As you may know, Ariel House is located but a stone’s throw away from the world renowned Aviva Stadium on Lansdowne Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Time and time again, we get to experience the thrilling atmosphere that a match day brings. There is always an air of anticipation on Lansdowne Road on the day of a rugby international match. Even at first light, when the road is completely deserted, there is a sense that something incredible is about to happen at the Aviva Stadium.
Breakfast at Ariel House is always hectic on these mornings. Our chefs in the kitchen will be prepared for a busy breakfast with most of our guests arriving early for breakfast to make the best of the day and soak up the electric pre-match atmosphere. After breakfast, new guests usually start to arrive in quick succession.
Early arrival is paramount for those wanting to get their car parked in advance of the road closure for ticket check. The roads usually close three hours before a game. Our front of house team get to work welcoming these guests and making tea and coffee for them as they wait for their rooms to be ready.
With breakfast over, our kitchen staff begin the task of baking cakes and pastries for Afternoon Tea. In addition, they make a huge batch of sausage rolls which we traditionally serve to guests arriving back after the game. By this stage, Lansdowne Road will be closed to traffic and will have become a pedestrian only zone. This only adds to the carnival atmosphere and enhances the pre-match buzz.
Crowds grow and grow as the lead up to kick off nears closer and there is always an atmosphere of comradely on the road between the fans of opposing teams. At this stage, with most of our guests refreshed and settled in their rooms, our team take an opportunity to people watch – usually from the front steps of Ariel House.
Once the game is in play, we can nearly read the run of play from the stadium as we hear mumbles of cheers and sometimes even a disappointed ahhhh! As the final whistle nears, we prepare ourselves for post-match service and an immediate inflow of match attendees. Tea, coffee and sausage rolls are served in the Drawing Room as a welcome offering for our guests after the game. New friends are made as everyone enjoys a good match post-mortem and analysis.
For the staff at Ariel House, rugby match days are dates in the calendar which we always firmly look forward to!