As Twickenham remodels the future of its match-day experience we talk to Ansell Henry, sales director at England Rugby Hospitality, to find out more:
What is happening at Twickenham?
“After successfully securing planning permission for the redevelopment of the East Stand at Twickenham Stadium, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) will be creating an additional 11,600 sq m space for match-day hospitality, which will be exclusively provided by England Rugby Hospitality sales specialists, supported by long-term sales partner Keith Prowse.
“The six new levels will be distinctive in design and celebrate the unique aspects of the home of England Rugby and the game. They will not only build on the stadium’s existing high-quality hospitality but also diversify the hospitality offering to appeal to different budgets while also attracting new audiences.”
Who will be providing hospitality?
“The launch of England Rugby Hospitality has seen Keith Prowse, the RFU’s long-standing official hospitality partner, become exclusive sales agent for England Rugby Hospitality.
“The development of the East Stand will bring enhanced design and service levels and is set to draw new audiences. A new demographic and a wider customer base will generate additional revenues, the profits of which continue to be invested directly back into the sport.”
Will the new hospitality be tiered?
“Tiered by price and package inclusions, ranging from entry-level Club through to top-of-the-range Super Premium Plus, the catering offering differs from experience to experience.
“Our entry-level The Rose Garden will offer street-food grazing, The Gate is a chop house restaurant and food and drink will be paired to the opposition and The East Wing offers a flexible dining option that includes a five-course taster menu.”
What will the new hospitality offerings be called?
“Joining the existing Rugby House, Lower and Upper Tier Executive Boxes, the new experiences will be called The Rose Garden, The East Wing, The Lock and The Gate, all of which will help make Twickenham match days the ultimate hospitality experience, with the hottest tickets in town.”
What will the food and drink offering be within each hospitality area?
“The Gate will serve quality meats, paired with premium wines and real ale and is styled on a chop house premium restaurant.
“The Lock will serve English comfort classics with a contemporary twist. The East Wing will consist of lounge spaces with bars and a concierge service and have unique dual-aspect views of the pitch and terraces overlooking the London landscape.
“The Rose Garden will be an authentic roof garden with a vibrant mix of live cooking and live music.”
What will a day at the rugby look like from 2018?
“Rugby fans want a quality choice that reflects their match-day experience. This service needs to cater for existing and new rugby audiences from the moment they enter the stadium to the minute they leave. Whether visitors are looking for exclusive and premium dining experiences, or they’re fans who wish to be at the heart of the action, a day at the rugby is as action-packed off the pitch as it is on it.
“These hospitality options ensure that fans can experience everything from informal themed dining, to roof gardens with live music and cooking, to dual-action lounge spaces and bars overlooking the pitch.”
Keith Prowse and England Rugby Hospitality are creating Virtual Reality experiences with Igloo. So, what is Igloo?
“Igloo is a marketing solution for the England Rugby Hospitality brand, designed to offer a shared virtual reality experience to showcase the experiences that will be implemented at the stadium in autumn 2018.
“Igloo is a great example of how the RFU and Keith Prowse are creating immersive experiences to bring the new brand to life at the home of England Rugby.
“The Igloo virtual reality experience allows for full interaction with potential clients while they are viewing the facilities, which is paramount. Seeing their live response and where their interests lie allows a greater focus on these areas. With a headset, it is not possible to see client and potential buyers’ reactions, making it harder to engage and discuss the facilities, products and opportunities.
“Despite being the early stages of the technology partnership, the client feedback has been phenomenal as it has brought England Rugby Hospitality to life. The benefits of the software and opportunities to develop it makes it likely that it is rolled out for other sporting and cultural events in Keith Prowse’s portfolio.”
THE GATE SAMPLE MENU
Bloody Mary – Ketel One vodka, house-spiced tomato juice and seasoning
Salted beer puffs
Somerset cured meats and salamis board
Applewood smoked corn-fed chicken – black garlic and Madeira purée, truffle foam
Roasted vegetable gâteau (v) – carrot purée, crispy cauliflower, garlic chives and affilia cress
Gin and papaya sorbet
28-day-aged Hereford porterhouse steak – Perogoudine jus
Pan-seared barramundi – sea vegetables, lemon thyme emulsion
Black truffle and ricotta pithivier (v) – baby spinach, beetroot pearls, butternut purée, lemon thyme emulsion
Hibiscus, rocket and hippo top cress
Apple – roast, gel, purée, calvados cream, apple crisp, crumble
Lamingtons – Passion fruit cream and elderflower jelly
Served with a sweet wine – Vin de Constance 2013 Klein Constantia, Constantia
Twickenham’s pork pie – Piccalilli
Selection of artisan cheeses: Blacksticks Blue, Somerset Brie and Cornish Smuggler
Served with quince jelly, bittersweet marmalade, oatcakes, fresh grapes and crispbreads