Franco Manca pizza flatlay

When a new pizzeria opens up near by, it's pretty much a dead cert that I will be aware of it. As a self confessed pizza obsessive, I clocked the Franco Manca restaurant on the riverside in Reading before it had officially opened it's doors. So you can imagine my delight when an email popped in my inbox inviting me to to a complimentary dinner and wine tasting event one weekday evening. 

For those of you that don't know. Franco Manca is a pizzeria specializing in the traditional neopolitan soft base pizzas. The first restaurant opened in Brixton back in 2008, and as it's popularity has grown, more have opened throughout London and the South of England. Their ingredients are fresh and sourced from suppliers within the British Isles and Europe. The top dogs/Head Chefs from Franco Manca even go out on a team building exercise, hunting for the wild garlic they use in their pesto.

The Menu may be relatively simple, consisting of 6 pizza options but that doesn't mean it doesnt lack variety. We were treated to several different meats & cheeses to start. Of which included buffalo Mozzerella prepared 3 different ways accompanied by wild boar salami, wild pig salami and Prosciutto from Langhirano. In addition to this garlic and rosemary flatbed was served with Goats cheese and Franco Mancas freshly made garlic pesto. I can tell you, those platters didn't stay full for long. We all enjoyed the selection of antipasi dishes. 

Franco Manca bites antipasi mozzerella salami
Franco Manca bites antipasi Prosciutto
Franco Manca Garlic and Rosmary flat bread

The event itself was really chilled and relaxed. While we sipped on fresh homemade lemonade, and no logo beers, we were given the chance to watch as head chef Alfie showed us how Franco Manca prepare their infamous sour dough. He explained how all the dough is made in-house a day in advance. This 24 hour fermentation period ensures the dough has a good texture, great taste and added nutritional values. Alfie showed us the correct mixing technique used to create the perfect sourdough along with the ingredients required. For the perfect dough, Starter is used in the mixture rather than dry yeast. This 'living food' of flour & water contains a yeast  producing good bacteria, which is a vital ingredient for the perfect sourdough base. In Readings Franco Manca, the kitchen is open plan, meaning you can see the various chefs fulfilling orders from the comfort of your seat. Despite the small work area, they work efficiently and quickly to get the pizzas out, helped hugely by the large wood fired stone oven which cooks the pizzas within about 50 seconds! Now that is fast food!

Franco Manca Chorizo sourdough pizza preperation
Franco Manca sourdough  Neapolitan Chorizo pizza.

As previously mentioned, their menu consists of 6 pizza options, however as of Monday 17th of July another has been added. Pizza no 7; A favourite of Franco Mancas executive chef Alfonso', including spicy sausage, buffalo ricotta and yellow piennollo tomatoes. It's one that I'm sure will be just as popular as the original 6. If you're looking for your pasta dish, I'm sorry but you wont be tucking into anything like that here. Franco Manca is exclusively pizzas only. Which is fine by me, but worth mentioning if you are someone who prefers a different type of carbohydrate!

Now I wouldn't blame you if you were wondering if a meal out at Franco Manca Reading would cost you the earth. I mean, you've got the authentic Neopolitan pizzas, fresh ingredients, dough prepped in-house, the fast & friendly service, of course you'd be thinking it might cost you more than your average trip to Pizza Express. However you'd be wrong The pizzas range from £5 to £9 (additional toppings come with an additional charge) for a pizza that is packed full of flavour, non greasy and doesn't leave you feeling bloated. Whilst we weren't able to stick around to catch a taster of all the desserts they have to offer, including lemon cake & tiramusu. We were able to take home a slice of their chocolate hazelnut cake, which I can confirm is delicious paired with some vanilla ice-cream. That's one good thing about the sourdough bases, they don't leave you feeling too full so you will have room for a naughty treat.

Will I be visiting Franco Manca again? Of course I will. From start to finish I was impressed, I've sung it's praises to anyone that cares to listen, and plan to head along to the Reading branch again with a selection of friends soon. As someone who is known within my friendship group as the pizza obsessive, I am looked upon as something of a pizza expert, so when I recommend somewhere they know it's going to be good! 

*I was invited to Franco Manca,  for a complimentary tasting however all views are my own and not influenced by this in any way.* 

Recently Purchased..

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Flat Lay Leanne Marie Blog

Just a couple of items I've recently purchased. 

I'm in no way trying to create a capsule/minimal wardrobe, however I am trying to a) inject a bit of colour and b) pick classic items that I can easily mix and match. It's a slow process, but I'll get there.

Gone are the days where I lug around a huge handbag at the weekends, I much prefer a smaller cross body number like this red one, which is an absolute steal at £15.. I have two other bags of this style also from Accessorize, so it's safe to say they are fast becoming a favourite of mine! Just the right size for all your weekend essentials. 

I do love my ankle boots, But the pairs I already have are all very similar. I'm craving a bit of variety. It was about time I bought myself a pair that were a little different, therefore opted for these open toe cut out ones from River Island. They're very comfortable, look a bit fancier than anything I already own and aren't too expensive. An all round winning pair of boots.  I've found myself looking at River Island more and more recently. They've got a really great range of items out at the moment, gone are the days where it was all neons and sequins! 

I've wanted a classic Levis T-shirt for a long time. After seeing it pop up on Instagram multiple times, the fashion gods were on my side & ASOS provided this offering. I feel that sometimes a branded T-shirt like this one can make it look like you've made more of an effort. Does anyone else ever feel that way? It's just a little more stylish? Do I even make sense? Jeans, converse, a branded T-shirt and jacket...also with the addition of a across body bag = an instant 'well thought out' outfit. - Well I think so anyway!

So there you have it. A simple little post from me. Going a bit 'old school' in terms of blog posts, but I think that's the direction I want to go now. Little tidbits of my life, nothing to complicated, nothing too fancy. 

Much love,

FASHION: A/W 2016 Payday Wishlist

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Oh hello, long time no speak. So it appears I decided to take a bit of a laid back approach to blogging and when I say laid back, I mean not blog at all! Usual excuse, life gets in the way bla bla bla. Basically, I've come to the realisation that I do not blog as a job, it is a hobby. Therefore if I want to be sporadic in posting then I will! The world will not end if I don't post on the regular! Anyway I digress... I wanted to come back at you all with a bit of a payday A/W wishlist post thing. In my time away I've gone from being one of those girls that doesnt like to shop much, to the girl working out if Beans on toast is an okay meal to have daily for the rest of the month because I've spent too much... . So without further ado, here are some of my A/W picks. 

I love the colder months for layering, so that's where my head is at right now when it comes to shopping! Think pretty tea dresses with ankle boots and fab jackets. Snuggly jumpers and building on those basics, all the comfortable trainers and cosy scarves! I am thinking about the upcoming months too, I really want to get the Parka jacket for our trip to Amsterdam in November along with the leopard trainers. A purrrfect (ha did I really just do that) addition for the girl that lives in black clothing! I'm also trying to plan ahead and think of Christmas and (dare I say it) NYE. I don't think it's ever too early to be looking for a party dress, the season is approaching guys! We need to be prepared! Even if you are just going out for a meal with work/friends, its nice to have something a little more special to wear! 

What have you been buying this season? Chances are once I've finished this post I'll probably be making an online order for a couple of the above bits!

Much love, 

FASHION: A/W Boot wishlist

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

It's September so it is acceptable to start shopping for our Autumn/Winter wardrobe... or at least start looking at whats out there on offer! I usually spend most of the colder months in ankle boots, so naturally they would be one of the first items I would start looking around for! The other week when I was browsing the beauty section on the House of Fraser website, I decided to continue to browse through other departments and start book marking a few bits and bobs I liked the look of. Before I knew it I'd bookmarked a fair few footwear choices so it made sense to share them with you in case you were in the market looking for some new ankle boots for the upcoming months

As you can see I've gone for some classic styles and then some other curve balls like the open toe boot from Miss Selfridge. There's a girl who gets the same train as me in the mornings to work and she always wears boots like these, Over time they've grown on me and now I would like a pair! I also would like to experiment with boots other than the colour black! So the Dune Pander boots ended up being bookmarked, as they are a really nice burgandy shade which I think would look great paired with a classic pair of black skinny jeans or even with little tea dresses and tights. I am a low heel or flat boot kind of gal, so they would be perfect for the upcoming months! I'll probably end up buying a pair in October after payday!

Much love, 

BOOKS: September 2016 TBR

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

This month I am on a mission to get going with reading again. I've got slack these past few months and now I am pretty behind on my 2016 reading challenge, so September is the month I am going to try and make up for not getting though much recently! If you read my posts last week you will know that we are going on holiday this month so I am hoping a week of lying by the pool will enable to me to get some serious reading time in. The following 3 books are ones that I definitely want to read during September. So fingers crossed I achieve that!

To all the Boys I've loved before - Jenny Han.

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she's ever loved. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only.Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

I picked this up in a charity shop (another 95p special!) Everyone needs a little bit of chick lick to read poolside! I remember this doing the rounds online when it first came out and I believe it had decent reviews. It's one I think I will fly through while on holiday. The text is quite big and spaced out aswell, which usually is an indication that I'll read through it releatively quickly. 

 A fortunate age - Joanna Rakoff

Living in crumbling Brooklyn apartments, holding down jobs as actors and writers and eschewing the middle-class sensibilities of their parents, graduates of the prestigious Oberlin College, Lil, Beth, Sadie, Emily, Dave and Tal believe they can have it all. When the group come together to celebrate a marriage,anything seems possible. But soon the reality of rent, marriage and family will test them all. For this fortunate age can't last for ever, and the group must face adulthood, whether they are ready for it or not. Sprawling and richly drawn, A Fortunate Age traces the lives of the group during some of the most defining years of modern America - from the decadence of the dot com boom through to the sobering events of September 11 and the trailing years that followed - this brilliant, ambitious debut novel perfectly captures the hopes, anxieties and dreams of a generation.

I thought this would be quite an interesting read considering its based about the realities of becoming an adult and the obstacles you may face. More so as it is based around the time of some serious world issues, which I am quite intrigued as to how the author has gone about writing the characters experiences. I will admit I was drawn to the bright colours of the cover because yes I AM SOMEONE WHO JUDGES BOOKS BY THEIR COVERS (sometimes) 

In her Wake - Amanda Jennings

A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella's comfortable existence. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but her life.Chilling, complex and profoundly moving, In Her Wake is a gripping psychological thriller that questions the nature of family - and reminds us that sometimes the most shocking crimes are committed closest to home.

There's no secret that I love a thriller/mystery and this blurb got me hooked. I was a big fan of Clare Mackintosh' 'I let you go' so I'm interested to see if this book has the same sort of twists and turns as that one did (even though its a completely different author!) If it does I'll be really pleased! It's had quite good ratings on amazon and goodreads which is a positive! This may be the first of the three I get stuck into to be honest! 

What's on your September TBR?

Much love