This is a sponsored article by Club Wembley.
If you've ever swapped your sofa for a seat at a football stadium, you'll know the buzz of camaraderie as you settle among thousands of other chanting spectators is undeniable. Watching the game from the stalls is infinitely better than catching the match on your smartphone but it still doesn't come close to what you get with a Club Wembley membership.
With the Emirates FA Cup Semi-Finals just around the corner between Chelsea v Southampton and
Man Utd v Tottenham, we had the tough job of testing out some of the best seats in the house and Club Wembley's premium hospitality. You can too, by getting your hands on tickets for the Semi-Finals here.
Just emerging onto the elevated Bobby Moore concourse feels like a whole different ballgame. Once you whiz through the big glass doors, it's all shiny floors and smiling besuited staff. But if you think a luxury membership means you miss out on the pre-kick-off pub bants, think again — Bobby Moore was a Barking lad after all.
Our first stop is The Three Lions, a swish pub within the stadium which has all of the buzzy atmosphere and none of the queues of your usual boozer.
The real draw here is the futuristic self-pouring pint station. Place your cup in the holder and it fills up from its base in a matter of seconds, adding a whole new meaning to the phrase 'bottoms up'. A couple of pints in and the novelty factor still hasn't worn off, although the hunger has crept in. We make our way to our base for the evening: The Bobby Moore, a huge fancy glass-walled restaurant, which hums with pre-game chatter and the soothing twang of a house jazz band.
Numerous friendly staff flit between the lovingly laid tables — ensuring we're never short of champagne top-ups. The four-course a-la-carte menu included in the membership package has everything you want from a night of indulgence (or condolence depending on how well your team does).
Meat-eaters can opt for the likes of lobster perched on a bed of teriyaki marinated cucumber, followed by herb and mustard coated lamb with smoky mash, or langoustine and sauteed potatoes. Vegetarians are well-catered for too, with a truffle-infused soup to start and a lentil, chickpea and feta pie served with mustard steamed greens. The lavish spread is accompanied by beer or wine and entire tables of booze and soft drinks are there for the taking during the half-time break.
After hoovering up the mains, our table devours the half-time chicken tikka pies (and the next table's) as well as the olives, an assortment of artisan bread, a cheeseboard and apple tarte tatin for dessert.
None of us are going to be sent home with hunger pangs, basically.
Before long a booming disembodied voice interrupts our pre-game bets from a loud speaker, signaling the beginning of the match. From the restaurant, it's a short stroll to our seats, which are "hands down the best seats I've ever watched a football game from" according to one of our group.
He isn't exaggerating. Not only are we in the midst of the action, with the player's tunnel to the left, the 107 Trophy Winner steps to the right and 105m of glorious green pitch laid out before us, (where both managers can be seen furiously pacing in their respective boxes), it's also where the cameras are angled — so you can give a smug wave to anyone watching at home.
As the game progresses, the atmosphere at Wembley is undeniably electric, whether it's the collective groans emanating from the Arsenal fans or the pure elation felt by the Man City side as half the stadium becomes a sea of blue waving flags, we see and feel it all from this spot on the halfway line.
As the 90-minute game draws to a close, we are perfectly positioned to snap the Man City players, shake their hands even, as they climb the steps to claim their trophy.
As well as being wined, dined and treated to some of the best stadium seats in the house The Bobby Moore membership guarantees you a seat at all the England home games, The FA Community Shield and the Emirates FA Cup Semi-Finals and Final.
Not only do we lap up the food, atmosphere and futuristic pints — but our first class seats are soft and padded, so whatever your team's result, you won't leave with pins and needles.
Got FOMO already? Find out more about the Emirates FA Cup Semi-Finals here.
Check out the rest of the membership options from Club Wembley here.