fcbusiness heads to the Etihad to become one of their own in the Citizens Restaurant.
After getting stuck in traffic on our way to the Etihad for Manchester City’s Capital One Cup quarter final clash against Hull City on 1st December, my stress levels were high.
But on approach to the stadium my anxiety was reduced by the easy navigation to our parking space with some very well thought out and highly visible signs which helped guide me to the correct parking zone.
With the journey now consigned to memory we made our way to the East Stand where the Citizens restaurant is located on Level Two. We were greeted by the always pleasant hosts and shown to our table for the evening, in this case one of the booths that lines the back wall. The integrated TV featuring pre-match build up reminded you that you’re actually at a football match.
Citizens is a very relaxed affair, dressed to give a very homely feel with City memorabilia adorning the walls which are fitted out in dark block wood shelving and includes globes, street name plates and the like. We feel like Citizens. There’s also a beautiful looking bar upon entry.
Detail is something that Manchester City does very well and the thought that goes into every little detail is something that is evident in this lounge. The tables are dressed beautifully and the menus are well thought out. Food is served over three courses with the main course being a fantastic self-service carvery with a choice of mains and a vegetarian option. There is also a dedicated kids’ menu which offered firm favourites for the little one. Starters and desserts are ordered via our hostess, as are drinks.
There’s a lively buzz in the room for the evening as we look forward to the game ahead and as kick off approaches we make our way to our seats. Located on Level two, the executive seating gives us a commanding view of the pitch from across the halfway line. The night’s travelling fans have made the journey across the M62 in good numbers and make for a great atmosphere as they take up the whole of the newly built upper stand.
We head in for half-time with our hosts leading the game, to drinks waiting and desserts and cheeseboard laid out, before heading quickly back out for the second half.
Of all of the very good things that Citizens offers a fan, our night was made all the more pleasant by our hostess, Taylor. She made a real difference and was extremely helpful and friendly.
In all, Citizens is a very good hospitality offering which was warm and welcoming and if you’ve arrived at the ground as stressed as I, will help you enjoy the game in a relaxed environment – unless of course the result of the game doesn’t go your way.
Hospitality Report Card
Package Reviewed: Citizens Restaurant. Prices start from £99p/p. (4/5)
Travel/Parking: Parking was included. We were in the Orange car park which was well signed and marshalled as well as very close to the stadium. (5/5)
Pre-Game Information: Information about parking was sent via email and tickets were collected at the stadium. Heightened security meant there were more checks than normal but nothing out of the ordinary. (3/5)
Ambience: Citizens is a warm and welcoming environment with the feel of a front room. City memorabilia adorns the walls of the lively feeling space which seemed to have a good buzz throughout pre-match dinner and post-match drinks. (4/5)
Match Seating Area: Seats were located on Level Two of the East Stand with very comfortable Olympian style seats and commanding views across the half way line and good views of the dug outs. (5/5)
Service: Without a doubt the highlight of the evening. Our hostess, Taylor was credit to the team and a fine example of how this intangible aspect of hospitality can make a real difference to the overall experience. (5/5)
Food Options: A three course menu is on offer with mains from a very high quality self-service carvery. There’s also a dedicated kids’ menu although the little one who joined us for the match with us wasn’t overly keen on the pizza. The base was too crispy! (4/5)
Drinks Options: A good range of drinks are available at a cash bar but waiter service means you don’t have to leave your seat. Half-time and full-time drinks orders were taken and ready and waiting upon our return. (4/5)
Manchester City is a club that strives for perfection. The Etihad has undergone a huge programme of upgrading and the hospitality offerings now cater for a very wide range of tastes