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An Australian dining landmark rises from the ashes: the Stokehouse is back ready to please the crowds for at least another generation to come, writes Michael Harden.
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For pre-race breakfast action head to Melbourne's Café Vue, where the celebrations are kicking off with a two-course breakfast menu for $35 a head. And, just because it's Cup day, you'll be treated to tea, coffee and a glass of Prosecco.
401 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, (03) 9866 8055
Builders Arms Hotel
The bistro at the Builders Arms celebrates Cup day with a special three-course menu for $55 a head. Cucumber sandwiches, saddle of Flinders Island lamb and strawberry shortcake are just some of the choices on offer. Counter meals will also be served at the bar for those after a more casual affair.
211 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Vic, (03) 9417 7700
For pre- and post-race entertainment head to Circa. The morning's excitement starts at seven when the bar opens for Champagne and cocktails. The restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving a special Pacific Rim menu by executive chef Paul Wilson.
The Prince, 2 Acland St, St Kilda, Vic, (03) 9536 1122
Middle Park Hotel
For those keeping it low-key, Middle Park Hotel will be screening the races on flat-screen TVs throughout the venue with counter meal deals being offered for lunch and dinner.
102 Canterbury Rd, Middle Park, Vic, (03) 9690 1958
Est. is pulling out all the stops this Cup day, hosting an event complete with seven flat-screens for watching the race, a three-course menu by Peter Doyle, and prizes awarded to the best dressed of the day. The cost of $195 includes lunch and a flute of Mumm Vintage. There's also the option of pairing your meal with black caviar - how fitting.
Level 1, Establishment, 252 George St, Sydney, (02) 9240 3000
The Cup lunch at Aria itself may have sold out, but fear not, Aria Catering is hosting an event at the Sydney Opera House, and tickets are still available. Highlights include Taittinger on arrival, a three-course lunch with matched wines, and a best-dressed competition with prizes from Bulgari, Estée Lauder and Victor Churchill. The cost of $160 per person includes canapés, Champagne on arrival and your meal.
For bookings and further details, please call Lucy on (02) 9240 2259 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Black by Ezard celebrates Cup day with a five-course lunch menu by Teage Ezard. There will be a screening of the races and TAB facilities in close reach for the punters in the crowd. The cost of $150 per person includes lunch and canapés with matched bubbles and wine.
The Star, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont, NSW, 1800 700 700
If you're dressing to impress head straight to Otto where Cup day festivities include a four-course lunch menu, sweeps and prizes for best dressed and best hat of the day. The cost of $150 a head includes your meal and a glass of Bollinger on arrival.
Area 8, The Wharf, 6 Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo, NSW, (02) 9368 7488
For those who'd rather be waterside than trackside, look no further than Quay. The lunch event in the restaurant itself has sold out, but they're now offering an alternative three-course menu upstairs in the Green Room. There'll be Bollinger on arrival, prizes for best dressed, and TAB machines located outside for those interested in a punt.
Upper level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, 5 Hickson Rd, The Rocks, NSW, (02) 9241 4565 or (02) 9251 5600
Balla's Cup day celebrations kick off with oysters and Prosecco, followed by a four-course modern Milanese lunch by Stefano Manfredi. There are fabulous prizes to be won and plenty of big-screen televisions, so you won't miss any of the action. The cost of $95 per person is all-inclusive of lunch and the Prosecco on arrival.
The Star, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont, NSW, 1800 700 700
The Sailors Club
Their main event has sold out but don't worry: The Sailors Club is offering a secondary Cup day deal that includes three courses and a glass of Laurent-Perrier (or a cocktail) for $99. Food and drinks match the sit-down event, the only difference is you'll be seated at a communal table. The more the merrier, we say.
594 New South Head Rd, Rose Bay, NSW, (02) 9327 6561
In Brisbane, E'cco Bistro is celebrating with a well-lubricated three-course menu for $165 per person. The cost includes your meal, petits fours and four hours of cocktails, beer and wine. Doors open at noon.
100 Boundary St, Brisbane, (07) 3831 8344
Spring are hosting their very own carnival replete with a cocktail-style menu by executive chef Kym Machin, a four-hour drinks package and big screens to watch the race. And you'll be supporting a worthy cause, with money from the sweepstakes going towards Variety Queensland. The cost of $95 per person includes food, drinks and a take-home gift.
Cnr Felix & Mary sts, Brisbane, (07) 3229 0460
Perth's Nobu is going all out in the glamour department with their Melbourne Cup festivities. There'll be canapés, a DJ, and Carla Zampatti will be unveiling her latest collection, Into the Light. The cost of $200 includes a glass of Veuve on arrival along with other drinks, and a selection of Nobu's signature dishes.
Crown Perth, Great Eastern Hwy, Burswood, WA, (08) 9362 7551
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