Back in September, news broke of the newest F&B offer unveiled at the national stadium as The Lioness was launched to customers using the hospitality level known as Club Wembley.
Ahead of England’s crucial UEFA Nations League match against Spain, a second space – the Centre Circle – was also launched to offer a totally new experience to hospitality guests.
“Each of the areas represent an ongoing commitment to improve and upgrade the Club Wembley members’ experience,” says Harry Lomas MBE, executive head chef at Wembley Stadium.
“They each complement the product they are designed for, ensuring continuity and consistency in the customer journey.”
Lomas joined the Delaware North team, which manages the catering at Wembley
Stadium, in February 2018, having previously been the executive head chef at five-star hotel The Grove – and before that cooking for The Queen and Royal Household.
In his current role, he oversees the chef and kitchen teams, catering for up to 17,000 Club Wembley members and their guests on a match day, as well as the general admissions fans of the stadium, which holds up to 90,000 people.
Inspired by hearty, traditional comfort food from his Lancashire roots, Lomas also has an army background (he was the star of Channel 5 programme Combat Chef), meaning he is very organised and menus are decided well in advance of event days. Developing bespoke menus for the different level of membership, while taking into consideration the audience expected at that game, the catering team at Wembley has a wide catering brief to include major televised sporting events such as the NFL (American football) matches each year.
“NFL take over the stadium and create their own dedicated hospitality experiences in collaboration with the Club Wembley hospitality and operations team,” says Lomas.
“There is a distinct change in the menu, with some American additions, including beef pastrami antipasti, Waldorf salad, glazed bourbon beef brisket, maple buttermilk mash and lobster mac and cheese. There are also doughnuts, New York cheesecake popcorn and pretzels served during the game with the platinum package.”
Situated on the north-west side of the stadium, it is a gastropub to complement the Three Lions pub, which opened in August 2017.
With an ability to host up to 1,000 members and their guests, it is a great addition to the available places for Inner Circle members to enjoy pre- and post-match hospitality as well as a half-time drink.
Serving gastropub food, it is an ideal space in which to enjoy the pre-match build-up.
A great addition to The Lioness is the integration of the new Wembley tour route, which sees memorabilia placed within the bar, really adding to the overall atmosphere.
“Following member feedback, The Lioness was created to deliver a relaxed atmosphere and a delicious gastropub menu,” says Lomas.
“In addition to the tasty pub grub, The Lioness offers an experience with pour your own pints (a popular attraction!) as well as a wide range of memorabilia from the different events held at the stadium, including signed footballs and shirts, NFL jerseys and boxing and gig memorabilia.”
Access to The Lioness and Three Lions is offered to members who have purchased the Inner Circle membership, providing premium seating in the stadium to some of English football’s biggest events, including England Senior Men’s Internationals at Wembley, Emirates FA Cup Semi-Finals and Final, Carabao Cup Final and FA Community Shield.
“A mix of families, individuals and corporate members looking for a more laid-back experience have Inner Circle membership,” says Lomas.
“The Lioness was launched as part of the Inner Circle offering, which not only provides exclusive access to sell-out events but also allows you to experience top-class food and hospitality in one of the restaurants, or a more casual burger and beer in the newly-launched Gastropub.
“Members are able to experience such benefits as priority access to sports games as well as music and entertainment at Wembley, a dedicated account manager to help with arrangements, one invitation to the behind-the-scenes Connections events, stadium access three hours before the event and a complimentary members’ shuttle train service from central London to Birmingham.”
At each game at Wembley Stadium there are:
• 8 restaurants
• 98 kitchens
• 34 bars
• 688 food & drink service points
• 4,000 pies
• 4,300 burgers
• 3,700 hot dogs
• 35,000 pints consumed
Within Club Wembley there are:
• 452 staff
• 184 chefs
• 435 bottles of champagne consumed
CLUB WEMBLEY AT A GLANCE
The other new space to open saw the launch of an entirely new membership tier, the Centre Circle. Members joining have access to a dedicated lounge on the south side of the stadium, directly behind their seats.
“As well as offering a casual space to relax and socialise before a big game, the Centre Circle space was created to offer members the chance to enjoy their very own private bar area and enjoy the street-style food as well as complimentary drinks of your choice,” says Lomas.
Famous for a reason, the Bobby Moore hospitality package offers a more traditional hospitality experience. You get seat on the halfway line and exclusive access to a fine-dining restaurant with live entertainment and footballing legends.
A club within a club, One Twenty, provides a world of first-class service. Launched last year, the 120 members and their guests get exquisite canapes and unlimited champagne in the contemporary lounge and bar area before a five-course fine-dining experience in a modern restaurant.
From valet parking and the most sought-after seats in the house to post-match cheese and biscuits, every detail is catered for.
As well as the benefits from the game day package, One Twenty members get membership to private members’ club ‘Home House’ in London.
There are eight, 12- or 20-seater boxes available. These are clients’ to own and can be customised to suit their brand or individual taste. With a dedicated team of staff to look after your every need during events, guests can choose from à la carte or buffet menus and a wide range of drinks.
BOBBY MOORE CLUB DIAMOND PACKAGE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS vs OAKLAND RAIDERS
- Salt beef terrine
Salt beef terrine, charred silver skin onions, toasted mini bagel, piccalilli gel
- Salmon pastrami
Cured Scottish salmon pastrami, celeriac remoulade
- Pumpkin soup (v)
Roasted pumpkin soup, truffle orecchiette
- Trio of beef
Slow-braised beef, shoulder of Jacob’s Ladder, shin rillette, smoked mash, kale and whole roasted carrots
- Lobster and scallop mac and cheese
Cooked lobster with macaroni and cheese, collard greens, roasted peppers, red pepper jam
- Beetroot tortellini (v)
Beetroot tortellini, goat’s curd, parsnip crisps, truffle oil
- Chocolate delice
Caramelised white chocolate and bitter chocolate delice, whipped salted caramel ganache
A selection of paired cheeses, dried fruit, chutney and cracker bread
- Korean popcorn chicken
- Sweet and salted popcorn to take away
- Beef burger
- Sticky chicken wings
- Chickpea and butterbean burger with ranch dressing (v)