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Arbory Afloat
Photograph: Supplied

Things to do on Melbourne Cup Day

Whether you’re watching the race or avoiding it completely, here are the best things to do in Melbourne this Cup Day

By Rebecca Russo

It’s time to saddle up: Melbourne’s bars and restaurants are getting ready to deliver an impressive party offering this Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, November 5 2019. While Melbourne’s racecourses see the majority of the glitz and glamour, venues are making most of the Tuesday public holiday, with mini parties popping up across town.

Rather get out of town completely? Here are our favourite Victorian road trips, weekend escapes and day hikes to try.

Things to do on Melbourne Cup Day

1. Supernormal

Restaurants Asian Melbourne

Head to Supernormal for a lunchtime special on race day. The venue will be transforming into a Chinese noodle bar for the arvo serving up some delightful specials (which will set all you back $20-$25 each). Expect Beijing zha jiang mian with shiitake and asparagus, Shanghainese black vinegar noodles with broad beans and spring onion oil, and Szechuan cold noodles with sesame, pickles and chilli oil. Drink specials will also be available. Book a spot here.

Plate of flowers
Photograph: Supplied

2. Collins Square

Attractions Docklands

Collins Square is putting on a bunch of Spring Racing-themed activities, workshops and events over the long weekend. In partnership with Remedy Drinks (known for their popular kombucha) Collins Square has opened the Remedy Racing Lounge where there will be a spring slinky race and also a spinning wheel with plenty of prizes to be won. There will also be DIY spring flower workshops and a pop-up shop selling race day essentials. 


3. Howler

Bars Brunswick

Brunswick's Howler has a number of events programmed for Cup Weekend. On Friday, November 1 you can see Third Eye, "the ultimate Tool experience act". On Saturday, November 2 there's Cousin Tony's Brand New Firebird who will be playing tunes from their newly released second album. Sunday will be host to College of Knowledge, where you can hear soulful tunes played in the beer garden. Finally, on Monday, November 4 seminal '90s act Regurgitator will perform in Howler's bandroom. More info here.

4. The Langham

Hotels Southbank

The Langham's Melba Restaurant is hosting a Melbourne Cup lunch on Tuesday, November 5 with dishes highlighting some incredible Victorian produce. Expect crayfish Mornay with Milawa cheddar and Timboon cream, Port Lincoln yellowtail kingfish and fresh oysters. There will be prizes for the best dressed and a performance from jazz singer Fem Belling. Lunch will cost $155 per person. Book your spot here.


5. The Grosvenor Hotel

Bars Craft beer Balaclava

This St Kilda pub is hosting a huge Melbourne Cup Day party. Doors open at 11am with free-flowing champagne, roving canapés, make up touch-ups by Glamco Beauty, face painting for the kids and not-so-serious race calling bookies. Then from 3pm until late the dancefloor will be filled with tunes from DJ Hoops. More info here.

Aerial shot over Mitchelton Winery
Photograph: Supplied

6. Mitchelton Winery

Bars Wineries

Escape to the countryside and Mitchelton Winery this Melbourne Cup Day. Celebrate your day off with $49 per person set menu. You'll receive a glass of Mitchetton NV Cuvée followed by cuts of wood-fired roast beef, dukkah flatbreads, wood-roasted cauliflowers, charred spring greens, triple-cooked potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, roast beef gravy and mustards. Book here.  


7. The Emerson

Bars South Yarra

The Emerson will be serving up a French-inspired bottomless brunch menu on Cup Day. There will be grazing cheese boards, picnic baskets, cocktails and plenty of Champagne. This three-hour dining experience starts at noon on the 5th and will finish up just in time for the race. It'll set you back $59 per person, or $39 per person sans alcohol. Book your spot here.

Kicking on? Here are Melbourne's best bars

Cocktail at Romeo Lane
Photograph: Nathalie Saldumbide

The 50 best bars in Melbourne right now

Bars Cocktail bars

Melbourne's bar scene continues to be the envy of the nation, and our late-night credentials only get stronger with every new opening. Here is Melbourne viewed through the bottom of a glass: from its world-beating cocktail lounges to its down-and-divey saloons. 

Looking to get out of town?

Great Otway National Park
Photograph: Robert Blackburn

The best day trips from Melbourne

Travel Short getaways

If you're looking for a break from the inner-city grid, there's no better cure than a day trip from Melbourne. The state of Victoria is full of friendly neighbourhood towns, whether you're in the mood for a winery tour, a road trip or a national park to explore. These one-day escapes are just what the doctor ordered, so get out there and explore Melbourne's beautiful backyard.  


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