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Melbourne Cup 2016: Where to watch and celebrate

Lydia Downe

It’s the Race that Stops the Nation… And a fantastic excuse to dress up and drink champagne!

If you’re looking to celebrate in style on November 1 but not too sure where to go, hold on to your fascinators, because we’ve got a list of the swankiest parties in town.

Melbourne Cup at Hotel Realm

Hotel Realm has everything you could ever want in terms of Melbourne Cup Day celebrations. Starting at midday, head over to Hotel Realm to enjoy live music and cooking stations, as well as a photo-booth and Botanist Bar. Watch the race while enjoying delicious canapés and a three-hour drinks package, and try your luck in the sweepstakes. The party continues late into the night with the after-party including roaming cocktail carts and music by Sydney’s DJ Archie.

Tickets are $95 per person.

For more info and to booking details, check out the website, email [email protected] or call 02 6163 1818.

Cup Day at Pialligo Estate

Cup Day at Pialligo Estate is not something you want to miss out on! Enjoy a Champagne Three Course Lunch in their beautiful glasshouse, a three-hour drinks package, complimentary Westfield gift bag, and live entertainment. There will be sweepstakes and Fashion on the Field Competitions, so dress up and try your luck! There will also be an official after-party to keep the celebrations going late into the night.

Tickets from $145 per person, with the option to upgrade to an exclusive VIP Pavilion.

Check out their website for more information and booking details:


While they are usually all about rabbits, there is one day each year when they like to celebrate horses. The perfect location to compliment your race day finery, White Rabbit Cocktail Room will be holding a special version of their tipsy tea for patrons on 1 November. There will be a glass of Laurent Perrier on arrival, the finest sweets and treats and, of course, the race will be playing live! Sounds fancy (and boozy), right? Happening from 2pm onwards.

From $75 per person. Bookings essential. 

Check out the website for more information:


The cosy and elegant Joe’s Bar in the East Hotel, Kingston will be hosting their ‘No Horsing Around Melbourne Cup Lunch’ on November 1.

Tickets include a delicious three course Italian meal with a complimentary glass of Prosecco. Fascinators are “not required” but safe to say the crowd will be looking sharp.

Tickets are $60 per person. Bookings essential.

Find more information here:


Indulge in a decadent selection of bite-sized tapas at Parlour this November 1. Enjoy complimentary sparkling on arrival on Parlour’s sunny terrace as you watch live coverage on the big screen. There will also be sweepstakes.

Tickets: $45 per person.

Find more information at or email [email protected]

QT Canberra Melbourne Cup Lunch

QT Hotel and Capitol Bar and Grill will be hosting an exclusive Melbourne Cup Lunch, for those of you who want to enjoy the race in style. For $135 per person enjoy a three-course meal and a complimentary glass of champagne, and then sit back and watch the race from the exclusive QT Lounge situated on the 15th floor.

Tickets from $135 per person.

For more info and booking details visit Facebook, call 02 6267 1270 or email [email protected].

Melbourne Cup Day at Highball Express

If you’re down for a bit more of a party, why not head over to Highball Express. They’ll be hosting some funky Melbourne Cup Day festivities including live Afro-Cuban Jazz, a complimentary glass of Veuve Clicquot Sparkling or Mountain Goat Summer Ale (if bubbly isn’t really your thing), and the chance to win an exclusive Highball membership valued at $1500.

Tickets from $20 per person.

For more info and booking details visit Facebook. Book at [email protected].


Elegant race fashion, fine food and the excitement of thoroughbred racing in the surrounds of a Spring Racing styled Casino. Enjoy a mouth-watering dining experience with a curated Natural 9 Race Day menu plus all the action from Flemington on the big screens, accompanied by live entertainment. 

Choose a Race Day package, such as the Natural 9 Experience which includes a gourmet 3-course lunch, 3-hour beverage package and access to the after party after 3.30pm or the Onyx Lounge Experience which includes the signature buffet, 3-hour beverage package and access to the after party after 3.30pm. 

For more information, including ticket prices head to    

Melbourne Cup Race Day 2016 – Thoroughbred Park

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper Melbourne Cup Day celebration without heading to Thoroughbred Park 
to see the horses up close. Gates open at 10.30am and Thoroughbred Park will be hosting a series of 7 local races starting at 1pm. There will be live music, fashion on the field competitions, and plenty of champagne. If you’re thinking of watching the races in style, Thoroughbred Park has a variety of different room packages to suit a variety of budgets. Action will also be providing free buses from the park back into the City starting at 4pm.

Tickets from $25 per person.

For more info and booking details, check out Facebook or the website


Watch the race that stops the nation LIVE from one of Kingston’s newest and most stylish venues – Jones & CoSlip into your freshest race kit and sip on your free glass of Laurent Perrier on arrival. As always, they’ll have their new a la carte menu or signature sets on offer. Doors open at 12pm and bookings are essential. 

See the website for more information, including prices:

Melbourne Cup Day 2016 – Southern Cross Club

The Southern Cross Club has a variety of Melbourne Cup day events across all their locations. The Yacht Club will be holding a sophisticated three-course meal complete with a glass of complementary Arras Sparkling on arrival. Dress in your race day finery as there will be prizes for the best dressed. Tickets from $80pp.

If you’re a Woden Valley local, the Southern Cross Club Woden will be holding a Corinna Cup Lunch ($46pp). The festivities include a two-course lunch and sweepstakes as well as the usual TAB facilities.

If you’re not so central, why not book the Tuggeranong Valley Grill Cup Platter (South-side) or the Jami- son Brasserie Cup Platter (Northside) ($24pp). Enjoy the race while munching on a delicious platter of dill marinated prawns, smoked chicken breast, shaved leg ham, bocconcini, marinated olives, roasted vegetables, tossed salad, bread and dips.

Tickets start from $46 per person.

See the website for more details:

Have we missed one? Let us know at [email protected]


Lydia Downe

Lydia Downe is an upcoming fashion photographer inspired by the quirky, colourful and abstract. After a couple of years in Melbourne, Lydia believes there is no place like home, and Canberra culture is actually pretty cool. When she isn’t in class producing unnecessarily complex photos, you can find her enjoying the finer things in life, like craft beer and fancy cheese. More about the Author

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