It seems like I’ve had a bit of long-overdue good luck recently because a few weeks ago some of our family friends invited us to come with them to Wembley Stadium to watch the Ireland v Romania Rugby World Cup game.
Unsurprisingly, Mum and I jumped at the opportunity to go, and last Sunday the big day finally arrived. We all met up at lunchtime for a pre-match meal at one of my favourite London Sunday lunch spots, Malmaison.
I’ve mentioned Malmaison on the blog before, and this time I visited I decided to properly document our lunch there because I really cannot recommend it enough for food quality, atmosphere and value for money. It’s £20 per head for their Sunday lunch and you really do get a lot for your money. The meal starts off with a beautifully presented buffet of cold meats and salad.
I always seem to end up going a bit overboard here. It’s definitely an ‘eyes bigger than my stomach’ kind of situation for me! I felt slightly bad returning to our table with a full plate while everyone else had been extremely modest… But that feeling quickly passed as soon as I got stuck into the food.
The buffet course is followed by the soup of the day, which is optional, but I wouldn’t dream of turning it down because Malmaison soup is the nectar of the gods! The soup was butternut squash and parsnip which was perfectly autumnal.
After that, you can enjoy either a brunch dish or a lunch option from their main menu. I always end up going for the Sunday roast though, because it seems a bit wrong to have anything else at Sunday lunchtime.
The highlight of the meal for me though was ‘The Mal hot chocolate’. Vanilla and white chocolate ice cream in a mug topped with vanilla pod infused whipped cream, homemade marshmallows and served with a jug of hot chocolate sauce. This is just such a good idea for a dessert! It was the perfect end to the meal and a really quirky, novel take on an ice cream sundae.
We all left Malmaison feeling significantly heavier (but extremely satisfied) and set off on our pilgrimage to Wembley. I’d been to Wembley before, because earlier this year I won a year’s supply of burgers at Handmade Burger Co. Wembley, after entering about 100 competitions in one sitting in an attempt to procrastinate my undergraduate dissertation. However, every time I had been it was just a normal day, so I was pretty amazed by the sheer number of people walking from Wembley Park station up to the stadium.
I hastily snapped a few photos on the steps, ignoring the announcer urging people to keep walking and not to stop for photos. What a rebel.
It really couldn’t have been a more perfect day; the light made it really easy to get some great shots along the way.
We passed the ‘fanzone’ on our way in, which was a rather impressive holding area for all the rugby fans who hadn’t managed to get tickets for the match. It looked quite fun down there, if not a little claustrophobic, but the atmosphere probably made the discomfort of watching the game from outside the stadium worth it.
Walking into the stands was quite breathtaking, and this is coming from a girl who generally leaves the room whenever one of the male members of my family insist on putting a football match on the telly.
We couldn’t believe how lucky we were to have seats in such a good location. We were on the front row of our tier and right in the middle. We couldn’t resist taking a few pre-match selfies.
Although I think mum is yet to get the hang of it. Her selfie game is not too strong!
Soon enough the stands filled to capacity – apparently, this game made a new Rugby World Cup record for the number of people in the stadium – and the match began.
The game was brilliant, we got to see loads of tries because Romania was definitely the weaker team, and it was amazing to have the chance to be at a World Cup match. You really can’t beat live sporting events for the atmosphere.