The race that stops the nation is slowly creeping upon us. Whether you love racing or hate it, the idea of not acknowledging the Melbourne Cup is few and far between for most of us. After all, there’s not many times during the year you can have a break in the middle of your working day to have a drink and place a bet! Whether you’re planning a themed corporate event with your favourite fascinator, or huddling around the television with your co-workers, here are some of our handy hints on celebrating Melbourne Cup.
Venue Ideas for Celebrating Melbourne Cup
Whether you’re lucky enough to be at the real event, we’re very jealous. But for those of us that unfortunately cannot be at the races, scoping out pubs, restaurants and venues near you that’ll be hosting Melbourne Cup events near you is a necessity. Depending on the venue and the amount of people you’ll have with you, you may want to watch the races along with everyone else or rent out a private space for your group.
The Bear Bar in Sydney is a more private space that you can hire out for functions and banquets, should you want to enjoy the Melbourne Cup with just your crew! But they’re also hosting a special Melbourne Cup lunch this year for the general public.
Sydney Boat Hire is also an option for anyone that’s looking for an extravagant way to celebrate the Melbourne Cup. Keep your eye out for Melbourne Cup parties they may be hosting and for opportunities to privately rent out boats if you have a larger group, just make sure there is a TV or wifi on board so you can watch the race!
Sometimes hosting a Melbourne Cup party can be more cost effective if it’s not at a venue, however that means you need to be able to provide the food and booze yourself! If you’ve got enough space in your office, and a television, coerce your boss into letting you host it there! It’s a win-win keeping your staff happy and being in a work environment generally means no one will go too over the top with the alcohol.
Or maybe like us here at Party Affairs, a kind co-worker has offered their home to be used instead of a venue. If that’s your case, our decoration picks and caterers will come in handy for you!
The Party People have you covered when it comes to Melbourne Cup decorations, and not only that, they ship Australia wide wide! If you’re a Melbourne Cup fanatic and want to go all out with the decorations, we have a feeling this “Brown Horse” foil balloon ($15) might be for you. Alternatively, if you want to share the good luck all around, this “Goodluck” horseshoe balloon is only $12. If you’re in Sydney you can purchase the balloon already inflated with helium and have it delivered to your nominated venue.
When it comes to table centrepieces, we’d go with the “Honeycomb, Derby Day Playmates” centrepiece for $7.95.
You could also transform your venue into your very own race track using the “Racetrack Backdrop”. Just add some cutouts like these “Race Horse Props” and other decorations and soon you’ll feel like it’s race day. A quick and easy way to transform your party room. Last but not least, we also love The Party People’s metallic gold “Horse and Jockey” double sided foilboard cutouts of a jockey riding a race horse.
Hip & Hooray ship Australia wide and have a fantastic range of quirky tableware, which pair nicely with The Party People’s disposable tablecloths, which come in a variety of colours. Hip & Hooray’s “Carnival Chaos” tableware collection is bright and fun, ideal for Melbourne Cup. Purchase the plates, napkins and cups here. Wooden cutlery is the perfect accompaniment to the bright tableware range.
Sydney-siders, Flavours Catering + Events is your one stop shop this Melbourne Cup. They have an extensive range of food platters that are perfect whether you’re hosting a private event, or catering an office lunch. These platters are a winner as they cater to every dietary requirement possible. Make sure you get your orders in before 2pm Friday 28th October. View the full Flavours Catering + Events Melbourne Cup menu here.
Our top picks from their Melbourne Cup Menu:
The Punters Gluten free + Cold platter ($180 for 60 pieces).
- Roasted pumpkin, spinach & feta fritters (v) (gf)
- Mini potato rosti + sweet chilli (v) (gf)
- Vegetable rice paper rolls (v) (gf) (df)
- Fresh prawn pipette (gf) (df)
- Crumbed chicken + aioli dipper (gf)
The Members ($155 for 48 pieces)
- Chinese style meat balls (df) (gf)
- Grilled satay chicken skewers + satay sauce (gf) (df)
- Little hoisin + sesame glazed duck sausages (gf)
- Roasted pumpkin, spinach + feta fritters (v) (gf)
The Turf Club BBQ $23.95 per person (min order 25 people).
- Smoked beef, aioli + melted cheese slider (1)
- Hoisin glazed duck chipolata’s (gf) (1)
- Marinated prawn sticks (gf) (df) (1)
- Lemon, thyme + parsley chicken skewer w aioli dipper (gf) (df) (1)
- Roasted pumpkin, spinach + feta fritters (v) (gf) (1)
- Three bamboo boats salad’s of choice (1)
Find our other caterers listed here.
When it comes to sweets, you can view our range of goodies here. When your drinking if you’re anything like us here at Party Affairs, we don’t want anything too heavy, cupcakes would be our best pick.
If you’re in Sydney, Lushcups Bakery would be the perfect accompaniment to your meal. Picture devouring these mouth watering cupcakes!
La Manna Patisserie in Melbourne have a great range of scrumptious tarts, macaroons and cakes that’ll settle your sweet cravings in the afternoon.
Alternatively, Sweet Cheeks Cookies and Cakes create bespoke cookies and cakes for all occasions. Since their based in Melbourne and cater to the likes of Tiffany & Co, you know you’re in good hands, but make sure you get in quickly if you’re after cake. Cookies can be shipped Australia wide thankfully!
Perth residents, Kool Kakes have you covered. We adore these cupcakes, they’re so feminine!
If you’re located in Adelaide, Adixions Cakes can whip up some sweet treats for your event. We love these lemon meringues!
We recommend the services of The Wine Gallery if you’re in need of alcohol, especially if you don’t have a whole heap of time. The Wine Gallery has competitive prices for alcohol and they can recommend drinks that match the food being served, which is very handy if you don’t know what wine to serve up! They offer same day shopping for orders placed before 4pm, so if you’ve been a bit slack organising your booze this could be an excellent option!
Shorty’s Liquor is perfect if you’re in Sydney. Shorty’s Liquor specialise in delivering a total beverage solution for your function including champagnes, wines, beer, ciders, soft drinks, water and those added extras such as glass hire, ice and tubs. You can get premium delivery service to the Sydney CBD and surrounding suburbs including same day delivery, quintessential for anyone that’s putting together a Melbourne Cup event at the last minute. If you need convincing on another benefit of using Shorty’s Liquor, they also collect and refund any left over alcohol you have from your event.
Many punters believe it’s more fun watching the race if you’ve got a bet on the line! You could either place your bets in earlier with the TAB or run sweepstakes for your personal group. With a little prep sweepstakes can be pretty easy to organise.
You can organise prizes to hand out on the day too, perhaps a best dressed award for instance. When it comes to prizes, it’s easier to stick to gender neutral gifts, such as hampers, alcohol cookies, or chocolates. We recommend a wine subscription from The Wine Gallery, whom ship Australia wide or purchasing a bottle of wine or champagne from Shorty’s Liquor.
When it comes to all things sweet, we absolutely love the bespoke cookies that Sweet Cheeks Cookies and Cakes create – not only do they cater for any dietary requirement, whether gluten free or vegan – they can also ship Australia wide. Since horseshoes are for good luck and your winner had lots of luck to win – we’d order horseshoe cookies like these ones below.
We hope our top tips help you have a smooth celebration this Melbourne Cup, see some more styling inspiration below! We can’t wait to see all the beautiful dresses and fascinators. Good luck on your bets and giddy up horses!