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
#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
#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
- 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
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.