Fulham have tried something a bit different for the 2017/18 season at Craven Cottage, and that something different comes in the form of their newest hospitality package, Seasons Wine Lounge.
Designed in a contemporary style in collaboration with BoConcept, the Danish furniture specialists, Seasons offers fans wine, food and stunning views of the River Thames, while allowing you to watch Slavisa Jokanovic's side from some of the best seats in the house in the Riverside Stand.
Wine lounges and football don't often mix, but Seasons seems to have hit a niche gap where those that enjoy hospitality can entertain business clients or treat loved ones to a special day at the Cottage, all for quite a reasonable cost of £159 per person (plus VAT).
GetWestLondon was invited to sample Seasons for Fulham's Tuesday night game with Bristol City, and despite the result, we were thoroughly impressed by what the club had to offer.
Fulham's hospitality areas open from 5.30pm on weekday matchdays, and upon arrival at the Cottage we were made to feel most welcome by the staff at reception as they found our tickets and showed us through the Johnny Haynes stand.
Seasons, as are most of the hospitality areas, was located on the far side of the ground in the Riverside Stand, so we were able to walk round the Craven Cottage pitch to reach our area - seeing as I'm normally cooped up in the press box on matchday it was nice to get a different view of the famous ground.
The entrance to Seasons is located closer to the Hammersmith End than the other hospitality areas are, and after climbing the stairs to reach the entrance we were warmly welcomed by one of the many polite hosts and hostesses who showed us to our seats for the evening.
Upon arrival at Seasons, bread and antipasti are waiting for you to enjoy at your table, something I was most looking forward to.
Our hostess for the evening, who made sure we were well looked after throughout our time at Seasons, took our wine orders and left us to enjoy our antipasti and bread.
At Seasons, two wines are inclusive of the price you pay, the white wine which was Feudi Di San Gregorio, Albente Falanghina, 2016 and the red, which was Swartland Winery, Winemakers Collection Syrah, 2015, while you can choose from an extensive list of other wines or upgrade your wine package for an extra £25.
We chose not to and went with the inclusive wines on offer, and I throughly enjoyed the white which offered a burst of lime and lemon flavours while the red was refreshing with a hint of dark chocolate, which I found most interesting.
After enjoying the antipasti of cured Italian meats, our hostess brought our tapas-style mains - paprika beef and pork meatballs with spiced tomato sauce and Sauvingon Blanc poached pear with pickled walnuts.
Seasons did their best to cater to my plus one, who has severe allergies, and although there was a good line of communication between our hostess and the chef in regards to these, I felt there was little alternatives for her to enjoy instead of the food which she was allergic to.
Nevertheless, the meatballs were outstanding and my favourite dish from the menu, while the poached pear offered an interesting taste alternative to the meatballs.
Also on offer was smoked mackerel, seared tiger prawns and spiced sweetcorn and Padron pepper fritters - all of which were cooked to perfection by the Seasons chefs and throughly enjoyable.
As part of Seasons hospitality, you are able to enjoy seats in the Directors area in the Riverside Stand to watch that match, and although what was on the pitch wasn't pretty for the game we went, the sightlines and comfort of the seats were what you would expect from hopsitality.
At half time, mini desserts and chocolates were on offer, including cakes and small chocolates, which I was thoroughly impressed with.
However, as with the tapas menu, my plus one was unable to enjoy them as a result of her allergies and I once again thought there was very little substitute that she was able to enjoy that were allergy free.
Following the full time whistle, Seasons continue to caters for its guests by offering a cheese board, served with chutney, celery, grapes, fruit, nut loaf and cheese biscuits.
I felt this complimented the wine perfectly and was a great way to unwind after the match before heading home thoroughly impressed with Seasons, its staff and its food.
Having watched Fulham for the last season and a half from the press box, enjoying the hospitality of Seasons to watch the side as a regular match goer was the perfect route to go for me and my partner, and I'd definitely consider returning to the lounge to watch a game in future (if work ever allows it!)
All in all, I believe Seasons is a great addition to the Fulham hospitality packages and would recommend it to anyone who hasn't yet been able to enjoy an afternoon or evening in the lounge.