London: Leadenhall Market – History or Pizza or Both
I was recently invited to try out the Pizza Express in London’s Leadenhall Market in the East End. The event was a pizza making evening with a group of bloggers and we made great tasting individually personalised pizzas. I was really happy with the final result of my pizza
and along with delicious and famous dough balls
for starters and a glass or two of chilled Prosecco had a really fun evening.
Pizza Express was first started in Soho in London’s West End in 1965 on Wardour Street. Founder Peter Boizot never realised how popular this endeavor would be and I am sure he never envisioned one of his restaurants being in the historic heart of the East End of London – Leadenhall Market.
From the outside the Pizza Express looks warm and cosy but doesn’t look like there is a lot of dining space however downstairs they can seat 125-130 people (covers) in the recently renovated basement area. The space is spacious with lots of little areas that can be quite private if you wish. If the weather permits there is also seating for another 22 outside.
Parties are well catered for and there are sofas and booths to give a new cosier atmosphere.
The renovations were carried out with extreme simplicity and care. The building is a Grade II listed building which means no structural alterations can be made and anything done must be done with utmost care. In many cases removing old lighting and repositioning it highlighted the beautiful brick arches.
On the ground floor there is a beautiful wrought iron spiral staircase which leads upstairs to a private meeting area perfect for a lunchtime business meeting!
The spiral staircase is quite narrow however due to the Grade II listing they cannot change it so they keep this space for the meeting room.
Looking down stairs from the open wrought iron railing the decorations are simple but inviting you to keep looking around.
I love to be a fly on the wall looking at fellow diners and wondering who they are, what their relationships are and why they are here the same time as myself!
Around every corner there is something to catch the eye, something to make you stop and spend a moment or two to enjoy.