By Carmen Jenner
  • Where to watch the race that stops a nation

    Where to watch the race that stops a nation

October

Any excuse to wear a fascinator and drink bubbles, Carmen Jenner suggests the best places to watch the gee-gees on November 3.

URBAN

For the second year running Suited (entry $50 pp) runs in the Perth Cultural Centre’s Urban Orchard. Food stalls, pop-up bars, live music and a fashion runway lures a hip-urban crowd. Perched atop King’s Park Fraser’s Restaurant ($145 pp) thrills with extravagant costumes and entertainment by BarbieQ and the full gourmet works. Head over to PRIMO's favourite inner city microbrewery, Northbridge Brewing Company, for the best atmosphere in town while Brookfield Place puts on a show with a fancy sit down four horse affair in the Print Hall Dining Room ($140 pp), premium bevvies and delicacies in the Print Hall Bar ($185 pp), a Fashion, Food and Follies upstairs in the Bob’s Bar ($150 pp) and a seated lunch at The Trustee ($110 pp) followed by a cracking after party. Further up St Georges Terrace an elegant three-course lunch awaits within the Terrace Hotel’s ($79 pp) historic walls; not to mention luxurious suites upstairs.

WATERFRONT

At the base of Kings Park, a five-course lunch at The Old Brewery ($120 pp) includes Black Angus beef, kingfish sashimi and glorious Swan River views.  The Royal on the Waterfront is hosting its popular Melbourne Cup event, kicking off proceedings at 10am with a glass of chilled Pol Roger, followed by a three-course set lunch and best dressed competition, all for $120 per person. Swap the lapping river for ocean waves and join the sun-kissed flocking to the Cottesloe Hotel’s Beach Bar ($95 pp) pop-up bar, fashion parade and of course, those endless Indian Ocean views. Overlooking Fremantle’s craggy coastline from the first floor of Bathers Beach House ($120 pp) enjoy canapés throughout the day, a fashion parade and the DJ spinning his tunes as the sun slips into the ocean.  

FLUTTERFLIES

Just in case the race doesn’t feel the same without a race track, Gloucester Park ($129 pp) offers lunch in the Golden Nugget Ballroom and unlimited opportunities for a flutter with the private tote facilities. Then party on well into the night with the night racing. Glamour exudes from every corner of Crown Metropol whether you join the race in the Grand Ballroom for the Blanc Noir gala ($240 pp) and major door prizes, or the delicate flavours of Nobu ($195 pp), a casual buffet in the Atrium ($88 pp), a sophisticated cocktail party at La Vie ($150 pp), or partake in a meat coma at Rockpool Bar & Grill ($225 pp); just to name some of the options. Of course the gambling opportunities are as endless at Crown as the festivities are with after parties at The Merrywell and Eve Nightclub. Or wind down in your overnight suite or recover at the spa or poolside.

RURAL

Within the Swan Valley’s undulating vineyards, The Vines ($85 pp) offers food galore, plenty of door prizes and sweeps, plus the proceeds of the silent auction and donations go to Beyond Blue. The historic and James Halliday favourite Mandoon Estate ($50 pp) serves up an indulgent cocktail party and transportation to and from the city.

NORTH

Bistro38 ($99 pp) at Joondalup Resort serves a three-course lunch and free flowing beer or head instead to the Lakeview Ballroom ($135 pp) for the ultimate race experience and uninterrupted screen viewings of the race. Turquoise tones entice at Mindarie Marina, especially during the free party and fashion parade at the Boat Bar. Or rest those pretty feet at the Indi Brewery ($85 pp) with three courses and more fashion; at least until the band fires up.

MANDURAH

Stage Door Waterfront ($79 pp) puts on a red carpet event while overlooking Mandjar Bay. Deemed as one of Australia’s best seafood restaurants, Red Manna ($80 pp) has views to match its outstanding Abrolhos Island Scallops, Tasmanian Salmon and beef fillet with lobster dumplings. Although your attention from the race may be diverted by dolphins gliding by. For something entirely different, hire a vessel from Mandurah Houseboats and create your own event while bobbing through the marina and Peel Inlet; or extend the occasion with an overnight (or longer) sojourn through the Harvey Estuary and Murray River.  PL 

The Melbourne Cup runs at noon Perth time on Tuesday November 3. 

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