Sydney’s Best Places to Celebrate Melbourne Cup Day 2014


The October long weekend seems like a lifetime ago and the Christmas holidays are weeks away (we’re going to pretend that’s a long time because we still haven’t even started about our Christmas shopping list!).

That’s when we realised November is just moments away and so is the Race That Stops a Nation. A nation and the office. Melbourne Cup Day is a much needed chance to snap on a fascinator and head out to lunch. Whether it’s a full day out of the office or a tipple or two as the clock strikes 3pm, here’s our guide to events around Sydney that will have you in the mood to giddy up and celebrate. 

Melbourne Cup Garden Party at The Grounds of Alexandria

The Grounds of Alexandria Melbourne Cup

The Grounds of Alexandria Melbourne Cup

Horse racing is a time honoured tradition – even the Queen loves to head to the Ascot Races. Step back in time at The Grounds for a vintage/equestrian themed part in The Garden. Fresh from a revamp, the space will be given over to fillies (well, you’ll have to share with Kevin Bacon and the chooks). There’ll be grazing tables, roaming desserts, cocktails, big screens and best dressed competitions. Party on past 4pm in The Atrium.

Tickets: $140 including food, alcohol and goodie bag
Time: 12pm – 4pm
Bookings: (02) 9699 2225

The Yellowglen Pop-Up Cup at the Paddington Markets

Stop by Yellowglen's pop-up and meet Samantha Wills

Stop by Yellowglen’s pop-up and meet Samantha Wills

Bubbly and the races go hand in hand, so don’t spend your Melbourne Cup sitting in the office kitchen with a mug and a cheese plate. The Yellowglen Pop-Up festival will take over Paddington Markets for the day, with a wine bar, beer bar, cocktails and big screens to catch all the action. There’ll be food trucks, DJs and tickets are under $100. Yellowglen ambassador and jewellery designer Samantha Willis will also be on hand.

Tickets: $90, including food, drink and entertainment
Time: 12pm – 5pm
Book Here 

We’re giving away 5x Double Passes to the Yellowglen Pop-Up Cup! To win tickets to this event, simply email and tell us in 25 words or less what your favourite thing about Melbourne Cup is. Top 5 answers will win! Competition closes on Friday 31st October at 12pm AEST. Winners will be notified via email by 5pm AEST Friday 31st October.


Melbourne Cup at The Argyle


The race may only last a breathless three minutes but if you’re keen to make a day and night of the event, The Argyle is the spot for you. More than 3,000 partygoers will descend on the space, with a few celeb hosts thrown in the mix. You can start celebrating from 11am and continue well into the night, with $99 Grandstand tickets and $135 Members Pavilion tickets available. The big difference is a two or three hour drinks package, both include a standing lunch.

Tickets: $99/$135, including standing lunch and beverage package
Time: From 11am
Bookings: 02 9259 5600,

Spring Carnival of Fashion, Cabaret & Glamour at GPO Sydney

GPO Building glams up

GPO Building glams up

There’s no point getting dressed up by yourself – if you’re keen to go all out this year, frock up and head to the GPO Building. The Cabaret theme included dancing and contortion (by professionals, not guests, although that’s up to you), an Endota Spa showcase, yes, free treatments, and plenty of prizes. We’re loving the Instragram competition – upload your glam shot taken in the GPO building, follow @gposydney and use #gposydneymc to enter to win 1 of 4 $100 GPO dining vouchers. Check out the website for details on the different dining and drinking packages on offer.

Tickets: From $45
Bookings: (02) 9229 7700

Melbourne Cup at Woolwich Pier Hotel

Woolwich Pier Hotel Melbourne Cup

Woolwich Pier Hotel Melbourne Cup

For those of us on the north side of the bridge, the Woolwich Pier Hotel is throwing a party perfect for an afternoon out of the office. TV and Radio news presenter Ron Wilson will be on hand as host – so you don’t need to worry about pre-race research or commentary! A glass of Veuve Clicquot on arrival, a three course meal, sweepstakes and best dressed prizes sweeten the deal.

Tickets: $95 including glass of Veuve Clicquot, 3 course meal
Bookings: 02 9817 2204

Virgin Hat Valet

Virgin Australia Hat Valet

Virgin Australia Hat Valet

If you’re going all out and heading down to Flemington this year, don’t worry, your prized accessory will be well taken care of. Virgin Australia is once again offering their hat valet service to all business class, Velocity Platinum, Gold and Lounge members. As soon as you get out of the cab, staff will check in your fascinator, hat or fashionable head gear, between the 31st October and Friday 7th November. There will also be shoe shining and blow dries inside the lounge. 

Virgin Australia Lounge
Sydney Domestic Airport, Terminal 2

About the author

Lisa used to use Sydney as a base to drop off souvenirs before heading off on the next adventure but these days she’s got her feet almost on the ground, with a desire to try every high tea in Sydney, and a cute cavoodle puppy at home. Travel writer, photographer and Kitchen Aid freak, she loves to eat, bake and write.


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