A family of 5 with a zest for life

The problem with happy hour pizza

Tonight, we went to Marabini's in Morpeth with our children and my parents for what we thought would be a cheap tea out. On paper, happy hour at just £4.95 for pizza/pasta in an authentic friendly setting seems like a good deal. We booked our table for 5:15pm and the restaurant was already buzzing as we arrived.

The children's deal is £5.95 for 1/2 pizza and chips or pasta or other generic child's meal plus ice cream (which was lovely) and a drink. 

The grown ups ordered a starter plus we ordered a garlic bread for the children to share. This is where our bill started getting bumped up. Although the calamari was nice, I feel £6.50 is a little bit on the steep side, especially as the portions were very small. Our table spent £19.50 on calamari - this would have only cost a few £ to make at home.

My mum's bruschetta however was huge and delicious.

Maybe I am cynical but I have come to the conclusion that Italian restaurants give you free bread before your starter to prolong your meal and hope you will order more (expensive) drinks. We were given a basket of free bread and then asked 6 times throughout 2 courses if we would like to order more drinks which kind of proves my point.

Our food was all delicious and we had no complaints at all. Service was very efficient and friendly.

I was shocked when we received our final bill of £87. This seems like an awful lot when you are going out for a £4.95 pizza. After we take the children's meals off, it works out at £16 per adult. It worked out at £5 per pizza and then £11 for a drink and starter. This is extortionate I think when we only had one drink each and one of our party only had a coke, one had a half of lager, one had a pint and one had a small wine.

It left me thinking - next time we go out for happy hour pizza we are going to be strict and only eat from the happy hour menu otherwise, with a bit of planning, it will probably actually be cheaper to dine elsewhere from a regular menu!

Back to Marabini's. I would not say it was particularly child friendly - the children were not given child menu's - I had to ask after I saw them advertised. Then they were given a colouring sheet but there were no crayons available? Then they let our daughter order strawberry ice cream but brought her out vanilla as they'd ran out. Surely they could have told us when we ordered and really they should have given her a choice rather than automatically assuming she would want vanilla? That is maybe me being a bit picky though. The children were given lollipops when they left.

My overall verdict of Marabini's was that I probably would go again. It would especially be nice for a get together with the girls. The pizzas were homemade, authentic and good enough to return for.
I would be strict next time though and stick to the happy hour menu with no extras!


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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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