Trading Places: Everton V City

By Samantha Mcpartland

image2In all the years that I have been going to Everton games, I have always sat in the Lower Gwladys Street. I haven’t known anything different and have now even sat in the same seat for coming up to 15 years.

The only exception to this has been the odd cup game or pre- season friendly, it is all I have known and it is what am used too. This is true of most regular match goes and we all end up with our own match day routines that we get used to.

Normally these days this consists of a quick snack on the way to the game, popping in to St Luke’s Church or the Fan Zone with a tea or coffee at half time.

So when we were invited to attend the Manchester City game in the 1878 Brassiere I was excited but also curious as to how this would compare to my normal match day experience.

The day started round 1pm (4pm kick off) where we were welcomed to the suite The 1878 Suite is one of the new lounges and it was lovely, really trendy and beautifully decorated. There was some great artwork on the walls which I am not sure you will see elsewhere, my personal favourite’s was Leon Osman on a throne and Leighton Baines living up to his cool indie image.

On arrival we were greeted by the lounge staff who explained how the day would work. We were accompanied to our table and the lovely Claire explained that this would be our table during and after the game.

We then were given a glass of champagne. Not long after our arrival Mark Higgins came over to our table to introduce himself. Mark is one of the ex-players who is now one of the hosts in the lounges at Goodison.

It was lovely to meet him and he gave us a little tour and on to the pitch.

Peter McPartland pitchside (1)

Mark was also kind enough to sit down with us and explain his role on a match day.

Part of the package is a three course meal and unlimited drinks package with table service – so our order was taken for some more drinks and then for our starter and main course. There is quite a varied choice for each option (including a vegetarian option). We both went for the Garden Vegetable Soup, with lovely soft bread rolls.

Our server checked we were happy several times and then when we were finished she brought out our main course. I had Chicken Supreme with Ariabiatta Sauce and Peter had North Atlantic Cod Fillet. Both were delicious and were just enough to eat to leave us feeling quite full but not too full for the game.

We didn’t need to worry about what desert to order as we got three little treats each Manchester Tart, Eccles Cake and Profiterole and for somebody who has developed quite sweet tooth, they were amazing.

The atmosphere in the lounge was really relaxed but still had that same match day buzz. We spent our remaining time chilling out and chatting waiting for the match to start. We decided to put some bets on the game. We also bought some golden goal tickets from Everton in the Community.

About half an hour before the game was to start we were asked what we would like to drink at halftime, Peter ordered a lager and I ordered my normal half time tipple (cup of tea!) Again the waiting staff kept checking that we were happy and had enough to drink.

Our seats for the game were right in the centre of the Main Stand. Again this was something very different for me to experience. It was a different I really enjoyed and appreciated though. From seeing the players run out to Z Cars to the Players all lining up before kick off it was just nice to see everything a bit closer and seeing the game itself from a different view point was brilliant. The seats were so comfortable with an amazing view.

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At half time we went back to our table and our drinks were already there waiting for us. It was little touches like this that I loved. The staffs were brilliant and really helpful – nothing was too much for them.

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We returned to our seats and unfortunately the second half saw us conceding two goals and the result not going our way. Once the match had finished we returned back to the brassiere and again our drinks were waiting for us at our table. We spent the time after the game having a few more drinks, watching the post match review on the lounge TV’s and again just relaxing for an hour or so.

Near to the end of our time at the lounge, the Everton Man of the Match came into the lounge and spoke about the game. It was Tim Howard and we were lucky enough to also get our photo took with him.

Peter McPartland with MOM Howard

The whole experience was perfect (with exception of the result obviously), the food was delicious,we were waited upon all the time and the staff were so considerate always checking that we were o and had enough to drink and were just really nice and helpful. When it was time to go home, I felt a bit sad as I had really enjoyed myself.

Everton have 12 different types of hospitality lounges with different packages. Before today, I am not sure I would have considered them for a match day, as I said I was pretty much used to my own routine, but now having experienced it first hand I would love to again. I think they would be perfect for a special occasion such as a wedding anniversary, a special birthday or other special occasion that you might want to celebrate with a few of your friends that also go the game or your family as something that bit different.

1878 Brasserie Goodison Park_1

We learnt from the chef exactly how busy they are and we also learnt a bit about the staff that work there and how respected they are, as well as how he helped Roberto Martinez out with an unusual request.

I am already thinking of when we could next do this experience again, I think I would like to perhaps do an early kick off game to see what that is like, or even a cup game/night game under the floodlights.

It was a brilliant experience and I would like to thank Suzy Parker for inviting us and all the staff for their hospitality.

Lounge information:

An Everton Lounge Membership applies to all Barclays Premier League home games, home FA Cup and Football League Cup games up to and including quarter finals.

At each home fixture all members receive a complimentary match programme and team sheet and enjoy coverage of other great sporting fixtures on Sky Sports and BT Sport, plus free Wi-Fi so you can keep up to date with other games.

Each lounge has a dedicated former player host, MC and hostess, regular match day guests and personalities, including Everton greats and legends from the world of sport and entertainment, and a resident magician – all to enhance the match day experience for customers. Plus every member receives Christmas and Easter gifts every year from the Club.

There is also access to in-lounge betting, a dedicated Everton account manager and priority access to purchase away game and End of Season Awards tickets plus additional places for the home Liverpool derby match (subject to availability).
Lounge Membership prices start from £1,149 + VAT. For more information about Everton Hospitality Memberships, visit evertonfc.com/hospitality email hospitality@evertonfc.com or call 0151 530 5300.

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