every part of the meal. The food, drink, service, atmosphere, room, it was all so wonderful. They really are worth the visit and I’d 100% go back to support them and dine in their beautiful brasserie every day if I could!

If you fancy stopping by and treating yourself to a dinner (or brunch, breakfast…) at the Milton Keynes College Brasserie, you can find out all about them on their website here: https://thebrasseriemk.co.uk/

Join me on social… Twitter: @Amanda_Alston // Instagram: @Amanda_Alston // Facebook: facebook.com/amandaalstonblog

Come shopping with me Feat. Loaf & Bloom at Debenhams

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

A couple of weekends ago I spent the morning gazing at beautiful Christmas goodies in the shops (exciting!), buying a heap of bargain scarves from the sale in H&M and then meeting up with my parents for a really scrummy lunch at the brand new Loaf & Bloom deli restaurant at Debenhams (found in the intu shopping centre in Milton Keynes). It was lovely!

I’ve been getting so excited for Christmas recently (much to Ian’s dismay). I’m trying to get super organised this year, I’ve already bought lots of presents and have been planning the rest as much as possible. I want to enjoy December just pottering around doing the last few bits and really having time to enjoy the festivities instead of worrying about presents. I recently popped down to the Halloween and Christmas blogger event at Lush, they have some super lovely new products this year. If you fancy reading about the event and my favourites, you can find it *here*.

It was so lovely to have a morning to properly look around the shops and take in all the Christmassy sights and grab a few essentials I was in need of, I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve been able to do just that. I was so pleased when I stumbled across the sale in H&M and found a load of beautiful scarves at the most ridiculous prices! I picked up 4 as they were all just £2 or £3 each, how could I resist these beautiful grey toned scarves at that price? They just had to come home with me and I picked up an extra one to gift to my mum for Christmas too.

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

It was so lovely to see all the Christmas gifts in Debenhams now too. They really do have some lovely bits and certainly have something for everyone this year. Bayliss & Harding is always a crowd pleaser, I’m sure everyone just loves this brand. It’s beautiful, really affordable and they smell gorgeous every time. (I was bought their pink Prosecco candles last year, I definitely recommend that scent).

Debenhams Christmas Gifts

Debenhams Christmas Gifts

Debenhams Christmas Gifts

Debenhams Christmas Gifts

Debenhams Christmas Gifts

Debenhams Christmas Gifts

I also took a liking to these drink sets. They’re so pretty and such a fab gift for a lovely lady in your life, or a treat to self right? The bareMinerals beauty gift sets always look stunning in there too, I’d be happy to find one of those under the tree this year.

I was also very excited to see all their Christmas decorations too – I just wish I had more space to fill at home!

Loaf Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

By this time my ever growing wish list of festive goodies was making me very hungry indeed. So it was time to go and meet my parents for a spot of lunch.

I was invited to go and check out the lovely new deli kitchen at Debenhams (in the intu centre Milton Keynes) and oh wow has this place changed. It’s time to say goodbye to the drab 90s style department store café and say hello to a fresh and beautiful new place to dine.

The restaurant has been completely transformed into a place you’d be proud to say you’re lunching at.

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf & Bloom have such a wide variety of food to choose from, whether you want to treat yourselves to an afternoon tea, a meat platter or a lovely lunch or snack. Everything is freshly cooked and baked, and they have options for gluten free and other intolerances too.

My parents and I went all out and had a lovely lunch followed by an afternoon tea, yum!

For lunch, I chose the salmon and broccoli fishcakes and drank a mocha…probably not a combination that goes together to be honest, but I enjoyed it all nevertheless. My fishcakes also came with a choice of salad, so I opted for a bean-based bowl of goodness…and also ordered a side of chips, naturally.

Dad being the typical man, went for the meatballs (in a tomato and basil sauce), a side of chips and also had a fruity beany salad. Mum opted for the cherry tomato, butternut squash and spinach tart, which looked amazing.

Drink wise, my dad had a cappuccino and my mum had a latte …all three of us completely agreed that the drinks alone were beautifully crafted and tasted SO good!

The seasoned potato chips were really different too, unusual in shape and so tasty…I’d happily go back just for those.

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Between us we shared the “sweet” afternoon tea, however they do also have an option of a savoury and sweet one which has a Mediterranean platter alongside some yummy bakes and cakes. I think I’ll have to head back sometime to try that one too…

Our sweet afternoon tea was delivered on another beautiful plate – the crockery used throughout the meal was so gorgeous. Scones, clotted cream (I’d be happy with just a bowl of that), jam, chocolate brownies and other delectable bakes were put in front of us and they were all so lovely and freshly baked.

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

I definitely can’t wait to head back in again soon and enjoy another bite to eat. More Christmas shopping and festive eating here I come!

If you fancy finding out more about the Loaf & Bloom restaurant and popping by on your next shopping trip, here’s the website link to tell you all about it www.debenhams.com/content/loaf-and-bloom

*Loaf & Bloom for provided us with this lovely lunch for free, but all the views on the yummy food are most definitely mine (& my parents!) – we enjoyed every little bite!

Join me on social… Twitter @Amanda_Alston Instagram @Amanda_Alston Facebook facebook.com/amandaalstonblog

Hitting reset with the help of teapigs

Teapigs Review

If you follow my ramblings on Instagram (you can follow me *here* …shameless plug, haha!), you’ll know that this year has been a bit of a rollercoaster at times for this gal.

My immune system has been pretty much at an all time low this year I think. I’ve definitely had my fair share of lingering colds and coughs over and over again this past year. Couple that up with my two recent visits to the hospital for not-so-fun procedures …and then generally every plan having a big spanner somewhere, other ridiculously rubbish things going on for both me and Ian. Oh… and both of us getting new jobs too! It. Has. Been. Manic.

Now, if like me, you fancy hitting reset right now, you’re ready to take on the rest of what 2017 has got to throw at you, you’re ready to up that immune system, to battle those winter bugs and be the best version of you. Here’s a lovely little helping hand…

Those fab people at teapigs have crafted the perfect collection of feel-good teas to keep you going and completely girl bossing every day. It’s time to put aside that energy drink, sugary coffee or that chocolate bar that’ll only make you crash shortly after your sugar high…and enjoy feeling pepped the natural way! Over time, I’m sure your body will thank you that you’re actually filling it up with lots of good stuff by keeping you healthy and feeling tip top.

Please give a warm welcome to the teapigs feel-good teas…

Tea Pigs Feel-Good Teas Review

Teapigs feel-good teas review

First up, it’s time to rise and shine and get the show on the road. This is where the “clean n green” tea comes in. It’s your morning tea to help you detox and say “hello world! I’m ready for ya!”  This is a beautiful blend of green tea (and we all know how good that stuff is!), lemongrass, ginger, coconut and cleansing dandelion leaves which is packed full of antioxidants. I never knew you could get dandelion leaves in a tea! Did you!?

Take note that this tea has ginger, the magic ingredient when it comes to fighting off those winter bugs! I definitely want to up my ginger intake this winter as ginger kills off rhinoviruses, which kick start those nasty colds we get this time of year. So the teapigs detox morning tea is the perfect way to start the day with lots of goodness!

It’s smooth, not bitter, just so easy to drink. The flavour is pretty lovely and it’s much better than I expected from a “green tea” – I think you’ll be genuinely really impressed with the taste of this tea!

Teapigs Feel-good teas review

Okay, so you’ve been feeling great so far and that little green bag of goodness has started you off on the right foot. Your to do list is looking pretty awesome, but you’re starting to crave a little summin’ summin’ around 3pm. This is usually THE time to grab that sugary snack or coffee that probably isn’t so great for you – it’s time to treat your body as a temple!

It’s “up beet” time! In comes your perfect afternoon tea to give you energy and absolutely nail the afternoon ahead, no matter what is thrown at you!

Teapigs feel-good teas review

teapigs’ up beet energy tea is the perfect warming cup of revitalisation that your body will definitely thank you for! This energy boosting tea features hibiscus, ginger (again, goodbye winter bugs! You’ve got no chance this year!), green tea and beetroot – yet another intriguing ingredient, but it just works and turns the tea into a beautiful purple-like colour.

Yet again packed with amazing health-boosting ingredients and it just tastes like a warm almost berry-like drink and I’m guessing that’s because of the beetroot in it – so if you’re a little put off by that being an ingredient, you really needn’t be! This is probably my favourite out of all the teas, which is great considering it’s your afternoon pick-me-up tea – you’ll totally look forward to having it at the 3pm slump. The flavour lends itself to this time of year with all the berry-like scents and flavours around us to enjoy, I think it would be a lovely evening time after work type of tea too!

Now, taking time to relax your body and mind is just as important as fuelling it for a busy day…

One thing I really want to *try* and do more often is to get to bed earlier, just one hour earlier I’m sure will make a huge difference to my body. I’m usually a bed at midnight… but probably still scroll through pointless social media posts for a further 10 mins at least kinda girl – and I know that’s not a great thing.

One thing I can definitely do though, is to enjoy a lovely cup of teapigs snooze feel-good tea

Teapigs feel-good teas review

This pretty little teabag is the perfect tea to help you sleep and has a calming blend of chamomile, apple and lavender… Even just reading those ingredients sounds soothing! Calming, yet beautiful to the taste. It’s a great way to signify the end of the evening, a time to wind down and look after yourself once again with a few chilled out moments before hopefully getting a decent long sleep.

This tastes pretty much exactly how I expected, it’s so lovely that the apple is included to cut through the chamomile and lavender flavours making it a very pleasant and relaxing tea if you’re feeling in need of some serious chill out moments.

So if you’re feeling that life has got a little hectic, you feel a little out of control, tired, worn down, ya get the drill …I think this 3 step daily tea process is such an easy way to feel good, put some great ingredients in your body and feel a little more on top of life and your body once again! It couldn’t get any easier! I’ve been really enjoying each and every tea and the feeling of knowing I’m putting some great stuff in my body too.

If you’re intrigued and fancy giving the teas a whirl this Autumn/Winter, here’s all the helpful links you need…

*Click here* to discover the entire teapigs feel-good tea collection, including an awesome hangover gift set (might be good for a new uni student you know!) and a wellness gift set (which might be perfect for someone feeling a little under the weather). What great gift sets! I think they’d make fab Christmas pressies too.

*Click here* to learn all about the clean n green teapigs tea – including reviews, further details and serving suggestions too!

*Click here* for the up beet tea and click here for the snooze tea! You’ll find all the extra details on those links too, including nutritional and allergen info.

…do let me know if you try out the teas! Or have you already tried them before?

I’m drinking an up beet tea as I write this and it’s super yummy! :)

Join me on Instagram: @Amanda_Alston // Twitter: @Amanda_Alston // Facebook: www.facebook.com/amandaalstonblog

 

Quick and Easy Dining with Jamie’s Italian Milton Keynes

Jamie's Italian Milton Keynes

…a quick pit stop during a girlie shopping trip? …a fun and tasty family meal?

Whatever your dining style, Jamie’s Italian at the Centre MK shopping centre in Milton Keynes has you covered! Their “Quick and Easy” lunch and dinner options are easily affordable and deliver delicious and perfectly cooked dishes to your table in no time. Winning!

I’ll let you into a little secret… Mine and Ian’s first ever date was in this exact restaurant! Yes, we’re already fans of Jamie’s Italian in Milton Keynes and we’ve genuinely loved every visit we’ve made since. So when I was asked to check out their Quick and Easy meals, I’d be pretty silly to say no!

This time round I took my parents, who had never been to a Jamie Oliver restaurant before – so their opinion of this restaurant was fresh, and they loved it!

The Quick and Easy menu comes with two courses with a very small additional charge if you wish to delve into a pudding. I can assure you they haven’t held back on this particular menu when it comes to choices. You’ll find some classic dishes and beautiful seafood options.

You’ll be pleased to see that all the fish served in Jamie Oliver’s restaurants is sustainably sourced – a restaurant that gives a damn, love it! It’s actually through Jamie Oliver that I found out that whitebait isn’t actually sustainable. I did cry a little when I found out, as I absolutely love whitebait, but since then I have refrained from eating it.

At Jamie’s Italian Milton Keynes, you’ll also find our local Milton Keynes Concrete Cow ale. How fab is that!

Now, let’s jump straight into the food we devoured…

Mussels at Jamie's Italian Milton Keynes

Crispy squid at Jamie's Italian Centre MK

Yes, we’re a seafood loving family, so my parents went for the mussels (a family fave!), whilst I went for the crispy squid – which I will choose 95% of the time if it’s on the menu! The crispy squid is on the dinner menu, but even on the lunch menu they have crispy mixed fish which sounds just as deeelish.

The Creamy Welsh Mussels were cooked in cream and….cider!! Have you ever heard of that combo before? I certainly haven’t. Of course there was garlic and chives thrown in for that classic taste, and it was garnished with toasted paysan.

And my super yummy crispy squid came with a very on-trend smashed avocado dip.

Steak at Jamie's Italian Centre MK

Jamie's Italian Milton Keynes

Salmon Pasta Jamie's Italian Milton Keynes

Our mains were choices from the lunch menu. My parents tried out the Sizzling Steak, which is Prime British skirt steak garnished with garlicky cherry tomatoes, aubergine and basil, alongside some fries on the side. The steaks went down very well! Cooked to perfection, so easy to eat and the plates were cleared. They were served with biggest chunky steak knives I’ve ever seen too!

I went for the Hot-Smoked Salmon Pasta, which was beautifully cooked and just melted in the mouth. As always, the salmon was sustainably caught – well done Jamie for caring! It was sprinkled with asparagus and stirred up in the spaghetti with crème fraiche and lemon – sooo good!

Cheesecake Jamie's Italian Centre MK

Chocolate Fudge Sundae Jamie's Italian

With the Quick and Easy menus you have the chance to grab a dessert for just an additional £3 supplement, which I think is a great price! …and could we turn down dessert? No way!

Mum really enjoyed the Baked Vanilla cheesecake, which is served with strawberry compote, honeycomb and baby basil. Mum says it was “a proper firm cheesecake” …and she does love a firm cheesecake! Haha!

Dad and I are chocolate fans, so we delved in to the Chocolate Fudge sundae, and oh my! If you’re a chocolate fan, please try this! It’s a super yummy sundae, the chocolate ice cream was beautiful, the salted caramel popcorn is always a winner and the brownie pieces were really fudgey and amazing! Loved it. A must try!

Jamie's Italian Milton Keynes

Jamie's Italian Milton Keynes

Once you’re all filled up on your yummy food, take your time to enjoy the shop available in the restaurant filled with lots of Italian goodies, cookbooks and gifts galore!

You’ll also love the cool industrial vibe Jamie’s Italian has, metals mixed with wood across the room and continuing upstairs where you’ll also find more seating, beautiful copper bathroom taps and proper “Crapper” toilets! (Have a Google for that if you have no idea what they are!)

I’m so impressed with the quality, variety, price and taste of both the Quick and Easy Lunch and Dinner menus – they’re just perfect for any kind of visit!

If you fancy checking them out you and making a cheeky little booking at Jamie’s Italian Milton Keynes, you can find their website here: www.jamieoliver.com/italian/restaurants/milton-keynes/

If you’re really up for their Quick and Easy lunch and dinner options, you can jump straight to them here: https://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/restaurants/milton-keynes/menu/quick-and-easy-lunch/ – the Quick and Easy lunch is served Mon-Fri 12pm – 6pm, and the dinner is served Sun-Thurs 6pm – closing.

*This meal was provided by Jamie’s Italian, but the thoughts are most definitely my own. All the food was absolutely delicious and I was already a big fan of theirs, so if you’ve never been before, I’d really recommend popping by!

Let’s be friends! You can find me on Instagram here: @Amanda_Alston Twitter here: @Amanda_Alston and Facebook here: Amanda Alston Blog

Seaweed tagliatelle with a tomatoey seafood mix

I Sea Pasta Seaweed Tagliatelle

Why did the crab blush? …because the sea weed! Ha!

Today I have a very intriguing foodie product to share with you. Seaweed tagliatelle!

The fabulous people at Seamore Food have created some absolutely amazing products, including the I Sea Pasta Seaweed Tagliatelle which Ian and I have been trying out. (They do an I Sea Bacon pack too!)

I Sea Pasta is filled with so much goodness it’s pretty gobsmacking! It’s full of fibre, top vitamins and minerals, omega3,  antioxidants… Plus, it’s vegan, gluten free, low-carb, low-calorie AND it actually tastes yummy! Win win!

It’s really good to know that the harvesting process is sustainable too. The harvesters only pick patches up to a maximum of 15%, ensuring that the seaweed will grow back. The Seamore company, its harvesters and partners are all certified organic too!

So, let me share with you how we (well…Ian!) cooked up this yummy seaweed tagliatelle, featuring a few of our favourite ingredients from Waitrose.

I Sea Pasta Seaweed Tagliatelle

Ingredients we used:

Seamore I Sea Pasta Seaweed Tagliatelle

Seafood mix – this is a bag you can grab in Waitrose featuring mussels, squid rings and prawns

Sweet & Tangy, tomato & sun-dried tomato jar sauce

Onion, garlic, courgette – use as much or as little as you wish!

Intensely rich sun-dried tomatoes, scattered over once served

Lemon – for a little squeeze over at the end

…we also paired ours up with a little bit of warmed up rosemary and rock salt focaccia bread on the side, which is deeelish by the way! Definitely recommend this beautiful bread! I’m 100% going to buy it again sometime.

Waitrose Rock Salt and Rosemary Focaccia Bread

There are 3 different ways to cook the seaweed. You can soak it for 45 mins in cold water, which reduces the “sea breeze” smell – they recommend this for raw food/salads etc. Secondly, you can soak it in hot water for 20 mins and you will get a slight “sea breeze” scent and a mild bite. Or alternatively, you can do what we did and cook it for 15-20 mins like you would with a pasta – this leaves it more tender and you have more of that “sea breeze” as Seamore likes to call it!

Seamore Food I Sea Pasta Review

I have seen some people say they don’t like the smell of it, but both me and Ian were a fan! We’re big seafood lovers anyways and love our mussels, calamari, prawns and other fishy dishes – so maybe we’re more accustomed to it? When it was cooking it smelt lovely, and to the taste I didn’t find it overpoweringly fishy/seaside-y at all!

We loved the texture of the seaweed and really thought it had a substantial substance to it. It wasn’t too floppy or mushy, it really filled us up! I’ve tried other “healthy” pastas before such as Slim Pasta from Holland and Barrett and have been completely unimpressed…so much so that I threw out the packets I had left, because I disliked it so much. The Seamore I Sea Pasta is completely different and I am really looking forward to having the rest of the packet for another dinner this week!

Healthy, tasty and filling, there’s nothing we didn’t like about it! Paired up with all the other tasty ingredients we put it with and it was such a yummy dinner. Well done Seamore! We’re so pleased to have discovered you!

Intrigued? Want to give it a whirl too? You can find out more about Seamore Food over on their website here: www.seamorefood.com and a quick little search online will bring up a whole host of places to buy it from! Enjoy!

*Thank you to Seamore Food for letting us try out their funky seaweed tagliatelle for free. We’re genuinely impressed how tasty and filling it is!

Let’s be friends! Twitter: @Amanda_Alston & Instagram: @Amanda_Alston :)

Revamped PizzaExpress cracks the code for a great night out

Pizza Express Milton Keynes

No, I couldn’t have thought of a much cheesier title than that if I tried! But yes, PizzaExpress in Midsummer Arcade Milton Keynes has had a rather lovely refresh with a Bletchley Park twist!

I think it’s so great that this chain restaurant has taken the time to pay homage to local history, by ensuring their décor reminds us of how amazing the code breaking team were just down the road in Bletchley Park during the war.

With a glass of Prosecco in my hand and a glass of Peroni in Ian’s, here’s the low down on the food we enjoyed…

Ian just had to have the calamari as soon as he spotted it! Perfectly battered and served with Caesar dressing and a slice of lemon, these were as yummy as expected and always a sure winner of a starter!

I opted for the Risotto Primavera, which I’ve realised is much harder to get a pretty photograph of, but I can assure you that this was a super yummy choice for a starter and a great way to get added greens into your meal. This risotto starter is one of their new additions to the menu and is completed with the flavours of white wine, garlic and Gran Milano cheese. This dish is gluten free too!

Pizza Express Milton Keynes

Pizza Express Milton Keynes

For mains Ian had the huge spicy Calabrese pizza, which is topped with amazing ingredients such as sausage, red chilli, Roquito pepper, roasted peppers, mozzarella, tomato, buffalo mozzarella, rocket, pesto and Gran Milano cheese – just in case you didn’t have enough cheese already! What a pizza! This is a hot dish, so those who can’t handle the heat (like me!) need not apply. But if heat is your thing, Ian would definitely recommend this.

I had the Seafood Rigatoni which is one of PizzaExpress’ Spring Specials! Fish lovers unite! This rigatoni pasta dish is full of the lovely stuff. Salmon, pollock and king prawns, served in a creamy white wine and garlic sauce, topped with lemon and parsley. I absolutely loved it! The slice of lemon was perfect too. You can’t beat a squeeze of lemon on fish dishes!

We also tried our first ever lot of polenta chips! It was really nice to try something new and unusual. I think I’m still a fan of my standard chips or a good ol’ portion of sweet potato fries, but it’s definitely worth trying these out for fun! You might just love them!

Pizza Express Milton Keynes
Pizza Express Milton Keynes
Pizza Express Milton Keynes
Pizza Express Milton Keynes Review

Now for dessert… I tried the Lemon Bundt Cake which is another one of their Spring Specials, and oh wow! This is to die for. Now I’m not usually a lemon or “lighter choice” style dessert girl, I usually opt for the biggest stodgiest chocolate dessert ever and then end up regretting it. But after all that delicious food we had I knew I had to go for something a little lighter. This was just perfect! The lemon sponge ring is beautifully made, with a ever so slightly crunchy casing and a wonderfully soft and moist centre. It’s served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, mint and icing sugar. If you’re usually a chocolate lover like me, I urge you to give this lovely little cake a try.

I also had a gorgeous vanilla latte to finish my meal on an additional high!

Ian is a coffee lover, he’s especially partial to an espresso which is exactly what he had. On the PizzaExpress dessert menu you have the option to choose a hot drink and a mini dessert instead of your standard pud. What a great idea! Ian grabbed that espresso and had it alongside a little dish of mascarpone and figs in a cinnamon and white wine spiced syrup. It all went down very well indeed!

Pizza Express Milton Keynes
Pizza Express Milton Keynes
Pizza Express Milton Keynes Review
Pizza Express Milton Keynes Review

And here’s how lovely the restaurant is looking now after its refurb, with that Bletchley Park twist…

Pizza Express Milton Keynes Review
Pizza Express Milton Keynes Review
Pizza Express Milton Keynes Review

If all this yummy food has made you hungry, you can book your table for the newly refurbished PizzaExpress in Midsummer Arcade (in the Centre MK shopping centre) Milton Keynes by popping over to the site here: https://www.pizzaexpress.com/milton-keynes-midsummer-arcade

*Thank you to PizzaExpress for providing Ian and I with a lovely meal free of charge to review. We had such a lovely time and the staff there are absolutely fantastic!