Bets on, bottoms up, pinky out and glass by the stem, of course : It’s hats off (symbolically) to the Melbourne Cup. And while there’s a lot to be said for being there in the thick of things, that doesn’t have to mean getting your favorite heels stuck in the grass.
Come the 5th November on Melbourne Cup Day Sydney’s blowing the starting horn on feasts and fêtes so decadent you won’t even care the horses are two-dimensional.
Fix up, look sharp and keep well-watered as you catch the race that stops a nation at one of these north-of-the-border hot spots:
We’ve teamed up with @TheBestDay to make it easier for you to get together for Melbourne Cup. Use ‘Go with friends’ to invite your pals to join you on race day.
1. The Apollo
Go for the sent-from-the-gods Greek feast served washed down with Laurent-Perrier champagne.
$100pp includes two glasses of Laurent-Perrier Millésimé and a banquet menu of the Apollo’s signature dishes.
Go for a swanky vintage time warp complete with post-Cup live jazz. Be transported back to a time of opulence and extravagance. Canapes will be circulating and the Champagne flowing. Frock up for the ‘best dressed’, ‘lucky door prize’ and various other sweepstakes.
$75pp includes canapes and glass of Mumm NV on arrival.
Go for a Pete Evans feast, beach-inspired surrounds and iconic harbour views. Onsite tab facilities, expansive screens to catch all of the racing action, and a Fashions on the Field contest with a host of coveted prizes on the day, judged by esteemed Australian fashion designer, Rebecca Vallance.
$100pp includes a glass of Moet, seafood platter, an assortment of modern Australian Classics for mains and an Australian Pavlova dessert.
If your taste is more Birdcage than trackside, one hatted restaurant Saké will fit the bill nicely. Sophisticated punters will still be able to catch the race winner on screens throughout the restaurant and will have access to the ArgyleXchange shared TAB betting & payout facilities.
$99pp banquet menu with a glass of champagne on arrival.
5. Prime Grill Room, GPO Sydney
Live screens in the Nomad restaurant will make sure you don’t miss the action, but really, go here for the Wine. Master of Wine, Rob Geddes will be on hand to help you select the tipple of your choice.
$90pp includes 5 courses and a flute of Stefano Lubiana Brut Reserve.
7. The Star
Go for the smorgasbord of decadent dining options and liquid-focused bar packages. Back a winner Melbourne Cup lunch at Balla (four courses of modern Italian plus a glass of prosecco), Sokyo (seven-course Japanese ‘Omakase’ degustation from chef Chase Kojima plus glass of bubbles) or BLACK by Ezard (contemporary Australian three-course menu with a flute of Moët & Chandon Champagne).
Melbourne Cup Packages vary up to $150pp.
For diners who mean business, cheer on your filly or colt at New York style steakhouse The Cut Bar & Grill. Expect a tasty menu that will be perfectly complemented by the restaurant’s extensive wine list. With screens throughout the restaurant locked on the Flemington broadcast, you’ll be able to put on that last minute bet and collect your winnings at the ArgyleXchange shared TAB facilities.
$99pp includes a three course set menu with a glass of champagne on arrival.
Whether it’s a rooftop pool party at Pool club, a sophisticated soiree at The Den, a Cantonese feast at Mr. Wong or a 1920s knees-up at Palmer & Co, Merivale has more than thirty Cup Day packages to take a punt on.
Melbourne Cup packages vary $35 – $250.
Go for the fashion stakes and extravagant prizes for sartorial excellence (think Baccarat necklace, magnum of Laurent-Perrier Brut, and a luxurious overnight accommodation package). Fashion leaders will be on site to judge best dressed man, best dressed woman, best hat and best tie.
$79pp includes entrée tasting plate, choice main and glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut on arrival ($94 includes dessert)
11. Bar Ananas
If it’s an after-party affair you’re seeking, Bar Ananas has you covered. Go to keep your heels on and the champagne flowing ‘til late.
Bookings essential and over-18 requirements may apply
12. Royal Randwick
Go for the alfresco locale that justifies your finest trackside ensemble. Touch up at the Clinique Lounge, enjoy live entertainment and watch the race that stops a nation broadcast on the Southern Hemisphere’s largest outdoor super screen.
$30 – $265pp.
As a special treat we’re making it easier to bring your punting posse together and take your race day outfit to the next level. There’s a $300 Zimmerman voucher up for grabs. For your chance to win click ‘Go with Friends’ to invite your friends to vote on their preferred venue. Once your group has voted, decide on a time and place before Sunday 3 November 2013. We’ll then see your Melbourne Cup plan and raise one lucky winner a shopping spree.