A day of funny hats, fancy clothes and lots of Champagne, the annual Melbourne Cup is a day where the horse enthusiasts, social enthusiasts, and maybe just a few enthusiasts, all come out to play. If you can't quite make it to Melbourne for the real thing, you'll sure be able to find a place from our hand-picked selection to skip work and spend the day drinking bubbles in your finery.
DINE NEXT TO A 400-METRE RUNWAY DOWN FEDERAL STREET
A unique event but certainly well within theme, SKYCITY and Trelise Cooper are partnering to put on a hell of a fashion show that takes part with five of Federal Street and SKYCITY's best restaurants. At more than 400 metres long the runway loops through the restaurants with the finish line reaching the lofty heights of The Sugar Club on Level 53 of the SkyTower. For those able to sneak away early, the long lunch begins at 12.30pm with the first of three runway shows starting at 2pm. For those with niggly commitments like work, The Sugar Club event starts at 4pm to catch the Melbourne Cup race and enjoy a four-course degustation.
TOSS A HORSESHOE AT SOUL BAR
Soul Bar is famous for its Melbourne Cup festivities, making quite the splash year on year. The pride of place waterfront restaurant has the infamous stiletto race and horseshoe toss to help celebrate the all the horse-themed antics. Of course they sure do know how to put on a spread with full meal service and Champagne, almost, but not really, on tap.
DOWN THREE COURSES AT PILKINGTONS
In terms of decor, Pilkingtons seems to be the place to match the essence of the Melbourne Cup. Post the success of the past two Cups, Pilkingtons decided they simply couldn't give it a miss. With a three-course meal and courtyard entertainment that will spread long into the night (once the horses have all won and lost). Dressing up is a must and a prize for best dressed will be dished out — but you can't be outdone by the decor, surely.
INDULGE IN HIGH TEA AT SOFITEL AUCKLAND
As G.H. Mumm is the Melbourne Cup go to, it is very much apart of Sofitel's high tea event. Last year the property's Melbourne Cup soirée at took place at the racecourse, but this year they wanted to keep it in house at no cost to the finery. The $49 ticket price will get you a themed high tea (and a mighty good one at that) with a complimentary glass of Mumm on arrival. You best come dressed to impress as dress code of racing attire is a must, with a best dressed award up for grabs in true Melbourne Cup style.
DINE WITH A VIEW AT BOTSWANA BUTCHERY AND HARBOURSIDE
Epic views of the water, plenty of Champagne on offer and a delicious spread to celebrate the festivities, these two neighbouring restaurants are teaming up to bring you a full day's worth of Melbourne Cup celebrating. A four-course meal will be served at Botswana Butchery, while watching the race, before the official after-party kicks off downstairs at Harbourside, where the Champagne will most certainly follow.
HEAD TO ELLERSLIE FOR THE ATMOSPHERE
If there was one place you could assume would be taking on the Cup festivities, it would be Ellerslie Racecourse. The home of horse racing in Auckland, these guys will have a plethora of mini-events on the day. Kicking off around 11.30am, the venue will be showing the race on super screens for both public guests and the VIP. This will most likely the be the closest event to the real thing, which is of course, complete with best-dressed competition, in true Flemington style.
CELEBRATE AL FRESCO AT CIBO
Classic Parnell haunt, Cibo know how to throw a sophisticated shindig. With their prime courtyard set to soak up ample rays (here's hoping) why not sneak away early to partake in the horse racing festivities. You'll be greeted a glass of Champagne and plenty of delicious canapés in the al fresco setting, followed by a four-course meal you'll be unlikely to forget. This event is kicking off at 12.30pm to be sure to get plenty of pre-race antics in.