So you're in town for the races – a few glorious days off for the race that stops a nation. Most people find that they plan the racing day to a tee, but what about other few precious days off during this time –have you planned those?
Here are the top five things to do when not at the races;
1. Go on a wine tour Spend a day visiting the fantastic playground of the wineries of Victoria –Yarra Valley or Mornington. The sublime weather during racing season (most of the time) and the fresh scents of Spring only add to the experience of sipping a crisp sparkling wine in a delightful winery setting. And the best bit? On a wine tour you don't have to drive!
2. Brunch Nothing says 'hangover after racing day' than a hangover after racing day. The best way to overcome your raging queasiness, pounding head and bloodshot eyes is a big yummy breakfast full of local goodies. I would recommend Abottsford Convent (1 St Helier St Collingwood) for a decent healthy feed in a gorgeous location, or Degraves St Melbourne for some cool laneway brekky sites (many to choose from along here).
3. Bargain Shopping
You may have just spent next month's rent on your outfit, but now is the chance to take advantage of racing day sales and pick up a few goodies for next years races (you will thank yourself next racing year when you don't have to fork out premium price for your shoes, handbag, fascinator, etc) I recommend Clear It (188 Brunswich St Fitzroy) for discounted Alannah Hill merchandise, as well as Princess Highway, Gorman, Friends of Couture and others.
4. St Kilda Head where the locals go on a nice summer's day –peruse Acland St for the perfect coffee and cake (so many to choose from) have a beer on the beach at Repubblica, perhaps wander along the beach and watch the current volleyball games (middle park beach, times vary) or spend a night cavorting at one of the great bars St Kilda is known for, such as the Vineyard or Veludo (both on Acland St).
5. Watch a Romantic Sunset
If you're on holidays here in Melbourne for the races, or enjoying a lovely day off thanks to the public holiday, spend the time with a loved one and do something romantic and fun –head to the Eureka Tower Skydeck and watch the day turn to night over the city skyline –even the most sceptical of tourist attractions will enjoy it.
Just remember, when you only have a few days in Melbourne for the Cup Carnival, the last thing you want to do is spend the day sleeping off a massive hangover –go easy on the champers and use your time a bit more wisely!
Peter Drayton Wines also produces sparkling wines and a selection of Liqueur Fortified wines. The extent of the range is truly exceptional for a small, boutique producer. More visit - Hunter Valley Winery