Vegan dining at Wembley Stadium
Guest post by Mirel.
Thanks to a huge stroke of luck, I was able to win a pair of tickets for the FA Cup Semi Final to watch Manchester City v Brighton & Hove at Wembley Stadium this weekend. As an added bonus, these tickets were for the Bobby Moore Club level and came with the full corporate hospitality package which is something I’ve never dreamed of experiencing before.
We submitted our dietary requirements in advance and Wembley Stadium confirmed this was all in hand. I had no further information about the food ahead of time, but hoped for the best and knew that if it was terrible we could always buy some tasty Indian food from nearby Ealing Road after the game. Online reviews rave about the hospitality experience and I couldn’t wait to try it out for myself.
Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted at the bag search before heading to the turnstiles and into Wembley Stadium. After our tickets were scanned, we were welcomed into the Bobby Moore Club by a team of well-polished and friendly staff who were waiting to receive us. They quickly matched up our ticket numbers with a table booking and a hostess took us across the restaurant to our own private table. A waiter was ready to receive us at the table, pulled our chairs out and offered us a glass of champagne.
After our glasses were filled, he said “May I just confirm that you are our vegan guests?”. We said yes and he handed us our menu for the day.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but this was instantly impressive. A 5-course fully vegan fine dining menu packed with delicious and inventive things; no portobello mushroom burgers in sight!
A bowl of olives and a bowl of luxury mixed nuts were already on the table so we placed our order for the meal and got started on the nibbles while we waited.
We were then offered a bread selection and our waiter kindly brought over an allergen sheet for us to check before we ate anything. The bread was produced in a bakery which also handles dairy so he alerted us to the possibility of traces, but dairy wasn’t used as an ingredient in the bread so that was perfectly fine for us. Instead of butter, we enjoyed the bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The restaurant was slowly filling up but there was no dip at all in the impeccably high levels of service. Our drinks were topped up and the starter arrived.
As a lifelong soup fan, I was guaranteed to love this course but it was even better than I anticipated. Delicately flavoured, the perfect texture and topped with a few baby pea shoots, this was a fantastic way start to the meal.
The main course followed and it was easy to see how much care had gone into the careful plating of this meal. The colours really popped and made the whole thing look so instantly appetizing.
The amount of flavour in the roasted and pureed vegetables was absolutely amazing. At first the portion seemed on the small side, but it was deceptively filling and beautifully done.
Dessert wasn’t groundbreaking at all, but it was still fresh and delicious.
It would have been lovely to have a slightly more inventive vegan dessert than a fruit salad. I wasn’t expecting an aquafaba meringue, but maybe a fruit crumble, a flapjack, some coconut yoghurt, or even some vegan ice cream which is readily available in our supermarkets these days.
After the first three courses were over, it was time for tea and coffee before heading out to our seats to watch the game. At halftime we headed back inside the Bobby Moore Club restaurant and the halftime snacks awaited us. We each had a plate with a falafel, some fresh vegetables and a pot of hummus to dunk them all in.
We headed back to our outdoor seats and watched the second half of the game, Manchester City were victorious with a final score of 1 – 0. It wasn’t over for us though as we headed back to the restaurant one final time to enjoy our post-game cheeseboard and one more drink before hitting the road.
I had been dubious about the cheese as we know that all vegan cheeses are not created equal. But this one was something special! It was really rich and delicious, but not overpowering at all. I didn’t ask but if I had to guess I’d say it was cashew-based. Either way, we absolutely loved it.
And just like that, our hospitality experience was over. It isn’t something I could have done without being lucky enough to win tickets but it was an incredible day and I enjoyed every minute. It was also impressive to see such excellent vegan options being offered in a place where the average guest isn’t a vegan. Top marks to Wembley Stadium and the Bobby Moore Club!