Whether you’re into horse racing or not, there’s no denying that the Melbourne Cup has a certain grip on Australia and Australians as a whole. I mean, it’s a bit hard arguing the opposite when 2019 saw something like $106 million being gambled just on the cup race alone. (If you’re wondering, $160 million total was gambled on the first Tuesday of November that year.)
Nonetheless, the day is now also synonymous with fashion, friends and having a good time. Subsequently, Brisbane’s restaurants and bars put on an array of fabulous lunchtime events featuring oysters, champagne, and any number of bottomless drinks or food packages.
So, if you’re lucky enough to get the day off in Brissy and you’re in the mood to get dressed up to drink champagne, eat oysters and frolic in the sunshine, this is our pick of Melbourne Cup events happening in the city including one with a twist.
1. Botero House No Cup Long Lunch
Some of us are just not so keen on seeing horses sprint around a track but the extravagance of the day is still appealing. For these people, there is Botero House’s No Cup Long Lunch which will see an incredible four-course lunch prepared by chef Dan Brown paired with drinks. Extra drinks will also be available on the day, like cocktails to keep the good times flowing.
It’s going to be a flavourful affair with the menu featuring such items as Fraser Isle spanner crab with avocado, white Pyrenees lamb rump, lamb and thyme reduction and pistachio, and sweet corn risotto.
Part of the proceeds of the day will go towards the RSPCA.
2. Hey Chica!
Get out the colourful frocks and dress up to the nines because Hey Chica! is raring to go on Cup Day with Fashions on the Field and a three-hour food and beverage package, available from 12.30PM – 3.30PM.
On the day, there’ll also be lucky door prizes up for grabs and sweeps to get everyone in the mood. Live music will also be on the cards as well as big screens for you all to watch the action.
3. Mr Percival’s
When it comes to extravagance, it’s hard to beat a date by the river. The outdoor deck at Mr Percival’s will be transformed this Cup Day with an art and fashion makeover. Inspired by the late photographer Slim Aarons, the day promises to be a fun-filled delight with a Fashions on the Deck competition, sweepstakes, DJs and, of course, big screens to watch all the races.
In terms of food, Mr Percival’s is bringing out the seafood, a selection of canapés and a whole heap of their own favourites to keep you fed while downing your 3.5-hour premium drinks package.
💰 $270 per person (VIP tables are also available)
4. YOT Club
Looking for a day to remember? Well, YOT Club is going all out with its Melbourne Cup event and it’s sure to be memorable.
Hop onboard and you’ll be floating down the Brisbane River while indulging in premium canapés as well as free-flowing sparkling. When you’re not parading Fashions on the Field, watching the races and partaking in the sweepstakes, you’ll be dancing to the DJ and popping over to the Orchid Bar for Grey Goose Essences signature cocktails.
💰 From $195
Cloudland is also getting in on the race-day action this Melbourne Cup as it adds some super-luxe packages to its offering including booths for your crew and VIP access to special areas where the quality champagne and more will be flowing.
The standard package, though, will see guests treated to a three-hour drinks package, charcuterie boards and canapés, entertainment and Fashions on the Field competitions including best race day hat, race day sweeps and more.
From there, you can only go up and indulge further in the G.H. Mumm Gala Luncheon with three-course feast or the Perrier-Jouët Bubbles & Pearls Pavilion with premium spirits, a reserve wine list and seafood too.
💰 From $139