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How to Plan a Memorable Melbourne Cup Day Lunch

How to Plan a Memorable Melbourne Cup Day Lunch
on 28 October 2019 in Events & Entertainment

It’s the race that stops the nation. Melbourne Cup is of course a popular Melbourne event, but also an event that draws interest from the whole country. It seems strange that a horse racing event could come with so much fanfare, yet such is the prestige of the Melbourne Cup. Trainers from all around the world converge on Melbourne in a bid to etch their names in the history books by winning the Melbourne Cup. 

The Melbourne Cup is a multi-faceted event. There’s the spring attire, the full race day schedule, the marquees packed to the brim with celebrities and the betting kiosks buzzing with people placing bets. If you can’t make it to the Melbourne Cup, the next best bet to enjoy a piece of the action is to host a lunch. 


Traditionally, the Melbourne Cup can double as a fashion parade of sorts. In fact, fashion is one of the main reasons why people even celebrate the Melbourne Cup. Whether you’re at home or at the racecourse, the Melbourne Cup is a chance to frock up. Trackside you will find women and men in spring fashion. There will be bright and bold colours in the form of suits or skirts and dresses. Of course, there will also be fascinators, which have become almost essential for women wanting to take the Melbourne Cup seriously. 

Asking guests to frock up will go along way towards making your Cup day lunch memorable. Because you aren’t hosting the lunch trackside, there are really no parametres to what people can wear. So long as your guests take into account the weather, they can come dressed in their best frocks and heels or suits. After all, it’s not really a Cup day celebration if you’re not dressed up in some way


Contrary to unseasoned race goers beliefs, the Melbourne Cup isn’t just one race. There are numerous races to fill the day with. If you’re planning a Cup day lunch, it’s best to plan to have the meal portion of the day well and truly over by 3pm. That way people have enough time to read form guides and take stock of the horses as they are being saddled up. 

By planning lunch to a set schedule, it ensures that important moments across race day are not missed. However, in order to account for late arrivals and possible kitchen mishaps, it may be best to consider seating arrangements. Specifically in terms of having a lunch setting where a television is easily accessible. That way both the meal and the race can be enjoyed. 

Involve others

Another reason to plan a Melbourne Cup day lunch is the simple fact that an event such as this is always better shared. On the telecast you’ll see people at Flemington gathered in groups laughing, drinking and cheering the horses home. There’s no reason why people can’t do the same at home or at a chosen venue. 

Invite your friends and family, ensure that the bubbly is flowing and turn up the television so that you have all the fun of race day in your chosen surroundings. Hosting a lunch also means that you don’t have to take as much care as you would at the event. You can let your hair down and have a few drinks and not worry about getting separated from the group. By inviting a whole group of people, it also means that there is safety in numbers in case someone goes a little too hard on the drinks and needs help getting home safely.


Any Cup day isn’t complete without a little betting. This task is largely aided by the form guides that newspapers and online organisations put together for punters. Melbourne Cup is often the only time of year people will bet, so it is important to know all the betting lingo in order to be in with a winning chance. 

Any betting guide will come with odds. If the odds are short, say for example, 2-1, the horse is thought to be most likely to win. This means that you will have to bet more money in order to receive a good amount back. Long odds, like 10-1, will result in a bigger payout if the horse wins, however this would be a less likely result. Don’t let odds discourage you though, Michelle Payne was 100-1 before her triumph in the 2015 Melbourne Cup. 

The key to betting is to only put down as much money as you’re willing to lose. Melbourne Cup is a fun day, so try your luck and don’t be a sore loser if things don’t work out.

Planning a memorable Cup day lunch is to take into consideration that people will want to bet. Try and ensure that any betting is done in as part of a group so that people don’t feel the need to go off on their own and bet. This kind of isolated betting leads to overspending and could result in people feeling a little angry and sad near the end of the race when they realise how much money they’ve lost.

Cup Day 

Planning a memorable Melbourne Cup isn’t as hard as you might think. By simply picking a venue, setting a dress code and keeping to a schedule, you can have all the fun of Melbourne Cup day without the hustle and bustle of being trackside.
Are you ready for the races? If not, race on over to The Cooly Hotel to enjoy your race day now.

Image credit: Tonic PR