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Sport, Fashion

A Day in the Birdcage at the Melbourne Cup

You gotta love the Melbourne Cup. It's a day when Melbourne dresses up and Melbourne rises to put on a world class event. Not a bogan in sight, not one. You can't tell between general admission and the closed areas at the Cup - everyone looks fabulous. Such a sophisticated city.

I was able to check out the Lavazza Marquee - one of the premium marquees of the Birdcage.




A lavish affair indeed with several international guests and local celebs. Photos courtesy of Lavazza.

And a couple of my photos from my amazing afternoon in the Lavazza Marquee in 2014 - the most fun marquee in the birdcage!

And my great time in the House of Walker with Johnnie Walker. Oh those cocktails!


Here is my account of my first experience in the Birdcage in 2012: There's no better place to enjoy the race that stops a nation than in the Birdcage. A series of stunning marquees in a mini village - where no expense is spared. Thanks to Peter Rowland Catering I was able to enjoy their marquee and hospitality. Peter Rowland Catering are behind most of the marquee and other catering at the Cup (and for the Racing Carnival).

Since I was a kid I can remember where I was watching the Cup and some of the famous winners. Growing up my best friend was the son of legendary jockey Jim Johnson who rode three Melbourne Cup winners - Gatum Gatum and Rain Lover twice... I used to go around to the house and be in awe at the Cup images and memorabilia.

This was my first visit to the Melbourne Cup. I've been to the Epsom Derby in the UK where over 125 000 people assemble in a huge picnic kind of atmosphere. That was awesome. But the Melbourne Cup is a cut above with its air of sophistication and the quality of the facilities. Many say the Melbourne Cup is the pinnacle of world horse racing. What do you think?

I thought it best to catch the train to the Cup and the express train from Flinders Street Station to Flemington took no time (only 6km). 

The crowd on the train was demonstrably glamourous. Ladies with their fashionable hats and particularly high heels. Men with suits and ties. Weeks earlier the same crowd had packed onto the train for the AFL Grand Final in their footy scarves and beanies. Today it was about sophistication and finery.

Rolling through the gates in this festival atmosphere one is struck by the pristine condition of Flemington with roses resplendent.

The first mission was to make my way to the Birdcage to get my tag for the day. Greeted by PR staff on the door. Chandeliers and couches and lavish catering. This is a place to settle in...

The fashions, the glamour, the fun...

Connecting with Melbourne socialites... 

The catering was superb...

Then it was time for the big race. The race that stops a nation. The 2012 Emirates Melbourne Cup. Many stay in the Birdcage but I wandered out into general admission to join the throng trackside - over 100,000 passionate racegoers. A roar goes up when the race begins...

As the horses come around the track towards the finish line people are jumping and screaming and cheering (and taking photos like me).

The favourites don't do well and its a surprise victory to Green Moon. The action continues in the Birdcage almost as if there wasn't a race. Melbourne throws a good party...