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I’m no football fan, but was there anything to cheer about at Aberdeen Football Club’s hospitality?

The Sicilian lemon dessert with raspberry was served up as part of the hospitality package. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson
The Sicilian lemon dessert with raspberry was served up as part of the hospitality package. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

Football is not my thing. I don’t know anything about the offside rule and I can hands down tell you I probably never will.

My first experience of football was trying to play it at school during lunchtime break. I loved attempting to slide tackle the boys as a ‘defender’ while quite honestly not having a clue where I needed to be, or what I needed to be doing.

The best memory I have of a football game had nothing to do with the game itself.

I was around 11 years old and the martial arts school I attended had been asked to perform a demonstration on Pittodrie’s grounds at half time during an Aberdeen Football Club game.

I can remember the unique musky smell in the room we waited in as the rumblings from the crowd echoed throughout the stadium. We were stood just out of sight of the players and when the half time whistle went, we ran onto the field.

Pittodrie stadium. Image: DC Thomson

Thousands of eyeballs were on us as we showed off our moves. At one point I even got to spar with Angus the Bull.

It wasn’t too long after that when I made my return to Pittodrie as a teenager to watch Scotland play South Africa with my dad, this was the first and only game I had seen until I recently returned as an adult – a mere 15 or so years later.

Arriving at the stadium around 12.30pm, I let the small crowds of people heading in one of the stand doors lead me to my destination.

Ladies day in full swing in the Richard Donald Stand. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

Entering the Richard Donald Stand reception, which is behind the Sir Alex Ferguson statue, I followed the masses up the stairs to a huge room decked out in red, white and black.

The dress code for this hospitality event, which happened to be Ladies Day, was dressy. However, I had been advised to take a coat to keep me warm when out watching the game which I can safely say I’m very glad I did.

Richard Donald Stand hospitality: the menu

Bottles of prosecco were popped as we made our way through the doors and we were all treated to a glass (or two) of fizz. I found the table I was to be seated at prompt and met up with the other guests and our table host.

After the event master of ceremonies, who happened to be my colleague Claire Stevenson from Original 106, welcomed us all, we were treated to a three-course meal before the game.

A glass of fizz kicked off proceedings. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson

I’ve been to plenty of hospitality events in my time, so I certainly appreciate a good bread roll, especially when breakfast had been skipped earlier.

The first course to be served up was a pressed chicken and apricot terrine with beetroot and pink gin gel and a herb oil. The terrine was a long thin rectangle and boasted bright microgreens on top. With its pungent flavour, the apricot sauce really packed a fruity punch. It paired perfectly with the chicken flavour and the herb oil, while scarce, was delicious.  A piece of thin and crisp crostini was halved and placed on top, too.

The pressed chicken and apricot terrine. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

While the starter was smaller, the main was a hefty portion.

Opting for the meat option, I enjoyed the slow braised Scottish beef daube that came with a chive mash and honey glazed carrots which had been made with a Glayva sauce.

The bowlful of ingredients were plated nicely, with two carrot batons strategically lying over the beef. The batons were huge and very, very soft. I felt the beef was slightly overdone at points, but some of if was incredibly succulent, too. The gravy sauce it had been surrounded with was lovely and rich, but it was the chive mash which was my favourite. Fluffy and deliciously flavoursome, I devoured all of that before retiring from the massive piece of beef.

The beef main. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

The veggie option of roasted vegetable wellington slice with pesto sauce looked very appetising, but the portion wasn’t of the same scale.

Between courses the winner of the best dressed competition was announced and awarded her prize. Other goodies were also handed out as this particular event was in aid of Northsound’s Cash for Kids.

Dessert was the real show stopper. A Sicilian lemon posset was served in a glass ramekin and had a single large raspberry and limoncello jelly within it. Across the ramekin sat a rose and vanilla shortbread biscuit which was topped with mini raspberry meringues and dots of raspberry compote.

The Sicilian lemon posset. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

Teas and coffees were served and we even got the chance to hear from some of the inspirational women’s team players throughout the event, too.

At 2.45pm we were invited to head outside and made our way to the stand to find our seats. The first half of the game against Ross County wasn’t too promising, but we did have refreshments waiting, as well as a Pittodrie pie to enjoy come half time.

The Pittodrie pie. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson

This was my first pie at Pittodrie so I savoured every moment. The spiciness of the pepper and the delicious meatiness of the mince was a recipe for delight. The pie case held well, and the pastry had soaked up all of the juices, leaving this lovely taste in my mouth.

Macaroni versions were also available for those who were veggie or preferred.

We headed back out just before the second half kicked off only to watch the team lose. While some headed home with their heads hanging in shame, I had a gin and tonic with my name on it to perk me up. And that it did.

The verdict

I must admit I really enjoyed my time at Aberdeen Football Club. There was plenty of food and drink and while the portion size of the main was rather generous, I think the value for an experience like this is justifiable.

Not only do you get to enjoy a good quality meal with friends, colleagues, family or connections, the fact you get access to these individuals who are usually off limits, and also get to enjoy the game as well (plus seek refuge in the warmth during the break) means value for money is certainly there.

Even if you don’t follow the sport or aren’t a fan of football, I would recommend giving it a shot. As no matter the score, a pie can always put a smile on my face.


Address: Aberdeen Football Club, Pittodrie Stadium, Pittodrie Street, Aberdeen AB24 5QH

T: 01224 650 434


Price: Individual matches – Tier A: £175 per person and Tier B: £145 per person