The round-up: saddle up for race-day fun at Brisbane’s best Melbourne Cup soirees
We’re fast approaching that time of year where office sweeps heat up and trifectas are being calculated ahead of the race that stops the nation. The Melbourne Cup is galloping towards us at a frightening pace, which means pretty soon you’ll need to decide where you’ll be when the starting gates open and the action begins. We’ve compiled a handy list of spots that will not only offer glimpses of the action, but also plenty of race-day treats to keep you entertained after the results come in.
Postside Wharf, Hamilton: This year Portside Wharf is kicking its Melbourne Cup celebrations into a full gallop! The riverside dining destination has a bunch of fabulous soirees to choose from, plus free live music on the wharf from 3:00–7:00 pm to keep the good times rolling well into the evening. For those who want to keep it casual with class, @Mr & Mrs Jones is the one to watch. Revellers can graze all day on hot and cold canapes with a glass of French bubbles on arrival, while also being privy to lucky door prizes, sweeps, fashions on the field, a silent auction and three TVs broadcasting the race. Tickets are $59 per person – book via email at [email protected] or call 0408 238 498 to secure your spot. Belvedere Bar & Grill is looking to make Melbourne Cup day 2020 one to remember, with a sumptuous three-course set menu and 2.5-hour beverage package, all accompanied by a gorgeous river view. The fun all kicks off from 12:o0 pm and you can make a booking online. Feeling fancy? Celebrate Melbourne Cup with a lavish three-course banquet and premium four-hour beverage package at Byblos complete with full race-day coverage, entertainment, charity sweepstakes and best-dressed prizes – get a ticket now! Finally, Gusto da Gianni is hosting a decadent four-course set menu of Italian eats paired with a two-hour drinks package, stunning live entertainment and a wharf-side bar to sweeten the deal! You can book online here.
Spice Central Kitchen and Bar, South Bank: Looking for something sophisticated, intimate and delicious for your Melbourne Cup celebrations this year? Spice Central’s event has got everything and more. This three-hour soiree is very much food-focused, including hand-crafted canapes created and introduced by the chefs who conceived them (lobster rolls, anyone?). Guests will be treated to three hours of wine plus a cheeky glass of bubbles on arrival, with the best dressed on the day taking home a Chefs Table experience for two at Spice Central – so be sure to don your absolute finest! You can secure your spot at this once-in-a-lifetime event here.
Blackbird Bar & Grill, Brisbane City: If you are itching to be in the centre of the action this Melbourne Cup, you can’t beat Blackbird’s two-level riverside locale as your party spot. The venue is hosting two soirees, both offering stunning views of the Story Bridge and the Brisbane River, as well as free-flowing champagne, cocktails, spirits, wine and beer. The Garden Party will boast roving performers, live music and DJs, plus delicious canapes and an assortment of food stations. The Cup Affair, which will be held in Blackbird’s elegant events space, will offer a three-course menu designed by executive chef Jake Nicolson. Select your event and get a ticket here.
Doomben Racecourse, Ascot: Although a trip to Flemington is out of the question this year, Doomben Racecourse is pulling out all the stops for its own Melbourne Cup extravaganza. The Canadian Club Melbourne Cup Day will be hosting plenty of entertainment, fashions on the field events, pop-up bars and restaurants trackside for groups to get their celebration on. Click here to check out the packages available.
Gerard’s Bistro and Bar, Fortitude Valley: While the Gerard’s Bistro might not be able to take over the carpark like it usually does for its annual Cup-day extravaganza, they’re still pulling out all the stops. Both Gerard’s Bistro and Gerard’s Bar will host a lavish long-lunch banquet, with a spread prepped by Adam Wolfers featuring premium seafood and a host of Middle Eastern-inspired dishes. A four-hour beverage package including Louis Roederer champagne, beer, wine, spirits and signature cocktails will undoubtedly help fuel the race-day spirit as well – nab a spot here.
Boom Boom Room Izakaya, Brisbane City: Brisbane’s newest underground Japanese-inspired bar and eatery is getting in on the Melbourne Cup action this year. Guests can expect a four-course Omakase banquet by head chef Zac Skyes, as well as a four-hour beverage package including endless cocktails, spirits, champagne, wine and beers. Get tickets here.
The Charming Squire, South Bank: Unlike the race itself, Melbourne Cup celebrations are a marathon, not a sprint. That’s why it’s nice to be able to sit down, usually over a long lunch. The Charming Squire is inviting guests to linger, serving a three-course shared lunch and a premium beverage package that includes the entire James Squire core range on tap and house wines. There will also be prizes for best dressed, lucky door prizes, sweep stations and all of the big race action on nearby projector screens. Bookings can be made here.
Donna Chang, Brisbane City: Blush-hued inner-city neo-Chinese restaurant Donna Chang will be getting into the race-day spirit with a deluxe four-hour package 12:00–4:00 pm, featuring a four-course banquet designed by head chef Lyndon Tyers as well as a beverage package boasting French champagne, cocktails, spirits and premium wines. In addition to coverage of the big race, Donna Chang will also host live entertainment and charity sweepstakes. Tickets details can be found here.
Hello Gorgeous, Newstead: Spring racing season is all about colour, so why not pick a colourful venue to celebrate? Hello Gorgeous has two packages on offer for Melbourne Cup day – a Spring racing-inspired two-course, sit down lunch with a glass of champagne on arrival, and an all-inclusive packages that boosts lunch with free-flowing wines, cocktails, basic spirits and beer. In addition to all the race-day coverage, Hello Gorgeous will be making a day of it with best-dressed prizes, sweeps and good times running into the evening. Booking details can be found here.
Mr. Percival’s, Brisbane City: Waterfront hub Mr. Percival’s is hosting an luxurious race-day event for Melbourne Cup 2020, offering a three-and-a-half-hour beverage package encompassing Mr P’s cocktails, champagne, Felons Brewing Co. beer, red and white wine and spirits, a seated, share-style lunch inspired by the tastes of Italy, fashions on The Deck, prizes and charity sweeps, as well as live entertainment, DJs, and plenty of large screens to view the race. Dress to impress and click here to score a ticket.
MAYA, Fortitude Valley: Leave your woes on terra firma and ascend to MAYA for it’s Tulum-inspired rooftop party this Melbourne Cup! Two different packages are one offer – a dining package that perfect for those wanting to relax while enjoying all their favourite MAYA dishes as well as four hours of margaritas, champagne, wine, spirits and beers, and a cocktail package boasting a premium beverage package and taco stations! Call the MAYA team on 07 3067 7447 or email [email protected] to secure a spot.
Ciao Papi, Brisbane City: This chic Howard Smith Wharves eatery and bar is celebrating Cup Day with an all-inclusive riverfront Italian feast featuring plenty of antipasto, pizza, pasta, gelato and more. Italian-inspired drinks will be flowing as well thanks to a beverage package that includes prosecco, pinot grigio, chianti, Peroni and a spritz on arrival. Sound like your kind of party? Secure a spot here.
Stanley, Brisbane City: Stanley head chef Louis Tikaram is pulling out all the stops for Melbourne Cup 2020, assembling a whopping five-course banquet that’ll blow your fascinator off. Expect dim sum platters, caviar, Peking duck pancakes, crab spring rolls, stir-fried wagyu beef, steamed coral trout and more, as well as a beverage package including Stanley signature cocktails, Louis Roederer champage, spirits, wine and beer from Felons Brewing Co. Be quick and get a ticket here before they’re snatched up.
OTTO, Brisbane City: Put on your race-day best and make tracks for OTTO, where you can enjoy all the Melbourne Cup coverage alongside a three-course signature OTTO menu and an optional premium beverage package that will include champagne, wine, beer and soft drinks. Click here to book.
Cloudland, Fortitude Valley: One of Brisbane’s preeminent party palaces is going all in for its Melbourne Cup celebrations, hosting a variety of soirees to suit a number of price points. Enjoy carafe cocktails and spritzes, charcuterie boards, canapes and live entertainment in The Birdcage, enjoy a three-course gala luncheon with free-flowing G.H. Mumm Champagne and French sparkling, or get comfy in an exclusive seated cocktail lounge while sipping Perrier-Jouët Champagne and fresh seafood. You can get the full rundown and ticket prices here.
The Boundary, West End: The West End institution is offering two premium packages this year, allowing you to choose between a luxurious three-course lunch or a more laid-back vibe in the sun. The private Hardgrave Room will host The Boundary’s premium Veuve Clicquot package, including a three-course meal crafted by head chef Andrew Musk alongside a three-hour premium drinks package (and yes, the Veuve will be flowing!). If you’re keen to soak up the springtime sun, go for the Gordon’s Backyard package in The Boundary’s breezy outdoor area, with a two-course lunch, three-hour drink package and a Gordon’s Sicilian Lemon Cocktail on arrival. You can get the full details here.
For more Melbourne Cup events, be sure to check our Event Guide!
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