“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
You’re young and so in love. You and your significant other held hands through LaLa Land and cried at the end. When you’re apart it feels like a crime against humanity – it’s so not fair. Valentine’s Day is approaching… and then reality strikes. Your credit card is maxed out and those tickets to Barbados are a fast receding dream. But worry not because help is at hand – those charming pizza poppets at Franco Manca have created a budget sensitive Valentine’s deal for people seeking romance without blowing the rent money. On the 13th, 14th & 15th of February, they are offering two pizzas with a bottle of wine and two desserts for £30 (or upgrade to bubbles for £35). And even more excitingly they have invited me along to test drive the offer.
After a couple of glasses of fizz (a decent Prosecco and a rustic Lambrusco), it was time to satiate the hunger pangs of love.
If you are super peckish you could have a starter – why not feed each other tasty mouthfuls of a creamy, sensuous Burrata Pugliese? What could be more romantic?
and then the main event…heart-shaped pizzas (optional!). Your beloved swoons, your Barbados holiday promises are consigned to the dustbin of history and you briefly go up in the estimation of your other half. I tried the Tomato, garlic, oregano, capers, olives, anchovies and mozzarella pizza which was like a taste of Naples, a bit spiky but a lot of fun. The rather prosaically named ‘Veg Special’ with Franco and Lloyd mozzarella, San Marzano D.O.P. (tomatoes), wild caper berries from Salina, organic Kalamata black olives and watercress is clearly the ‘healthy’ option and a pizza manifestation of the Mediterranean diet. Both were delicious with just the right amount of char on the bottom (please don’t try this at home..).
For dessert Tiramisu was deliciously light so it won’t fill you up too much and the coffee in it will keep you awake to do whatever comes naturally…
There are 30 Franco Manca’s across London and the south so if you live in the north you’ll have to drive or take your gyrocopter. The group has come a long way since their first tiny outlet in Brixton Market and are the best value ‘quality’ pizza in the market. So just remember to book and to invite your inamorata along for romantic fun this Valentine’s Day.
I ate at
Franco Manca Chiswick
Check the Franco Manca website for the nearest branch to you