One of the few things that will make me wake up at night at about 2 or 3 am to spend a few hours in front of the TV is Manchester United. Having grown up as a Man Utd fan, it was always an item on my bucket list that a pilgrimage to Old Trafford was a must – and thus the most important sight of my recent UK Trip was this:
Being a special occasion, we decided to get the Red Cafe Pre-Match MatchDay VIP Experience – it was about 220 pounds (incl VAT) per person, with it, you get a three course meal at the Red Cafe before the match, a discount voucher, organised parking, small gifts and most importantly, good seats in the Sir Alex Ferguson stand. We also made the decision to go for the Pre-Match package because I didn’t want to risk us watching a losing match and then having to stay afterwards.
With the package, you get a 10% off voucher for the SuperStore, and given that we arrived relatively early (like at 11:30am when the Red Cafe only opens at 12:30pm) – we decide to visit the store and get the shopping done. (Since that Ms Buddha had a few friends she needed to buy things for). There were tight security outside the store (reasonable) and once inside, it was packed with all the Man Utd goods you can think of!
After shopping was done, we returned to the Red Cafe Entrance (which was not far from the first photo) – and waited along with a LOT of other people. The package itself did not start till 12:30 – which surprisingly also meant that security did not start checking anyone until 12:30 – what that also meant was that it took about 30mins standing in the wind and cold until we got inside the building – staff were all incredibly friendly – but definitely could have worked a bit better on the logistics. Once inside and a level up, we were met with the Red Cafe Door.
Staff inside were also terrific, and helped take a photo of us (very rare to have a photo of Ms Buddha and I together – because I hate selfies). We sat down and were met with our goodies bag!
With the package, you get drinks (Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic) included – and a three course meal.
Ms Buddha is a big fan of Cider, so that was the first thing she ordered!
We both went for the pork and frankly, we were quite skeptical of how the food will be because you always find that these “packages” often comes with quite mediocre offerings, I am glad to say that Man Utd does these things well, and the first two courses were very good given the place.
Midway through the meal, the TVs dotted around the cafe were showing the Stokes v.s. Man City match, and it was terrific cheering along and watching Man City getting defeated by Stokes!
To finish off, we had another one of Ms Buddha’s weaknesses, one that she always orders when she sees it on the menu – pudding!
With the meal done and a nice visit by Alex Stepney (Ex Man Utd Goalie – who had massive hands!) We were escorted through the thick crowds into the stadium to our seats.
I have to admit, the seats were worth every penny! And whilst we waited, Fred the Red danced around the field drumming up the supporters!
The players came on quite soon after we sat and the match began, to be able to sit with over 50k other supports feeling all the same emotions (excitement, frustration, hope) was something that is unforgettable. What’s more, Ms Buddha also got to see all the players that she likes (especially Mata!)
Whilst we had our chances during the match – we have gone through a season where we haven’t scored as often as we’d like. The match ended as a 0-0 draw. Whilst it could have been better if we had won, it just gives me another excuse to come back and experience a win!