Category Archives: News

Hats Off For Cup Day

Hats have been pretty standard fare for Melbourne Cup Day since Phar Lap became the darling of Australian horse racing. Read: a very long time. In 2019, though, a day at the races sometimes calls for a little more experimentation in the style department.

So, whether you will be on the field down at Flemington this year, or enjoying a fashionable feast over at Fred’s, we are rounding up the best non-hat style ideas for this Melbourne Cup Day.

Hats off to you!


1. The Headband

Headbands have long been synonymous with sixties screen icons and Lewis Carrol adventures, but in 2019, this particular hair accessory has become the subtle answer to modern power dressing. Seen everywhere from Chanel to Simone Rocha, the headband is a firm favourite for Melbourne Cup Day as well – from Totti’s to the field.

2. Flower Crown

Even if you’re celebrating Melbourne Cup by the beach this year, there’s no reason why you can’t take the field with you. For an ocean view setting at Coogee Pavilion, for example, we recommend taking an au naturale approach, with wildflowers woven through your braids. Alternatively, you could go all-out with a handmade flower crown.

3. A Statement Barrette

Barrettes may bring back memories from the school playground, but they have been all over the runways from Paris to New York this season. Whether yours is jewel-encrusted, high-shine in metallics or studded with pearls, the barrette has very much grown up by now – and it is ready for its photo finish moment on the deck.

4. The Veil

If you’re feeling particularly bold for Melbourne Cup lunch at est., then take a cue from the stables of Kate Waterhouse and opt for a mini veil – sans fascinator. Waterhouse wore a black veil with a white dress to the 2018 Melbourne Cup Announcement at Flemington, instantly making a case for this mysterious approach.

5. Sculptural Earrings

Who says that it’s only what’s on top of the head that counts? If you don’t consider yourself much of a hat or hair accessories type, then opt instead for a statement earring – and let the jewellery do the talking. After all, an ear party is sometimes the best bet for a rooftop party at ivy Pool Club.


Play it bold with Merivale this Melbourne Cup Day.

Book your perfect package

Cup Day Trivia: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Melbourne Cup

OK, so you take part in the Melbourne Cup festivities each year, join the office sweep and maybe even back a winner. But how much do you actually know about “the race that stops a nation”? We’re rounding up ten things you probably didn’t know about the Melbourne Cup, to keep you armed with all the necessary trivia morsels come Melbourne Cup Day lunch.

Giddy up!

  1. The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861. The prize was 710 gold sovereigns and a hand beaten gold watch. Today, that prize money is more like $8 million, plus trophies worth up to $250,000.
  2. The inaugural Melbourne Cup winner was Archer and, to date, he has the slowest winning time with 3:52.
  3. The private marquees at Flemington are notoriously difficult to come by, but you can make your own private members’ area this Cup Day with the ivy Pool Club cabanas.
  4. The youngest jockey ever to win the Melbourne Cup was Peter St Albans. His recorded age was 13, but he was actually said to be eight days shy of his 12th birthday.
  5. Michelle Payne was the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup. She rode Prince of Penzance home to victory in 2015 and is now the subject of a major movie, Ride Like a Girl.
  6. Fashions on the Field was first held in 1962. Today, it remains an important part of the festivities both on and off the field.
  7. The Newport hosts its own Fashions on the Field, which you can enjoy with a glass of Moët & Chandon Imperial on arrival.
  8. The Melbourne Cup is held on the first Tuesday of November each year, but the Tuesday tradition didn’t actually start until 1875 – before that it was run on a Thursday.
  9. Phar Lap won the Melbourne Cup in 1930 and has since become a national icon. But Makybe Diva is the only horse to have won the Cup three times.
  10. French-trained thoroughbreds won the Cup in both 2010 and 2011 – Americain and Dunaden respectively. This year, Felix is hosting a French-style long lunch, complete with a glass of Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage.

Still need to sort your Melbourne Cup plans? We can help you narrow the field.

Book your perfect package

2021 Melbourne Cup FAQs

Do I need to be vaccinated to enter a venue?

The anticipated directive of NSW Health is that hospitality venues will be required to ensure that all guests aged 16 and over are double vaccinated. Proof of vaccination will be required for all guests upon venue check-in.

What measures have Merivale put in place in their venues to ensure they are COVID safe?

– There is a maximum of 10 people per group.
– Hand sanitiser is provided.
– Masks are discretionary.
– Guests must download the Service NSW app for entry.
– Merivale operates in line with all NSW government restrictions.
– All guests are required to remain seated at all times.
– Bar packages are seated.
– Beverage packages start at midday and cease at the start of the race.
– For more information visit our COVID safe page.

How do I book?

All bookings can be made online.

How do I pay? Can I get a tax invoice?

Payment is processed online and required at the time of booking. You will automatically receive a tax invoice via email.

Are there any venues which don’t require bookings?

Yes. The following venues do not require bookings and welcome walk-ins on the day:
– Hotel CBD (Ground Floor)
– Vic On The Park
– The Royal
– Queens Hotel
– Angel Hotel
– Little Felix
– Bar Topa
– The Royal George
– Jimmy’s Falafel
– Wynyard Hotel
– Tennyson Hotel
– Excelsior
– The Grand Hotel (Bar and Pool Room)
– The Collaroy (Ground Floor)
– Allawah Hotel

Which venues will have TAB facilities?

To place a bet, download the TAB app on your Apple or Android device.

What is the dress code?

This is the perfect excuse to dress up in bright and bold colours and really make a statement. Ladies, make sure you pop on an eye-catching headpiece or accessories, and gents, be brave and unexpected in pastels or floral.

This Melbourne Cup, don’t be shy – let your creativity and imagination run wild!

Will any venues be catering for dietary requirements?

Our menu contains allergens and is prepared in a kitchen that handles nuts, shellfish and gluten. While all reasonable efforts are taken to accommodate guest dietary needs, we cannot guarantee that our food will be allergen free.

What happens if it rains on the day?

Most of our venues offer ample undercover and shaded areas but nothing will holt us from celebrating the day that stops the nation – rain, hail or shine we’ll see you there!

Are minors permitted?

Minors are permitted to attend in restaurants only. All minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. A seat may be required to be purchased for minors.

What time is the big race?

Coverage for the main race commences at 3pm.

Is there a cancellation policy?

All pre-purchased tickets are non-refundable.

What time will venues open?

Venue opening times vary. Please visit your preferred venue page to see opening hours.

Will there be ATM facilities?

All existing ATM facilities within our venues will be available for use on the day. We are expecting a high volume of guests on the day and encourage you to make arrangements in advance to avoid long queues.