Spring racing season is well and truly upon us. Caulfield has come and gone, and this week we gear up for the biggest four days in Melbourne’s Cup Carnival: Derby, Cup, Oaks and Stakes.

If you’re not headed to the track this year, don’t fret – we have a bunch of awesome off-track events that anyone can attend. Racing finery encouraged.

Here’s our guide to all the best off-track events this year.

#1: Circa’s spring racing afterparties

If you’re looking for somewhere to kick on after the races, or just looking for a fun racing-themed night out this long weekend, head to Circa for their official spring racing afterparties. They’re serving up a Moët & Chandon Ice Bar and an Aperol Spritz Bar, along with SAMPLE Brews, Mitchelton Wines and food offerings served straight from the Circa kitchen.

Guests can RSVP to the exclusive after parties here with the option to enquire about a VIP booth or staying at The Prince Hotel. 

#2: Greenfields’ spring racing afterparties

Also serving up an epic lineup of spring racing afterparties is Greenfields on Albert Park. You can expect a lakeside BBQ grill, a pamper bar, an Espresso Martini bar by coffee gods St Ali, as well as an Aperol Spritz bar and a Peroni bar. Tunes will be provided by Mark John, Piero, Chloe Wilson, Jesus Loyola, and Andy Murphy – with more to be announced. 
 
There are also a bunch of special events – check them out below.
 
Derby Day & Oaks Day from 5PM until late 
VIP post track parties with live music and entertainment, the lakeside BBQ grill, and beverage pop ups and activations. General public can RSVP via this link.
Derby / Oaks and Stakes Day from 8AM 
Start your race day lakeside with sparkling and champagne rosé breakfast packages from $25 per person. Menu options include passionfruit and soy milk chia parfait with blueberries and coconut muesli, and Melbourne pantry slider with streaky bacon, scrambled eggs, pickled red onion jam and brown sauce. You can even add an optional personal driver to Flemington Racecourse. Bookings are essential – please email hello@greenfieldsalbertpark.com.au.
Oaks Day Ladies Lunch on Thursday, 9th November from 11:30AM  
Gather the girls, dress in your best, and celebrate Oaks day in style. Enjoy a glass of Verve Cliquot on arrival, roving canapés, a two-course seated lunch and exclusive access to the Oaks Day VIP after party. This is a ticketed event, so bookings are essential – please email hello@greenfieldsalbertpark.com.au.
 

#3: Cup-inspired cocktails at the QT rooftop

If you’re looking for a tipple that is properly on-theme during spring racing season, head up to QT’s rooftop for three special cocktails throughout the week:

  • Sparkling Caviar: Tanqueray, crème de violet, lemon juice, Prosecco, fresh flowers
  • Martini Diva: Vodka Skyy, lemon juice, passionfruit, egg white and sugar
  • Prince of Paloma: Espolon Tequila, Aperol, sugar, lime, fresh grapefruit juice and topped with Capi Soda
Each cocktail will be available for $22, with $99 bottles of Mumm Brut available over the course of the carnival.
 

#4: Spring racing lunches at The Cliveden

Head into The Cliveden at Pullman Melbourne on the Park for a series of spring racing lunches that will keep you fuelled this season. Buffet lunch is inclusive of fresh seafood, a pop-up carvery, a charcuterie station, an antipasto and salad bar, fresh pasta, a chef’s hot selection and dessert table including custom themed cupcakes, rose flavoured cakes and fruit mousses.

All lunches also include a complimentary glass of Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rosé Brut on racing days.

  • Saturday 4 November: AAMI Victoria Derby Day lunch at $75 per person 
  • Tuesday 7 November: Emirates Melbourne Cup lunch at $75 per person 
  • Thursday 9 November: Kennedy Oaks Day lunch at $55 per person 
  • Saturday 11 November Emirates Stakes Day lunch at $75 per person

If you’re looking for something lighter, head into the bar for some spring racing specials like seared local scallops with avocado puree, sea vegetables and nudja sausage, or local calamari with a fennel, radish and rocket salad, and charred lemon. Bottles of Champagne Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut will be a steal at $99, and a couple of limited edition spring racing cocktails will be kicking around to try, too:

  • Spring Sake: Sake, Cointreau, lime juice, cranberry juice, sugar
  • Violet Maiden: Gin, violet liqueur, egg white, lemon juice, sugar

#5: Melbourne Cup Day at Wilson and Market

Make the most of Spring Racing Carnival this year with a luxe Wilson & Market Melbourne Cup Day package. Head in on Tuesday 7 November for a range of options including:  
  • Breakfast and bubbles – $50
  • Breakfast, bubbles and grooming by Lisa Cathcart Makeup – $100
  • + transport to Flemington Racecourse – $25
  • All of the above guarantees free access to VIP after party at The Terrace 
After you’ve watched all the horses race, make like the fillies and head to their VIP after party at The Terrace. Entry is $65, and includes a glass of bubbles and luxe finger food.
 
 
#6 Spring racing dinner at No. 35

The renowned No.35 at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins will be hosting a special spring racing wine dinner this year. Spend the evening with the winemakers from Levantine Hill, exploring the fabulous food and wine of Victoria. You can also get up close and personal with the Emirates Melbourne Cup trophy, whilst enjoying a delicious four-course feast carefully matched with Levantine Hill wines. 

But you’d better book in quick, it’s set for 6.30pm on Wednesday 1 November.

#7 The Mill House Oaks Day afterparty

Looking for something light on the wallet this spring racing season? Head to The Mill House Oaks Day afterparty – it’s free! You’ll even be treated to a performance from DJ K.I.M, aka Kim Moyes from The Presets. There will be a Moet Hennessy pop up bar, complete with a featured menu of champagne cocktails from Veuve, Moet Hennessy and Chandon, as well as guest DJs playing all night.

#8 Bear Brass x Pol Roger

If you’re looking for a glass of sparkles during spring racing season, head to BearBrass in Southgate – it’s open every day throughout the Carnival. Enjoy breakfast here before you head to the track, watch the main race days on their screens as you sip on bubbles, or come back afterwards for the celebrations.

To sweeten the deal, every evening from 5pm to 7pm at BearBrass in November and December, enjoy a glass of Pol Roger Brut NV for $15, or a bottle for just $85.

-Bianca O’Neill / InstagramTwitter. All images provided.

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