Pizza Express: Open House Launch Evening

21 May 2013


Yet another event (my last in a series of them!); on Sunday May 12th, me, my friend Stacey and Gillian from Elevatormusik all turned up for a rather unexpected BYOB launch evening at the newly-opened Pizza Express in Morningside...

What followed was an evening of fine wines and even better pizzas! What I'd do for one right now...
The invite specified that we were to bring along our bottles of wine (which were attached to the invites).. now, a bit of a mishap meant that I didn't actually receive my bottle of wine, but it didn't matter anyway! After 8 different wines were sampled to match the corresponding 8 pizzas we were served, it became clear this wasn't a one-wine kind of evening!

First off, it was so interesting to look at the actual building the new Pizza Express in Morningside is situated within. Previously a church, Pizza Express have maintained some of the original features, which is a nice quirk! I love the old church organ pipes on the back wall, especially. Definitely one of the highlights of the design. And The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie quotes on the walls added a wee Scottish touch to the local outlet..

Us three enjoying our wine in there somewhere! Photo © Stripe Communications
After admiring the shiny new restaurant and starting on our Antipasti platter and prosecco, it was time to get on with the pizza & wine matching! Emma is the Marketing Director of Pizza Express, and explained to us the concept of Open House Sunday, and how it fits with the Australian way of doing things. Open House is about bringing your own chosen wine to the restaurant and they will do their best to match it to the most appropriate pizza on offer to maximise the taste! Even better, there's no corkage charge and it all makes a bargain when you think about the price of most restaurant wines. A great idea for groups of friends and couples alike looking for a chilled-out alternative end to the weekend.

Open kitchen

Photo © Stripe Communications

The concept is launching exclusively in the Edinburgh branches, due to its placing as a top foodie destination, running until the end of July, when it will hopefully roll out nationwide.. (stay tuned, UK readers!)

Before every two pizza and wine matching courses, Pizza Express' Master of Wine, Adrian, talked everyone through the reasons for the matches, and let us decide by ourselves what we preferred. I learned so much from him! I come from a family of wine buffs but I still wasn't sure about the differences between countries in wine tasting. He taught us that sweeter wines will generally come from a warmer climate - which is good for me, as I explained to him that I prefer a sweet wine. He actually brought me out a wine he thought I'd like (a French Muscat wine), which was perfect!

Lovin' life as ever..

Left to Right: Fiorentina (spinach, egg, olive & garlic, matched with Cortese wine) and the Bianca Formaggi (a salty, blue cheese-based pizza, matched with a classic Pinot Grigio)

Wine & prosecco!

We tried out lots of wines and pizzas, and I'll definitely be coming back as soon as I can. I hadn't actually visited a Pizza Express before! Seemed a lot more luxurious than what I remember of pizza chains. My parents are actually interested in having a wee go, so that should be nice!

Photo © Stripe Communications
If you're an Edinburger and would like to take advantage of this wee BYO Sunday night (after 6pm), go on and book a table. If only for the fact I am craving their pizzas every night now.. :| eek.

Psst - and for any non-Edinburgers, they've also launched their new summer menu anyway.. ;)



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