It’s that time of year again, when the race that stops the nation brings Sydney to a standstill – at least for an afternoon. Those lucky Melbournites might get the whole day off, but Sydney sure knows how to throw a party. Block out your afternoon in the calendar and get ready to have some Melbourne Cup fun with our guide:
Cup Day Festival, Streets of Barangaroo
Barangaroo brings the A game when it comes to big events – Melbourne Cup fever will take over the restaurants, rooftops, cafes and the waterfront from noon. Our money is on a spot at the Mumm Champagne Terrace. Grab some bubbles and a lounge chair to watch the action on the big screen. If you’re after a long lunch, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from – think 9 courses at Anason or even a whopping 13 dishes at Lotus Dining. Check out thestreetsofbarangaroo.com for all the info.
It might be a challenge to know what to spend your time looking at – views onto the Opera House or the big screen, but a ticket to Cruise Bar’s Melbourne Cup event will have you enjoying Veuve Clicquot on arrival, making friends with the Oyster Girls at the oyster station, live entertainment and roving canapés all afternoon then you can dance away with the DJ after the race. Tickets start at $89.00 + booking fee. https://www.cruisebar.com.au
Always a top spot to catch the action in your favourite frock and heels, this year is no different. There’s big screen TVs to catch all the action live, live entertainment, sweepstakes and fashion on the field prizes for best dressed. There are two packages to choose from (garden bar or rooftop – both with bubbles of course!) so don’t miss out https://www.thesheaf.com.au
Taking one of the best parts of Melbourne and plonking it in the heart of Surry Hills was always going to be a good idea. So what better way to honour the Melbourne Cup than at arguably their best export?! At $140 expect a fantastic banquet feast kicking off at noon with all your favourites (hello kingfish sashimi and beef short ribs!) along with champagne giveaways and DJs to keep the party going long after the last horse has run at GoGos. Giddy up Sydney because this party is worth celebrating whether you win or lose!
Kick your race day off with some crispy skin duck – what more could you ask for? How about oysters? Xiao long bao? Yes, yes please. Eight courses, with beverages too, are what makes Lotus Galeries’ race day package top notch. Did we mention best dressed diners prizes? Just make sure you don’t spill too much Xiao long bao on your dress before the judging. My Kitchen Rules winners Will & Steve will keep the day running smooth so you can sit back and follow the race on the screens. $79 per person. https://www.lotusdining.com.au
O Bar and Dining
If you’re really looking for a spot that matches a desire for high stakes then frock up at O Bar where eating, drinking and beautiful views combine along with prizes for best dressed, lucky door and sweepstakes. Jump into one of the fun photo booths, enjoy drinks and choose from a canapes or 3 course lunch options by chef Michael Moore. From $85pp for Chef’s tapas selection at the lounge bar, or $135pp for a three course lunch at the restaurant. https://www.obardining.com.au
Things are heating up at Manly’s new venue and it’s not just the plants. The ground floor of the Greenhouse is hosting shared menus for $89pp – think squid ink spaghettini, pork cotoletta and tiramisu. If you’re a big group, head upstairs to the rooftop for roaming canapes and best dressed prizes from $50pp – minimum 15 people. Catch all the action on TVs around the venue. Email email@example.com to book.
Three big screens, plenty of food and drink and you’ve got yourself a winning formula. Darling Harbour’s Planar has a fun afternoon planned for punters – Fashion on the Fields, signature Planar dishes and bottomless beer, wine and sparkling for the three hours. $85pp https://www.planarrestaurant.com.au
Beat the city crowds by spending the day at Bondi Beach. Head chef Ian Oakes is pulling out all the stops, with a six course menu for $95pp. You’ll get a glass of bubbles and fresh spring dishes that will have you in the right mood for sweepstakes and a lucky door prize. You’ll even be able to watch all the action on the restaurant’s flat screen. Bookings essential. http://drakeeatery.com.au/reservations/
Fratelli Fresh – Darling Harbour + more!
Fratelli Fresh Darling Harbour is celebrating with an inaugural Melbourne Cup lawn party. Expect bottomless cocktails, live music and DJs and several outdoor TVs for prime race viewing. There will be unlimited beer, wine and prosecco, an outdoor Roman-style pizzeria station and delicious roaming canapés, while an al-fresco gelato stand will offer a dangerously endless supply of gelato and sorbet. Tickets are $99pp and a second package includes unlimited espresso martinis and Aperol spritz for $125pp. Full details can be found here. Not down at Darling Harbour? All Fratelli restaurants will celebrate the big race with a three-course set menu of favourites, in addition to their normal menu. Choose between two drinks packages: a $29 package includes two hours of house wine and beer, while a $39 package features prosecco, negronis and espresso martinis. http://www.fratellifresh.com.au
The Butler Potts Point
Big screens at The Butler, plus an eight course feasting menu = winning. Our favourite lush venue is the perfect spot to break out your fascinator while you feast on the likes of Barbeque Balmain Bugs, Wagyu Sirloin and Veracruz Ceviche. Watch the action of the race, but then get ready to see sabrage in action – GH Mumm Champagne will be popping! $155pp includes the eight course menu, a glass of GH Mumm Champagne on arrival. Add on two hours of beverages for an additional $95pp. https://butlersydney.com.au
Bar Patrón by Rockpool
Margaritas and Melbourne Cup – why not?! At Bar Patrón by Rockpool, guests get to start the festivities with a Margarita on arrival, followed by guacamole, empanadas, tacos and a host of other Mexican dishes. The set menu is $70pp, up the ante with the two hour drinks package for an additional $69pp. http://www.barpatron.com.au
What’s more important than the race? The after party! Della Hyde is kicking things off with a dance floor, cocktails, live music and $1 dumplings from 4pm.