I don’t often go to sporting events, but my evening a few weeks ago at the National Football Stadium was less about football and more about food and drink! Gooooal!
The event was to showcase the hospitality offering at Windsor Park by their catering partner Sodexo Prestige, as well as the chance to sample local producers, which I always love doing.
Sodexo delivers events and dining experiences at over 50 in venues in the UK and Ireland, so I was intrigued to see what was on offer when dining at Windsor Park. (We were in the George Best Lounge, with great views of the pitch.)
First up we were treated to smoked eel, served with pickled carrot and Armagh Bramley Apple. This was matched with Kilmegan Irish Cider, a cider handcrafted in County Down. We sampled the dry cider which worked very well with the rich smokiness of the eel and the sharp acidity of the Bramley Apple.
Next up was a slow braised brisket of beef, matched with Belfast Black Dry Stout from Whitewater Brewery, based in Castlewellan. The meat fell apart to the touch- really very tender! It was served with seasonal vegetables and a rich red wine jus.
Finally, (for me the best dish of the night), we were served Clandeboye Estate yoghurt Panna Cotta with poached peaches and honeycomb. How pretty is this dessert! The presentation was fantastic and the taste equally as good! I loved it.
This was served with Echlinville Gin, a premium gin made in Newtownards (and incidentally the same distillers as the ever popular Jawbox!).
Once we finished dinner we got the grand tour of the grounds, seeing the changing rooms, media area and even going pitch-side.
It was really interesting to hear all about the hospitality opportunities at Windsor Park, including work conferences and Christmas dinners. They even just had their first Wedding there!
Do you fancy saying ‘I do’ at the National Stadium while enjoying the prettiest panna cotta?!