The best places to celebrate the Melbourne Cup in Sydney

As the sparkling weather brings Sydney back to life, here are some places to kick off the social season and watch Australia’s biggest race.

Publicans and restaurateurs are betting on sparkling spring weather to bring the Sydneysiders to their halls on Melbourne Cup day this Tuesday in what they hope will be the strongest kick-off to the social season in three years.

“I think this year is going to be pretty crazy,” said The Point hotel group managing director Brett Robinson, adding that many of his venues, including the Dolphin Hotel in Surry Hills and the Shell House in the CBD, were fully booked. .

CopperTree Farm Dry Aged Frisian Rib Steak at Butchery in Botswana. Photo: Edwina Pickles

The lockdown was lifted in time for the Melbourne Cup last year, although the festivities were somewhat subdued. Crowds at Randwick Racecourse, the only venue in Sydney that holds live racing on Cup day, were limited to 17,000, less than half its capacity of 50,000.

“Even last year when we were able to open and operate somehow, people were hesitant to gather in groups,” he said. “But I think now everyone is a lot more comfortable.”

Although the lack of qualified personnel makes it “extremely difficult” to return to form, Robinson said the industry is seeing a “huge increase” in demand for punters as we head into the summer months.

Here are some places where you can get your fascinator started.

Review by Terry Durrack at Botswana Butchery, Sydney.  February 10, 2022. Photo: Edwina Pickles / Good Food.

The 25 Martin Place area will transform into a Cup Day festival venue on Tuesday. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Botswana butcher

The 25 Martin Place area will transform into a Cup Day festival venue on Tuesday, with a giant screen showing the race, live music and roving performers. Forget the action of Botswana Butchery, which serves dry-aged bistecca sirloin steak and slow-roasted shoulder of lamb at a long-table lunch. At the rooftop party upstairs, press a bell, a white-gloved hand will appear through a hole in the wall, offering a glass of cold champagne.

Lunch $180 (food and glass of champagne), botswanabouchery.com.au

The Jackson

Set sail in (hopefully) sparkling harbor aboard the Jackson, a $15 million vessel that projects racing across all three tiers. Classic Cup Day canapes will be followed by a four-course lunch featuring roasted pork belly with spicy coriander crackers and tamarind caramel and seared king mackerel with greens drizzled with warm ginger vinaigrette.

Lunch $195 (four-hour food and drink package), thejackson.com.au

The Coogee Bay Hotel

A shared picnic-style lunch is offered at the beachfront hotel with oysters, duck parfait, scotch fillet with chimichurri, and a whole roasted pumpkin. Parts of the garden and sports bar will remain open to walk-in visitors for punters wanting a more relaxed cup day.

Lunch $180 (three-hour food and drink package), coogeebayhotel.com.au

Rose English at Cirrus Restaurant, Barangaroo for the Melbourne Cup story Photo Nick Moir 28 Oct 2022

Barangaroo has many options for Cup Day, including Cirrus’ special menu. Photo: Nick Moir

Cirrus

There are plenty of options at Barangaroo, from a $50 burger, sides and bubbly package at Ume Burger to a bottomless $240 drinks package with premium roaming canapes on the top floor. of Barangaroo House. The daily cut menu from waterfront seafood restaurant Cirrus includes scallops and kingfish fingers with miso mayonnaise, barbecued hapuka with XO shrimp butter and wagyu rump steak.

Lunch $180 (food and glass of champagne), bentleyrestaurantgroup.com.au/cirrus

Manly Talon

Cup Day always has a floral twist and this waterfront bar has a botanical-themed twist. The venue offers a $160 set lunch menu featuring grilled john dory and wagyu flank, including wine pairings. If you’re up for more of a party, the upstairs rooftop bar is open to the public.

Lunch $160 (food and wine pairing), manlygreenhouse.com.au

SoCal

Mix a classic Aussie day with a California vibe and swap the standard champagne on arrival for a margarita at the SoCal, which serves Latin American-style street food. They serve trevally aguachile, oxtail croquettes and Denver steak with habanero mango salsa at their shared Cup Day banquet (including said margarita).

Lunch $109 (food and margarita), socialsydney.com.au

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