New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published October 2nd 2016
Get swept up in Spring Carnival fever
Melbourne Cup is back. It is a festive time of year to get your friends together for the annual Melbourne Cup lunch, before having a flutter on the action out on the track - if you choose to. There are numerous places around the city where you can glam up in your Melbourne Cup finest and celebrate - or commiserate - in style. Canberra also has its own special day at the track at Thoroughbred Park, with marquees, Fashions on the Field and horse racing to watch live, before watching the Melbourne Cup on the big screen in the afternoon.
Half the fun of Melbourne Cup for both men and women is the dressing up - finding the perfect outfit, tracking down colour coordinating accessories and picking an extravagant hat. Following are just some of the Melbourne Cup events and luncheons held throughout the city where you can show off your outfit, enjoy good food and sit back to watch the race with a champers or two. Where will you be watching the Melbourne Cup this year?
1/ Thoroughbred Park at Lyneham will be the place to be this Melbourne Cup with live and local racing, Fashions on the Field, marquees set up for corporate groups, blankets laid out for casual groups and plenty of fun to be had next to the track. The Melbourne Cup will be shown live up on the big screen and TAB facilities are located around the track. See the ticketing prices and details here.
2/ The Hyatt Hotel Canberra in Yarralumla will be having two festive options to choose from at their grand historic hotel. Choose between an Afternoon Tea Buffet in the Tea Lounge ($72 per person) or attend the Melbourne Cup "The Garden Celebration" in the Rose Courtyard ($199 per person). There will then be an after party at Speakers Corner Bar and Griffins Lounge from 2pm until late. See here for more details.
3/ Helix Bar and Dining at the Vibe Hotel, Canberra Airport will be having a 2 course luncheon with sparkling wine on arrival for $59 per person. There will be prizes for best dressed and best hat. See here for more details.
4/ Benchmark Wine Bar in the CBD is hosting a Melbourne Cup Lunch with 3 courses and champagne on arrival, live coverage of all races, best dressed prize and a sweep stake ($50 entry with $1200 return cash for the winner). See here for more details.
5/ Olims Bar and Bistro at the Mecure Hotel are having pop up food stalls, Pimms Corner and a TAB to place your bets. No bookings are required, doors open 9am with bar menu available. See here for more details.
6/ Hotel Realm in Barton will be hosting a Melbourne Cup celebration in two of their restaurants. At Ostani they will be having a party atmosphere with live music duo, DJ, entertainment, 3 hour beverage package, live cooking stations, photo booths, 2 bars, 7 live TV screens, roaming entertainment and sweepstakes. This runs between 12pm - 3pm and costs $95 per person. The after party (not included) then runs between 3:30pm until late. At Buvette Bistro and Wine Bar, guests can enjoy all of the above as well as a 4 hour premium beverage service, a VIP area with personal servers, gourmet canapés, Charcuterie and Patisserie station - for $150 per person. See here for more details.
7/ The Duxton in O'Connor will be having a Melbourne Cup celebration with their à la carte menu and large screens for everyone to enjoy. If you have a larger group there is a set menu which includes a glass of bubbles or Peroni on arrival, then a choice of main and entrée for $49 per person. There will be multiple screens, a party atmosphere and an after party upstairs for everyone after 5pm. See here for more details.
8/ Hoi Polloi restaurant at Old Parliament House is having a Melbourne Cup celebration in the courtyard - 1920's style. There will be grazing food stations, chocolate carts, oyster bars, craft beer carts, fashions in the courtyard, prizes, live acoustic music, large screens to watch the race and a 1920's swing band for the after party! Price is $110 per person. See here for more details.
9/ Vikings Clubs in Lanyon and Chisholm, south of Canberra, will also be having Melbourne Cup celebrations. Choose between a 3 course lunch at Chisholm for $48 (members price) or a Lunch Buffet for $25.90 (members price). If you are not a member it is only $5 to join for a year. On the day there will also be Fashions on the Field, sweeps and TAB facilities for betting. See here for more details.
10/ Canberra Southern Cross Clubs will be hosting Melbourne Cup lunches at all of their venues. At Woden there will be the Corrina Cup Lunch for $46 per person, which includes a two course lunch with drinks package, live entertainment, great prizes and the day's racing on their big screens. At the Yacht Club in Yarralumla they will be having three course set menu for $80 per person, with prizes for best dressed and best hat, sweeps and $10 TAB mystery bets on the Cup. At Tuggeranong and Jamison you can pre-order a platter of gourmet nibbles for the table for $24. There is on site TAB facilities, sweeps and prizes throughout the day. See details here.
These exciting events are just a small taste of what is happening around the city, so check your local club, pub, café or restaurant for more events organised near you. This race literally stops the nation on this Tuesday afternoon, so it is a good excuse to celebrate with colleagues, friends or family. Why not organise your own event at your workplace or home and create your own Fashions on the Field, sweeps and prizes. Wherever you decide to go, whatever you decide to do, have an enjoyable Melbourne Cup - Canberra style.