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Melbourne Cup Lunch: Simplified

HerCanberra Team

There’s a lot of fuss surrounding Melbourne Cup day.

Some of this fuss is absolutely necessary: What will you wear? Which friends will you spend the day with? What creative way will you break it to your boss that you’ll be on leave?

Some of the fuss, however, is just tedious, and it’s mostly down to deciding the location of your Melbourne Cup lunch.

With radio ads and TV promotions throwing photos of laughing women in fascinators in your face instead of cold hard facts, you wouldn’t be blamed for not knowing what exactly you’re paying for at a Melbourne Cup lunch.

Don’t be the person that lets someone else organise the lunch only to find that your $100 covers one free drink and not much else.

Let’s just cut to the chase (sorry) and see what other ‘bang’ you’ll get for your buck apart from a TV screen in Canberra on Wednesday 3 November.

Hotel Realm

hotel realm

Celebrate the race that stops a nation at the five star Hotel Realm.

Food & Drink: Mumm Champagne on arrival, three course lunch inclusive of beverages, platters of seafood and antipasto on arrival, decadent dessert buffet station.

Entertainment: Live entertainment, fashions on the field, after party and lots of prizes & giveaways.

Cost: Tickets are $135 per guest. For bookings, email [email protected] or call 6163 4710.

Good for: Anyone wanting to forget a cab and book a Five Star hotel room as a treat after the race.



Saddle up hoppers, Hopscotch have the big day sorted!

Food & Drink: There will be plenty of Melbourne Bitter tins, the sparkling will be cold, the kitchen will be pumping out the new spring menu and Popscotch will be open. So fill out your leave form and hop on down on November 3. 

Good for: People who don’t want to pay an up-front cost and want to take the day as it comes. Also anyone wanting to sit outside and enjoy the sun.

Public Bar Manuka

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Food & Drink: Food packages starting from $59.

Entertainment: The race will be shown live with sound on the big screens and DJ’s from 3.30pm.

Book: Call 6161 8808. Bookings over 10 people receive a bottle of Chandon.

Good for: Big groups and those who work or live in the inner south. With all the eateries and bars of Manuka at your doorstep Public is also a great place to start the afternoon if you’re planning a big one.



Escape the office or catch up with friends to watch live coverage of the races and enjoy the special flavoured Melbourne Cup food and drinks.

Food & Drink: You will receive a complementary glass of Mount Majura Vineyard Sparkling on arrival, exclusive access to a gourmet seafood and tapas buffet with your favourite Parlour tapas and fresh seafood plates.

Entertainment: The races will be played on the big screen with in house sweeps and all your race day needs.

Cost: Tickets are $45 per person and bookings are essential. Email [email protected] or call 6257 7325.

Good for: With the tagline reading: “Stay for a quick bite to eat or the whole afternoon” it’s perfect for those who want to attend an ‘event’ without being locked in to a five course meal or program. Also around the corner from Monster, A Baker and Palace Electric so there’s plenty in walking distance.

Joe’s Bar

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Joe’s Bar is getting very fancy for Melbourne Cup this year.

Food & Drink: An Italian Long Lunch will include a four hour beverage package featuring a wide variety of refreshments from their beverage partners.

Entertainment: Full coverage of the race on the big screen and live entertainment throughout the day, sweeps and best dressed prizes.

Book: Book Now to secure your seats. Email [email protected] or call 6295 6925.

Good for: Wine lovers, lovers of rich Italian food and those who live on the inner south. East Hotel is also walking distance from eateries and bars of Manuka and Kingston.

Hyatt Hotel


Hyatt Hotel Canberra is the only public venue in Canberra with on-site TAB betting facilities. They also will be conducting a Calcutta on the day.

Food & Drink: Enjoy flowing sparkling wine, a delectable three course menu,

Entertainment: Fashion show, live DJ and ‘the race that stops the nation’ on a giant screen. Prime7’s Daniel Gibson will host the day. From 12:00pm until 3:30pm.

Cost: Tickets are $125 or a table of 10 for $1250.

Book: Bookings are essential. Email [email protected] or call 02 6269 8898, 0423 581 168.

Good for: The beautiful location and short timeframe will suit people who want a pristine race day that doesn’t descend into boozy tomfoolery.


walt n burley

Celebrate the biggest horse racing event of the year at Walt&Burley.

Entertainment: Soak up the scenic lake front views as you indulge in a Melbourne Cup luncheon, and watch all of the action unfold on a wide – screen projector or multiple screens throughout the venue. With sweepstakes and prizes for the best dressed, its an afternoon on the Kingston Foreshore not to be missed. Be sure to dress in your best racewear worthy fashion and hat.

Cost: Tickets start at $45 per head and lunch bookings are essential.

Book: Email [email protected] or call 6239 6648.

Good for: Casual work groups or friends. People who want to sit lakeside.

EQ Café and Lounge


If you haven’t booked your Melbourne Cup work lunch yet, how about getting your team together at EQ Café and Lounge?

Food & Drink: A buffet luncheon will be served from 12 noon, fashion on the field catwalk and best dressed prizes.

Cost: Tickets start at $39 per person and bookings are essential.

Book: Email [email protected] or call 6161 1666.

Good for: Work lunches, casual or large groups from the south side.

Capitol Bar and Grill

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What’s in fashion for this year’s Melbourne Cup? Fascinators? Block heels? Bow ties? No idea? Relax, you’ve got plenty of time to figure that out. One thing you do need to organise is your Melbourne Cup day plan… so jump the gun, get it done now.

Before you start studying the form guide, get a head start on your Cup day plans, by booking you and a bunch of your prize ponies onto the QT Canberra Melbourne Cup Gala lunch.

Food & Drink: The Gala Lunch includes a glass of bubbles to accompany the feast of a lifetime. Check out the menu here.

Cost: $125 per person.

Good for: People who want a one-stop-shop with Lucky’s kicking on next door after the lunch ends and the award winning QT Hotel upstairs. Perfect for city based work lunches, too.

The Dock

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Celebrate Australia’s great sporting event at The Dock with their special cup day lunch.

Entertainment: All the action is on the big screen, live music all day, and there will be prizes for the best racing attire.

Cost: Tickets start at $48 per head. Seats are limited and bookings are essential.

Book: Email [email protected] or call 0416 954 598.

Good for: Casual work groups or a big group of friends. Those who want to sit outside.

National Press Club of Australia

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Join the National Press Club’s Melbourne Cup Celebrations.

Food & Drinks: Begin with VIP drinks and canapés from 11am to 12noon in the Club Lounge, $15pp, followed by the main event of a lavish lunch from 12noon in the Club Lounge including a TAB, big screen TV showing each race and sweeps.

Entertainment: The afterparty will be held in the Club Lounge from 4:00pm and is free to stay, including live music from the John Hill Duo. Dress in your best racewear worthy fashion and hat.

Cost: $85 per person.

Good for: Corporate lunch groups and those wanting a professional yet celebratory destination.


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Watch the race unfold all day on a wide-screen projector or multiple screens throughout the venue and enjoy a Melbourne Cup Luncheon.

Food & Drink: Indulge yourself to a spectacular two-course Melbourne Cup lunch from $40* including a glass of Prosecco (A choice of an entrée and a main from our authentic Italian menu).

Cost: $40 per person

Entertainment: Prizes to be won across the day:

1st Prize: Overnight stay for two in a Deluxe Room at Peppers Gallery Hotel 2nd Prize: Gift voucher worth $100* to spend at Bicicletta Restaurant
3rd Prize: A bottle of French Champagne Moet

Book: Lunch bookings are essential. Prizes cannot be exchanged or something similar or of lesser value. Hotel and Restaurant bookings are subject to availability and must be used on or before the expiration date. To book call 02 6175 2222 or email [email protected]

Good for: Those who work in the city or NewActon. People looking for a food-focused event.


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