Megan loves pizza, reading and drawing and it's not often she gets the opportunity to combine all three in one activity. To celebrate the launch of Pizza Express’s partnership with Puffin Books, Mumsnet invited us over to The Old Post Office Road, Bournemouth restaurant to see what we thought to the Piccolo Kid’s menu and take part in their Piccolo Story Explorer activities. As a special launch activity we were greeted by Tim Budgen who was busily sketching animals eating pizza!
Olive asked for a tortoise, Megan a rabbit and Charlie a wolf, their favourite animals. I love how Tim managed to capture a little bit of each child's imagination and personality down to rabbit wearing dungarees which of course Megan's very own rabbit can be seen wearing daily. Megan was quick to devour every hint and tip that Tim shared with her, watching his hands intently as he created each child a unique drawing.
The Story Explorers booklet has a great step by step to create Grey Huffley, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid which Megan was all over, she's also mastered Nick Sharrat's style (he illustrates Jacqueline Wilson's Books, think Tracey Beaker and Hetty Feather) I've never seen them all so quiet feasting on a starter of dough balls and vegetable crudités whilst drawing.
This is Olive demostrating the face a tortoise makes!
The children opted for black outlined sketches that they could then colour themselves, now I really had to keep from interfering here as adults we can like things to be perfect which is stifling and catastrophic for creatives. So letting them run wild on these drawings created especially for them did scare me but it's all part of the children imercing themselves in the creative experence. Olive even started borrowing Tim's pens! Tim was great with the children and had we not finished our lunches I'm sure we could have stayed all day watching him draw.The Piccolo Menu had a varied selection to choose from, I like that the menu catered for fusspost like Olive who is more than happy with a plain cheese but also added a few “posh” ingredients like black olives making it less of children's menu for Megan, who likes a selection of toppings. For a 3 course meal of starter, mains and dessert including a Bambinoccino, it only cost £6.95 per child.
Activity packs have become an expected staple when it comes to taking children out for a meal, but they can be hard to balance a variety of ages, using much loved Puffin Book characters and handy drawing tips, spot the difference and Olive's personal favourite word searches, there was plenty to keep everyone interested. Stress free dining and delicious pizza what more could you want!