The race that stops the nation has become more than Australia's major thoroughbred horse race. Race day is the day friends celebrate with food drinks and parade fashions. Dresses, food buffets, beer and champagne are the highlight of the day for ladies rather than the four legged racers.
Every bar, tavern, restaurant and functions centre boast that their venue as the best place to celebrate Melbourne Cup day, so I have shortlisted them to just a few that I have been to over the years on the huge day of fashion fuelled festivities.
Storey Bridge Hotel
The Hotel under the Bridge is a popular pub to cool down on a warm afternoon on any regular day, and on Melbourne Cup day the fun creeps up a few notches. The celebration kicking off at 11am with a free glass of champagne and on the house canapés, a package included in the $110 ticket price which allows you drinks of your choice for 4 hours, full tab service and of course, the race on the big screen with awesome sound. And no Melbourne Cup day would be complete without a fashion parade and a Best dressed competition.
The décor and bar at the Storey Bridge is clean and bright and is decorated nicely on the big day with flags and banners and posters. A liqueur store is on site for all your take home needs, and the opportunity to take a walk by the river with heels in hand after a day of dancing and parading is right across the road.
For ticket bookings phone the Storey Bridge Hotel on (07) 3391 2266.
Jade Buddha Jade Buddha on the pier in the heart of Brisbane with 180 degree views of Brisbane river offers a sensual and classy dining experience and participates vibrantly in the celebration of our nation's biggest racing event.
This fabulous venue has two great options, both including refreshing drinks and champagne, delicious food and a day of fun. The Melbourne Cup Luncheon will set you back a green note but includes a vast array of entrées, mains and desserts and stacks of drinks. Starting at midday, with stunning views and the race on the big screen, The Melbourne Cup Luncheon is a great way to celebrate. Choose from trout sushi and olives or pesto chicken as a starter, decide between baked snapper and lamb rump for your main and the choice complicates when you have the option of a warm chocolate brownie with chilli chocolate sauce or a date pudding for dessert.
If cocktail attire is more your thing, a glamorous cocktail party in the Shadow Lounge section of Jade Buddha is perfect for you. The cocktail party ticket is $75, includes 3 hours of drinks and canapés. For more info or to book, phone (07) 3221 2888 or head to www.jadebuddha.com.au
The building itself and dining area is what first attracted to me to this place, not to mention the succulent prawns they advertised with a banner across the large window. Yes, the seafood was to to die for, but this place is sleek, popular, dressy and has over three different bars to choose from the quench that thirst and socialise with friends.
The Iceworks Restaurant decks out on Melbourne Cup day, with decorations and model look a likes with champagne in their manicured hands, girly chatter and blokey belly laughs. The food is fresh, juicy and tasty, the moet is free and by far, my favourite place to head on race day.
For Melbourne Cup on a budget, for $80, sip on a free glass of Moet while enjoying your 3 course lunch.
If you have a few extra bucks to spare, gather your friends and celebrate with the $110 ticket which gives you access to the amazing seafood buffet, beverages for 3 hours and antipasto with live entertainment. Dress in your best, wear your favourite lip stick and fascinator and head to the Iceworks Restaurant on November 1st from midday.
For bookings, head to www.iceworks.com.au, click on events and then go to where its says Melbourne Cup.
Mango Hill Tavern
Mango Hill Tavern is the newest on the north side with great food and ambience to make to you want to return.
This Melbourne Cup Day for only $49.95 you can indulge in a fabulous buffet, drinks and showcase your fashions with a fashion parade and best dressed competition with loads of prizes.
Casual on the day but not as lenient with bookings, you must call ahead early to secure your ticket and unless payment is made, you could miss out. (07) 3482 1500.
So whether you want to head into the city or the north side, there is the 4 best venues to celebrate the biggest celebrated racing day in Australia.