By Leigh O’Connor.
The definition of a racehorse? An animal that can take thousands of people for a ride at the same time.
Come Tuesday, November 3 the race that stops the nation will take on a completely different look with a totally reimagined Myer Fashion Competition, held completely online; while renowned Chef Neil Perry has created an exquisite Melbourne Cup Carnival picnic for punters to enjoy at home.
Fashion moves online this year...
As we all know you can’t make a fast buck on a slow horse - it’s time to round the clubhouse turn, be a frontrunner and pick up the pace to cross the finish line in style, at one of these stables around the country to witness the Cup:
Celebrate not only the Cup, but the re-opening of Melbourne restaurants for dining in at Republica in the Sea Baths complex on Jacka Boulevard in St Kilda. Bookings are going faster than last week’s pay, so get in early for a Pimm’s cocktail on arrival, three-course meal and four-hour premium beverage package from midday.
The restaurant is also taking bookings for Oaks and Stakes Days on November 5 and 7 respectively, when the same package is available for just $150 per person.
Celebrate both the Cup and Melbourne's freedom at Republic at St Kilda.
Don’t hide behind your blinkers, gallop on into Capitol Bar & Grill on London Circuit in Canberra’s CBD for bubbles and seafood. Located in the QT Canberra hotel, sip a glass of G.H. Mumm champagne on arrival, before a three-course feast, including an indulgent seafood platter; with the race streamed directly from Flemington and sweeps on offer.
Get a little racy and walk the red carpet in your best dress, before a Spring Racing fashion parade of the latest styles of millinery and chic headwear, hosted by style empress Janette Wojtaszak.
Add a touch of glamour to your Cup Day at Mode Kitchen & Bar on George Street in Sydney’s CBD. For a memorable Modern Australian dining experience, celebrate the day in surrounds of polished wood, statement pendents and banquette seating; while enjoying simple dishes, executed exceptionally well from the a la carte menu.
Mode Chef Francesco's hiramasa kingfish sashimi.
Start with Chef Francesco’s hero hiramasa kingfish sashimi, sweet and sour sauce, macadamia and pickled onions; before signature mains like risotto with green asparagus and morel mushrooms, which has been on the menu since Mode’s opening. For a sweet finale, Pastry Chef duo Elliott and Quentin’s famous frozen pavlova, coconut, mango and passionfruit is a must!
Take in Cup action with a French twist at Le Bouchon café and bistro on Willoughby Road in Crows Nest. Step into this French-inspired venue to become immersed in another world, where warm smells of freshly baked baguettes and delightful cuisine waft in the air and provincial-style cooking tempts from breakfast right through to dinner.
Some of the menu choices at Le Bouchon.
Begin your four-course Melbourne Cup feast with freshly shucked oysters, beetroot-infused cured salmon, asparagus and horseradish Bavarois; then delve into meaty mains like braised lamb shoulder, Provencale ratatouille, anchovy and mushroom beurre blanc, or pan-roasted duck, lentils, baby peas, lardons and jus. Sour cherry chocolate tart with hazelnut ice cream tempts for dessert.
An 11-course shared menu from Sydney rock oysters to slow-cooked lobster and pistachio gnocchi awaits at the gates for race fans at Albi’s Taverna on Ocean Grove Avenue in Cronulla. This contemporary restaurant – inspired by the island of Capri and the vineyards of Napa Valley – exudes a modern rustic appeal, with dripping chandeliers, exposed timber and an impressive wall of wine.
Nothing says celebration more than Sydney rock oysters at Albi's Taverna.
Come Cup day, there’ll be a three-hour premium beverage package to accompany the meal, along with a live DJ and MC, photo booth, prizes and big screen TV. Delve into glazed pork belly, sous vide and roasted lamb shoulder with aromatic crumb and Dijon mustard, as you wait for the big race; finishing with white chocolate tart and white peach sorbet.
Celebrate with a glass of Cava on arrival at Rico Bar & Dining on Eagle Street Pier in Brisbane’s CBD, as you settle in and admire stunning views of the Brisbane River and Story Bridge. The full a la carte menu is available for Cup day, along with live coverage of the races, cocktails and an afternoon party to remember.
Share a seafood paella at Rico Bar & Dining.
Serving Latin flavours, combined with fresh Australian produce, to create tantalising dishes which can be shared or devoured solo; think signature tapas plates of bugs brioche, lettuce, lime and chilli aioli. For the main, delve into Argentinian-style slow-cooked lamb shoulder with charred pumpkin, sour cream and toasted pepitas, green beans and mushrooms; or seafood paella with saffron rice.
Dress to impress and get ready for the starting gates at Stone & Copper’s long Melbourne Cup lunch. This Fortitude Valley eatery on Brunswick Street trots out a chic vibe of Edison bulb lighting, black subway tiles and vibrant yellow cushions, to set the scene for a culinary journey through India, Malaysia and Thailand.
Let the Melbourne Cup party continue at Stone & Copper.
With best-dressed prizes, a three-course set menu and drinks package – including $15 cocktail specials – this is the place to see and be seen come Cup day; linger a little longer as you perch on a stool at the bar after the race and take in the buzz of Brisbane’s entertainment and dining precinct at night.
For a great restaurant to celebrate Melbourne Cup near you, click here.