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activity, Fashion, Melbourne Cup, November, races, social

Melbourne Cup 2013 101

UPDATED 30/10/13

As the Melbourne Cup fast approaches and Australia waits with baited breath, Sydney Social 101 has pulled together an overview of the activities that are taking place all around Sydney on November 5th 2013.

Whether you live here, or a planning a trip here during this time, this is an event that must be put in your calendar! Join the nation as bets are placed and the atmosphere peaks as the start of one of the world’s most famous steeple chase begins.


On Melbourne Cup Day, Merivale is hosting a multitude of fantastic fever pitched events across its unrivalled range of restaurants, bars and pubs that will leave guests grinning all day. Whether it is an inimitable rooftop pool party at Pool Club, a sophisticated soiree at The Den, a Cantonese feast at award winning Mr. Wong or a 1920s knees-up at Palmer & Co, Merivale has over thirty spectacular Cup Day packages to suit, all screening the afternoon of racing live.

The Ivy

Sydney’s leading lifestyle and entertainment destination, ivy, has a variety of events bursting with race day revelry. The unrivalled rooftop oasis, Pool Club offers a glamorous Cup Day experience like no other with DJs spinning tunes all afternoon, cocktail on arrival and Chandon Vintage throughout ($125). At Palings, guests can settle into ivy’s sunny courtyard to watch the racing action on the CBD’s biggest screen while enjoying a delicious two course menu from head chef Christopher Whitehead ($75).

The Den

Upstairs at Level 2, The Den comes alive for an extravagant fun-filled affair with Chandon NV, Heineken and mouth-watering canapés ($95) while ivy’s VIP booth packages provide corporate hospitality at its best with personal waiter service and private screens ($250).

Uccello, Felix & Ash St Cellar

For those wanting to spend the afternoon at one of the city’s leading restaurants, the Italian pool-side Uccello ($250), French Bistro Felix ($160) and European tapas bar Ash St. Cellar ($110) are all offering beautiful dining packages.


The grand dame of Sydney’s entertainment scene, Establishment, will be abuzz with guests enjoying the exciting events across the venue’s many bars and restaurants.

Mr Wong

At multi award-winning Cantonese restaurant, Mr. Wong, diners can enjoy Dan Hong’s delicious ten dish shared banquet and a flute of Moët & Chandon NV ($125). A sumptuous celebration is to be enjoyed at est. with an elegant three course menu designed by head chef Peter Doyle including a flute of Dom Perignon 2004 ($195).

Palmer & Co

Palmer & Co gives Cup Day a 1920s twist ($95), sushi e and hemmesphere come together to create an affair to remember ($140) and the leafy oasis of the Gin Garden provides a beautiful city hideaway to join in the racing spirit ($100).

Bistrode CBD

Bistrode CBD is the perfect setting for a stylish Melbourne Cup lunch with Executive Chef Jeremy Strode preparing a delicious three course menu ($125).

York 75

York 75 is ideal for racing enthusiasts with the CBD sports haven boasting over 22 plasma screens, extensive TAB facilities and private booths available to book.

Ms G’s & The Fish Shop

For those wanting to swap the CBD for the tree lined streets of the East, Patrick Friesen is serving up a seven course banquet of mind blowing signature dishes at the Pop-Asian Potts Point hangout Ms G’s ($80) while just around the corner at The Fish Shop, a delicious seafood feast is on offer ($35).

The Beresford

In Surry Hills, The Beresford Hotel will be full of revelers enjoying the modern Italian fare by head chef Reid Hingston in the trattoria ($90) or canapés and a dessert buffet in the much-loved courtyard ($70).

Merivale Pubs

Merivale’s host of pubs provide a no strings attached approach to Cup Day. Wynyard Hotel, 30 Knots, Angel, CBD Bar, Slip Inn and El Loco are offering an electric experience with no tickets or planning required.

All of Merivale’s participating venues will feature multiple screens and LIVE coverage of the big race, many also having on-site TAB facilities for convenience. Venues include; Pool Club, Palings Kitchen & Bar, the den, Ash St. Cellar, Felix, Uccello, Royal George, Establishment Bar, Gin Garden, est., Mr. Wong, Palmer & Co, sushi e & hemmesphere, Bistrode CBD, CBD Bar, York 75, Angel, 30 Knots, El Loco at Slip Inn, Wynyard Hotel, The Beresford Hotel, El Loco, The Fish Shop, Ms G’s and The Bottle Shop Tasting Room.

For the full list of what’s on at Merivale this Melbourne Cup and booking details, visit or call 02 9240 3000.

The Roosevelt – 32 Orwell St  Potts Point NSW 2011

Celebrate ‘The Race that Stops the Nation’ in style with us on Tuesday November 5th from 1-3pm. We’re hosting a ‘Roving Diner Tapas-style’ afternoon, with a champagne cocktail on arrival, sweeps & ‘fashion on the floor’ best dressed competition.

Bookings are essential, & tickets are just $60. or on 0423 203 119

The Roosevelt will be screening the race from 3pm, & you’re welcome to stay on with us afterwards to celebrate your win (or commiserate your loss with another cocktail!)

The Botanist, Kirribilli – 17 Willoughby St, Kirribilli NSW 2061

The local Kirribilli bar and restaurant has been spicing up the area since they opened their doors at the end of last year. The Botanist name references illustrious Botanist Gerard Fothergill who travelled the world researching plants, and whose last years of his life were spent running a small bookshop in the very building the restaurant now occupies. The Botanist pays homage to these historical and botanical themes of exploration and discovery, creating food and cocktail menus using abundant offerings of fresh produce, herbs and spices.

For Melbourne Cup, The Botanist will be serving canapés of Bloody Mary oyster shots and cheese and onion tarts on arrival from 12 noon, and a variety of share plates to follow that include corn chips with queso dip and spicy salsa, pan fried haloumi on fattoush salad, Szechuan pepper salted squid, chilli chicken soft shell tacos, Lamb shoulder salad with capsicum, tomato, hummus, minted yoghurt, rocket and feta, and the restaurants famous classic beef sliders. The racing will be shown LIVE on two large screens visible from all angles in the restaurant; there will sweepstakes to participate in and prizes for best dressed male and female.

Grab your friends, colleagues or partner and join us to celebrate one of spring’s most memorable racing events at The Botanist Kirribilli!

Canapés and glass of Charles de Fere Jean Louis Sparkling to start, then a selection of six generous share plates – $40 per person. Drinks packages available starting from $40 per person.

Bookings: or 02 9954 4057

The Cottage, Balmain

A hidden hideaway nestled in an unsuspecting cottage in stunning Balmain.

The Cottage is hosting a Melbourne Cup ‘after party’ with live music in the garden from 5pm . The bar & restaurant has recently launched new cocktail and food menus, which will be available on the night.

Perfect to celebrate the Melbourne Cup away from the masses. Further info below:

Melbourne Cup at The Cottage Balmain


The Star – 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont NSW 2009, Australia

To follow the race that’s stops a nation live on while having a yummy lunch, The Star offers different Melbourne Cup dining packages ( at its signature restaurants Balla, Black and Sokyo from $95 to $150 for a three-plus course menu. Group functions for 12 ppl or more are also available. If enjoying the Melbourne Cup at a bar is more your thing, some special deals and live music at the bars. For reservations visit the website or call 1800 700 700.


The Hills Lodge – 1 Salisbury Rd (Corner Windsor Rd) CASTLE HILL NSW 2154 Australia

The 2013 Melbourne Cup Lunch ( will provide our guests with an absolutely delicious feast to suit everyone’s palate. It will include a 3 course meal, beer, wine and soft drinks included in the package and complimentary sparkling wine on arrival.
The day will be thoroughly enjoyed with of course, full, live coverage of the day’s events, a fashion parade and lucky door prizes. There will also be a ‘Best Hat’ Competition and ‘Best Total Look’ (men and women) for those fashion savvy.

Arras204 Clarence Street, Sydney

Modern European restaurant, Arras, is the perfect place to cheer on the gee gees this Melbourne Cup day, with two stunning menus to chose from, a giant screen to watch the race and a TAB a stone’s throw away.

Guests can chose from a three or five-course menu of mouthwatering modern twists on European dishes such as Scallops, artichoke puree and skins and squid; Beef cooked in its own dripping, roast bone marrow, oxtail and cauliflower salad; and Banana Parfait and crisp, dates and sweet pickled walnuts. The three-course menu is $95 per person and the five-course $115 per person, both including a glass of bubbles on arrival.

Arras is run by young British chefs Adam and Lovaine Humphrey, who bring with them a wealth of experience from top restaurants across Europe and Australia, including the three Michelin-starred Michel Bras in France, Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck and the Castle Hotel in England.

The restaurant comfortably seats 60 with a private dining area available on the mezzanine for 22 guests seated and 40 guests standing for a cocktail-style event. Guests will be inspired by ARRAS’s offerings off the plate too, with unique design features including a graffiti mural by Az One, aka Andy Steel, a Sydney-based graffiti artist and bespoke Paul Smith suit-fabric dining chairs.

The restaurant earned one hat in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2013 and a star and three glasses in the Australian Gourmet Traveller 2014 Australian Restaurant Guide.

The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room – 225 George St, Sydney

Smack bang in the middle of the CBD, The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room is a superb choice for your Melbourne Cup festivities this year. The $125 ticket will get you four courses, sparkling wine on arrival, sweeps, fashions on the field as well as entry for lucky door prizes and their after party. With plenty of TV screens to watch the big race, you don’t want to miss out on your ticket to this event. Lunch bookings at 12, 12.30 and 1pm
Link to official information:

Curtis Stone was only too happy to pin the first 2013 Pin & Win lapel pin on Matt Preston as all proceeds from the sale of the pins this year will go to food rescue charity SecondBite.

The duo are now calling for several hundred volunteers to help sell Pin & Win lapel pins at the Melbourne Cup Carnival and Curtis said that he was proud to be helping to spread the message in his new role as a SecondBite Ambassador.

“SecondBite is aiming to raise $250,000 from the sale of the pins so they can collect and deliver an additional 625,000 hearty, nutritious meals to vulnerable Australians and their families who would otherwise go hungry.

“To do that they will need volunteers to be out in force on all of the main race days and both Matt and I hope that people will be keen to sign up as a volunteer and be part of this great campaign,” said Curtis.

Matt, who has been a long time supporter and Ambassador for SecondBite, said that it was easy to register and volunteers would enjoy being part of the Melbourne Cup Carnival while helping SecondBite.

“The money raised will enable SecondBite to provide fresh, nutritious food to the many community agencies supporting people in need across Australia,” said Matt.

For raceday events volunteers will be provided with lunch, refreshments and the chance to enjoy the races including the main race after their shift.  Volunteers are required for a number of fundraising event days including:

  • Turnbull Stakes Day (Sat 5 Oct 2013)
  • AAMI Victoria Derby Day (Sat 2 Nov 2013)
  • Emirates Melbourne Cup Parade (Mon 4 Nov 2013)
  • Emirates Melbourne Cup Day (Tue 5 Nov 2013)
  • Crown Oaks Day (Thu 7 Nov 2013)
  • Emirates Stakes Day (Sat 9 Nov 2013)

To register to volunteer or find out more information please visit

Pin & Win lapel pins are available to purchase from 1 October until 9 November 2013.

They will be on sale from volunteers on each day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, online and through the Flemington Shop.

For more information on the Melbourne Cup Carnival Pin & Win program please visit and for SecondBite please visit

Melbourne Cup Fête at Le Pub – 66 King St Cnr York Street

Located in the heart of the CBD and named Sydney’s ‘Coolest Bar’ by Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide, it’s the perfect place to watch the race and enjoy some delicious food and drinks.

It  has a range of seating options available for corporate or private functions and a number of TVs throughout the venue. For menu information, see

To book your table, please email or call 02 9963 7701.

The Glenmore – 96 Cumberland Street, The Rocks

Melbourne Cup 

Tues 5 November
Party on after the race at the Glenmore with our live entertainment


The Australian Heritage Hotel – 100 Cumberland Street, The Rocks

Melbourne Cup
Tues 5 Nov
$55 per head
Glass of Chandon or schooner of Fat Yak on arrival
2 course lunch


The Royal – 156 Norton Street, Leichhardt

Melbourne Cup
$48/ head
Glass of Canti Prosecco on arrival
2 course lunch 
Prizes for best dressed & best hat


Darling Quarter – 1-25 Harbour Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000
The Melbourne Cup is galloping up fast, but where can you get in on all the action?
This 5th of November, enjoy all the excitement of Melbourne Cup Day in style in Sydney’s newest and most vibrant community precinct, the Darling Quarter.

The Civic Connector will feature a giant outdoor LED screen to broadcast the live coverage, as well as a mobile TAB for you to place your bets on the day.

With an incredibly diverse range of cafes, wine bars and restaurants, you could spend all day exploring the tastes on offer, or simply watching the world go by.

From the classic Italian flavours of Janus café and wine bar, to the Parisian-Vietnamese fusion of Taste, or even the Tokyo-inspired sushi diner Umi Sushi & Udon – your taste buds are absolutely spoiled for choice.

Sweet-tooths, kids (or really anyone) cannot resist a stop at Guylian, the famous Belgian chocolatiers, or Meno Diciotto, the home of original Italian gelato.

Don’t know where to start? Many of the precinct’s trendiest bars and restaurants are offering Melbourne Cup lunch specials on the day, with a selection listed below.

With the Quarter’s most popular bars and eateries providing you with delicious food, drinks, entertainment and big screens – all you have to worry about is cheering on your horse!

Stacks Taverna

Combining wonderful food, delicious cocktails, fantastic live music and DJs, and exciting sweeps and prizes, Stacks Taverna is truly the place to be this Melbourne Cup.
For $85 per guest, you can enjoy a gourmet four-course meal featuring fresh seafood, succulent beef and a selection of sweet creations from the chef, as well as receiving a complimentary glass of champagne on arrival.
Book now by emailing or call (02) 9268 0888.


This year – why not go Brazilian?
For only $57, at Braza you can enjoy a glass of Chandon on arrival and indulge in a traditional Brazilian barbecue feast.
Experience the premium meats cooked as they should be – slow-roasted over a wood-fire and charcoal rotisserie grill, which tenderises the meat and envelops it in a subtle, smoky flavour.

With big screens and a prize raffles, you don’t have to miss a second of the action – that’s if you can tear yourself away from the barbecue!
To make a booking, email Braza at or call (02) 9286 3733.

Nok Nok Thai

Or for something different head to Nok Nok Thai Eating House, where for only $35 per person you can enjoy a delicious three-course lunch with a glass of bubbly or Singha Draught Beer on arrival!
There are big screens on offer, but be warned that they may struggle to compete with an absolutely stunning menu that features crispy pork belly, stir-fry curried prawns, and fresh soft shell crab.
Book now by calling (02) 9267 7992.


An inspired seasonal menu and quality wines will be on offer at Roberts Restaurant Circa 1876 this Melbourne Cup as guests are invited to indulge over a long lunch with a side serving of fashion and festivities included.

Matt and Karlie Cowley will host an eventful afternoon of fashionable racing fun alongside the food artistry of Executive Chef, George Francisco.

Crooning MC Shaun Martindale will welcome guests on arrival with drinks on The Vineyard Deck. Following a wander through the spectacular Robert’s kitchen garden with George Francisco, guests will be seated for a two-course lunch highlighting Roberts’ award-winning food and cheese bar.

Focusing on fashion, designer Katie Perry will entertain guests with a parade launch of her latest collection, highlighting headpieces from Yummi&I, who will also be awarding a best dressed crown to the most fashionable male and female.

Guests can participate in sweepstakes before watching the race on the big screen. Melbourne Cup bookings are essential.
Roberts Restaurant Circa 1876, Halls Road Pokolbin

Date: Tuesday 5 November 2013

Time: 11am start on The Vineyard Deck.

Cost: $95 includes a glass of Tower Estate wine on arrival, two-course meal and cheese bar


The Convent

El Topo at The Eastern

If you work in the Eastern Suburbs or want to flee the CBD for Melbourne Cup celebrations, look no further than the Mexican fiesta favourite El Topo in Bondi Junction. Boasting a vibrant atmosphere, sensational food and drinks and televisions so you don’t miss a minute of the big race, this rooftop gem will be one of the best places to be in Sydney. For $65pp, you’ll enjoy a glass of bubbles or a cocktail on arrival and a Mexican feast.

Bookings: / (02) 9387 7828

Address: El Topo, The Eastern, 500 Oxford St, Bondi Junction

The Ivanhoe Hotel

Enjoy the race that stops the nation beachside at The Ivanhoe Hotel in Manly. There’s no set ticket price so you can eat and drink as you like. With a variety of drinking and dining spaces including two of Sydney’s best rooftop bars, gorgeous outdoor courtyards, 14 plasma television screens, Platinum TAB facilities and their full food menu on offer, this will surely tick every box. Feel free to pop in for a drink to watch the big race, make a day of it with a lunch booking or come down after the race to kick on.

Lunch bookings essential:

Address: The Ivanhoe Hotel, 27 The Corso, Manly

THE SODA FACTORY – 16 Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills

Tues. 5th Nov – Melbourne Cup

1pm onwards

Dollar Dogs & Live Performance by the Syphons


It’s that time of year again: Melbourne Cup is fast approaching and The Soda Factory is opening early for lunch from 1pm. They’ll be screening the race live and selling super-special Melbourne Cup $1 Gourmet Hot Dogs all day & night.

They’ve renamed their Dollar Dogs after some famous winners from years gone by and come the 5th of November you can expect to be chowing down on: The Phar Lap, Waterhouse’s Wiener, The Makybe Diva Dog, The Three Legged Snag

Their house band The Syphons are also performing live after the race with DJs going through till the early hours.

If you reserve a table for 10 or more people; you’ll receive a bottle of Chandon on the house.


To book please contact

THE SPICE CELLAR – Basement Level/58 Elizabeth Street, Sydney


Tues. 5th Nov – Melbourne Cup
1pm – 3pm
Canapés & Chandon NV


The Spice Cellar is putting on a soiree that’ll sit perfectly in with a day dedicated to the Sport of Kings.

Sponsored by Chandon NV, from midday the cellar will be decked out with a giant screen showing all the racing action in the heart of the CBD in an intimate environment.

All for FREE and on entry you’ll be included in a sweep stake!


If you would like to book a table for your business or group, canapé & Chandon packages available; Email – or call 9223 5585. Both Walk-ins & Bookings welcomed

MISS PEACHES – 201 Missenden Rd, Newtown

Tues. 5th Nov – Melbourne Cup

1pm onwards

Cocktails on Arrival & 3 course menu


Momma and the Colonel have a very special day planned for y’all. Miss Peaches will take you to Kentucky for a taste of the South this Melbourne Cup Day. $70 per person includes a Derby Mint Julep Cocktail on arrival, a sit down alternate drop 3 course menu with all your soul food favourites, and an entry into sweeps as you sit back and watch the races on large screen TV’s and chin-wag with the Colonel himself (your host for the day). A bottle of Floria Ferrer Brut will be given to each booking of 4 people or more.


For bookings email or call 9557 7280.

THE WORKERS – 292 Darling Street, Balmain


Tues. 5th Nov – Melbourne Cup

12pm – 4pm

Premium drinks & Tasty Mexican treats


This deal is straight crazy. For $99 (BARGAIN) you get 4 hours (12-4PM) drinking premium beers, wine and spirits and getting into some tasty Mexican treats.
We’re talking about:
Asahi, Peroni, Little Ripper, Fat Yak, Dirty Granny & Pure Blonde on tap. With your friends Ketel One, Tanqueray, Don Julio, Havana 3, Pampero, Maker’s Mark, George Dickel & Johnnie Walker Black to keep you company. PLUS G.H.Mumm’s awesome French champagne!
You’ll also be indulging on The Workers famous dishes including: Hot nuts, jalapeño poppers, olives, crab cakes, quesadillas, buttermilk chicken wings and tacos to keep your belly happy!
They’ve got big screens, lucky door prizes, sweeps & DJ’s.
Too good to miss, with all of the drinks and all of the food and then once the package winds up the bar is open and the party will continue into the night!

Bookings essential, email or call 02 9555 8410.


THE BELLEVUE HOTEL – 159 Hargrave Street, Paddington 

Tues. 5th Nov – Melbourne Cup

12pm – 3:30pm

Canapes & Piper-Heidsieck Champagne


Giddy Up and get down to the Bellevue Hotel for Melbourne Cup! It’s your last chance to join the suits, frocks, fillies and jocks who will unite to celebrate spring carnival fever at the new Piper-Heidsieck Spring Carnival Bar at the Bellevue Hotel in Paddington.


Bringing all the fun, glamour and excitement of the Spring Racing Carnival to Paddington, the Piper-Heidsieck Spring Carnival Bar at the Bellevue Melbourne Cup Day is an event that is not to be missed! From 12.00pm – 3.30pm, $110 ph includes canapés and beverages, including Piper-Heidsieck champagne.

The menus will reflect the best in fresh spring produce and include a special of freshly shucked oysters and eschalot vinegar with Piper-Heidsieck bubbles.


For function inquiries contact or call 1300 BELLEVUE

About Editor

One British girl who wants to live life to the max and make the most of now! This isn't a dress rehearsal!


One thought on “Melbourne Cup 2013 101

  1. Nice! I’ll be at the Oyster Bar participating in the activities.

    Posted by annaleacrowe | September 20, 2013, 1:26 am

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