With less than three months left until the end of the UK’s Premiership football season, fans across the nation are on the edge of their seats as they wait to find out which team will be crowned champion and walk away victorious with the prestigious 2021/22 title. Current front-runners Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are currently battling it out to finish top of the table, and are pulling out all the stops to make it a reality – making for a nail-biting final few weeks of the season that no fan will want to miss.
After nearly two years of disruptions to fixtures that saw the entire Premiership shut down for several weeks early on in the pandemic, and with fans forced to forego their season tickets to take in subsequent matches from home, most are eager to get back into their favourite stadiums to watch the action unfold first-hand. And, as conversation picks up around the EPL predicted lineups we can expect as the remaining matches approach, the excitement is truly palpable.
But if you’re worried you can’t quite keep up with the other raucous spectators at a live event, or simply value your privacy, then worry not – because there are plenty of ways you can take in a game or two in the lap of luxury instead, avoiding the stress of the queues and crowds and sipping your way through a few bottles of champagne as you take in the beautiful game in style. Treating yourself to a VIP hospitality package is a splurge you deserve after the trying events of the past months – and where better to do it than at the home of your favourite club?
A trip to a football match doesn’t have to be a flying visit either, and some of the most iconic football cities in the UK have plenty to offer outside of sport. So if you’re toying with the idea of a luxury staycation in 2022, then why not combine the two? Here, we take a look at four of the best destinations for UK football enthusiasts to combine food, culture and, of course, the game itself – all manner of luxury guaranteed.
London is perhaps the most notable of the UK’s football cities, owing largely to the fact that the British capital is home to not one, but several high-flying clubs. From Chelsea, which is based in one of the city’s most affluent boroughs at the renowned Stamford Bridge stadium, to West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal to name but a few, even if your favourite team doesn’t hail from London, you’ll likely have the opportunity to see them play here more than once throughout the season.
Thankfully, the Big Smoke has got luxury in all forms well and truly covered, and you’ll have little trouble finding a lavish hotel or an opulent fine dining eatery when planning a short break. The exclusive Chelsea Harbour Hotel and Spa promises guests the celebrity treatment and offers world class service with an excellent range of facilities, in a convenient location just a five-minute stroll from the famous King’s Road. Meanwhile, if you’re heading to watch Arsenal play at the prestigious Emirates Stadium, then nearby Islington is awash with modern and stylish hotels that are bound to tick all the right boxes – from the sophisticated Montcalm Royal London House, to the historic Barbican Rooms.
A true haven for foodies, the city boasts an impressive 66 Michelin-starred restaurants in total, so if you’re in search of a true taste of decadence, then you can quite literally take your pick. Wherever you’re staying in the city, you’re certain to find a dining option to please – but be sure to head over to Belgravia to check out the acclaimed Amaya, where mouth-watering Indian-inspired cuisine is cooked using a traditional tandoor oven and over hot coals, or to Hakkasan in Mayfair for a luxurious twist on traditional Chinese dim sum. For something a little more traditional, be sure to book in at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Mayfair – or for a dining experience you’ll never forget, make a reservation for Heston Blumenthal’s highly sought-after, two Michelin-starred Dinner.
Whether you’re a Manchester City fan or a die-hard Manchester United enthusiast, this northern city is one of the most interesting and diverse in the UK, and offers an edgy and urban vibe that it has become world famous for thanks to its eclectic range of unique, modern boutique hotels and trendy eateries.
United fans shouldn’t hesitate to check in at the stylish Kimpton Clock Tower, which offers elegant rooms in the heart of the city centre, which is well connected to the team’s famous grounds. The Stock Exchange Hotel, meanwhile, is less than two miles from Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, and just 100 yards from the famous Royal Exchange Theatre, offering a range of opulent services and amenities to make for a comfortable and relaxing stay.
With just one Michelin-starred restaurant in Manchester, choosing where to dine is easy. Manna serves up a unique, choreographed dining experience via its open performance kitchen, with its stand-out dishes including raw oyster with English wasabi, birch-smoked trout with lavender and inoculated grains, and baked apples with brown butter and oregano. Delicious!
Aston Villa or Wolverhampton Wanderers? That is the question. Either way, you’ll no doubt want to check in at the Grand Hotel Birmingham for your stay in the city, which offers a range of classic and luxury facilities and amenities, and is well located for visits to both Villa Park and Molineux Stadium.
Birmingham is, surprisingly for some, quite the hub when it comes to Michelin-starred dining, and is home to not one, but five restaurants that currently hold one star. Carter’s of Mosely is a highlight, dishing out a creative tasting menu centred around fresh, locally-sourced British produce. For something a little different, head to Opheem, where progressive Indian cooking is the order of the day. With talented Aston-born chef and owner Aktar Islam at the helm, it offers a unique dining experience based around distinct, defined flavours. Don’t miss the tasting menu for a culinary experience to remember.
A trip up north to Liverpool is essential for Liverpool fans this spring as the team continues to battle it out for the title, and while luxury accommodations might appear a little thin on the ground compared to the capital, there are some great options within a stone’s throw of Anfield. The five-star Captain’s House is conveniently located in the city centre for those eager to do a little sight-seeing and is a historic holiday home that often books up well in advance. Originally owned by a sea captain, it dates all the way back to the 1800s, and is nestled right in the heart of the city’s charming Georgian Quarter.
Currently, there are no Michelin-starred restaurants in Liverpool and, in fact, the city has never had one. Nonetheless, there are plenty of great fine dining eateries to choose from, many of which have been recognised by the Michelin Guide – Spire, in the city’s Penny Lane area, offers a modern twist on classic British fare, while LERPWL, at the Royal Albert Dock, has won acclaim for its carefully crafted, creative dishes, which re understated yet full of flavour.