It’s a tradition in Australia. The first Tuesday of November – Melbourne Cup Day – is the day to don your glad rags, pop on a fascinator or fancy suit and take a once-a-year flutter.
While all eyes will be on the horse-racing action at Flemington on 1 November, there are plenty of places in Canberra live-streaming the main event and hosting special festivities.
Here are our top picks:
When: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
Where: The Alby, 45 Furzer Street, Phillip
Cost: $120 pp, plus booking fee, book here
As part of this year’s Melbourne Cup Day, The Alby will be offering a special four-hour food-and-beverage package to book tickets to while watching the horse racing.
For $120 per person, as well as enjoying food and drinks across the four hours, you will gain access to the ground floor, basement and beer garden, receive a glass of Moet & Chandon champagne on arrival, savour tap beer, a selection of Oatley Estate wines, and cocktail pop-up bars from Woodford Reserve and Hendrick’s, and be treated to live music and a DJ.
This event is strictly assigned seating, therefore tickets for groups must be purchased together.
When: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
Where: Ostani Bar and Restaurant, Hotel Realm, 18 National Circuit, Barton
Cost: $175 pp, plus booking fee, book here
The team at Ostani is calling for ladies to get their fascinators ready and gentlemen to prepare their pocket squares as the venue hosts a unique event for the Melbourne Cup.
For $175 per person, each ticket will get you a four-hour food-and-beverage package from 11:30 am, a selection of savoury and dessert canapes, access to a series of pop-up bars from Bacardi, Hendrick’s, Patron, Grey Goose, Capital Brewing Co and Select Spritz Garden Bar, and TVs to watch all the action live from Flemington.
The beverage package will be available until 3:30 pm and feature wines from Robert Oatley Fine Wine Merchants, beer, cider and selected cocktails.
When: All day
Where: 30 Anthony Rolfe Ave, Gungahlin ACT 2912
Cost: $130 pp for the seafood luncheon buffet, book here. They will also have free entry to the public on the day.
Siren Bar & Restaurant in Gungahlin have organised a special seafood-style luncheon buffet as well as a dessert buffet this Melbourne Cup day!
There’ll be sweeps, live local music and best-dressed competitions alongside delicious food and drinks. Once the race is finished, there’ll also be a post-race after party.
Be sure to book your slot on Eventbrite if you’re after the buffet, or pop in with free entry on the day as well.
When: From 12 pm
Where: Canberra Southern Cross Club Woden, Tuggeranong, Jamison and Yacht Club
Cost: From $95 pp, book here
Come and watch the race that stops the nation with the Southern Cross Club on Tuesday, 1 November, at one of its four locations across the ACT.
At the Woden, Tuggeranong and Jamison clubs, there will be big screens to watch the races unfold, and each venue will have on-site TAB facilities and sweeps.
The Woden club will also host a four-course lunch with live entertainment, sweeps and prizes, and a full bar and TAB facilities will be available.
Doors open at 12 pm and tickets are $95 per person. Book your spot here.
The Canberra Southern Cross Yacht Club will also offer a four-course lunch. It includes a complimentary glass of sparkling on arrival, with sweeps available and prizes up for grabs for best hat, tie and dress.
Doors open at 12 pm and tickets are $105 per person. Book your spot here.
When: From 12:30 pm
Where: QT Canberra, 1 London Cct, Canberra
Cost: $220 per person, plus booking fee, book here
Ladies, get your heels high and hearts a flutter at QT Canberra for this year’s Melbourne Cup celebrations.
At the QT from 12:30 pm you’ll be treated to a class of Mumm on arrival, then you can sit back and relax in the Capitol Bar & Grill and enjoy a two-course lunch prepared by QT’s executive chef Michael Box, and a three-hour beverage package.
There will also be live music, pop-up bars, lawn games and a Fashions on the Field fashion show.
When: 12 pm – 3:30 pm
Where: All Eastlake venues in Canberra (Griffith, Gungahlin, Calwell)
Cost: No entry fee
At all Eastlake venues in Canberra, the races will be live-streamed from Flemington on the big screen.
Upon arrival, each person will receive a free glass of sparkling, and as part of Eastlake’s Melbourne Spring Carnival they will be having wine hampers and beer cases drawn from 3.30 pm.
There will also be plenty of lunch specials on the day.
The night before the main event, the Melbourne Cup Calcutta Draw will also be conducted at Eastlake in Griffith.
When: 1 – 3 pm
Where: Bleachers Sports Bar, Melbourne Building, 33 Northbourne Ave, Canberra ACT
Cost: No entry fee, book here
Bleachers Sports Bar in Canberra is serving up a fuss-free Melbourne Cup day this November.
There will be plenty of beer towers, burgers, wings and front-row seats to the biggest horse racing event in Australia.
Food packages will be available for groups of 10 or more, and there will be sweeps running all day, lucky door prizes and live music after the big race.
When: 12 pm – 3:30 pm
Where: Vibe Hotel Canberra, Helix Bar & Dining, 1 Rogan Street, Canberra
Cost: $79 pp, plus booking fee, book here
Head to Helix Bar & Dining on Melbourne Cup Day for an indulgent lunch with a tapas and antipasto grazing station, a roast lunch and dessert buffet.
There will also be bottomless sparkling wine and mimosas flowing throughout the afternoon and a live acoustic performance.
Helix Bar and Dining is encouraging people to dress in their finest outfit too, as lucky door prizes will be handed out for the best dressed on the day.
When: 10: 30 am – 5: 30 pm
Where: Thoroughbred Park, Canberra Racing Club, Canberra
Cost: From $25, plus booking fee, book here
Thoroughbred Park is one of the most popular places in which to catch the top horse racing event in the country, and this year, so many drinking and dining options are on the agenda.
One is the Grease Monkey Enclosure: For $60 a head you’ll gain entry into the racecourse, a wristband into the exclusive Grease Monkey Enclosure area, a Grease Monkey burger-and-chips voucher and access to the racecourse at the earlier members’ time.
There’s also the Rich Reward Room: For $285 pp you’ll gain entry into the racecourse, entry into the Rich Reward Room, and savour a three-course meal and a five-hour beverage package that includes spirits.
Another option is the Silks Room: For $250 pp you’ll gain entry into the racecourse, entry into the Silks Room, and enjoy a three-course meal and a five-hour beverage package.
The Stalls Area: For $195 pp you’ll be given entry into the racecourse, entry into the Stalls Area, and a hamper and five-hour beverage package. The minimum booking is two.
Patrons are urged to move quickly as bookings close on 17 October.