Make your marquee: the hottest tickets at the Spring Racing Carnival

Bec Hewitt at the 2016 Birdcage, Flemington Racecourse. Photo: Eddie Jim.

Bec Hewitt at the 2016 Birdcage, Flemington Racecourse. Photo: Eddie Jim.

They’re the hottest tickets in town during the Spring Racing Carnival – the invitation-only marquees at Flemington and Caulfield that seem to get more opulent and indulgent every year.

We take a sneak peek inside some of the best to find out what the famous and well-connected will be treated to this year.

Caulfield Racecourse

E.P. & L.P.

Theme \ Melbourne DJ-turned-LA restaurateur Grant Smillie’s pop-up venue at Caulfield’s VIP Heath Enclosure is all about California glamour, inspired by his so-hot-right-now West Hollywood restaurant and bar, E.P. & L.P.

Food \ A special spring tasting menu curated by executive chef Louis Tikaram, complemented by famous E.P & L.P. cocktails, including the Where Love Lives margarita.

Highlight dish \ Crispy saltgrass lamb cutlet with ginger and soy.

Something special \ Guest DJs, including Grant Smillie on Caulfield Guineas Day (October 14) and star basketballer Elizabeth Cambage on the decks on Caulfield Cup Day (October 21).

Today we’re spreading the love from LA to Melbourne as the BMW #CaulfieldCupCarnival kicks off! Enjoying our @eplosangeles pop-up trackside for Ladbrokes #CaulfieldGuineas Day with 2 of our founders @smiles01 & @ashleyhart1111! ⚡️⚡️ #WhereLoveLives @melbourneracingclub

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Best Of The Birdcage


Theme \ The French-inspired Maison Kennedy marquee will have a luxury hotel vibe.

Food \ Toorak favourite Bistro Thierry will create dishes for the 120 guests each day.

Highlight dish \ Sashimi of yellowfin tuna, blood orange, charred shallot cups with Persian feta and beach banana.

Something special \ An outdoor terrace. Expect to see special guests: actor Melissa George on Derby Day and Priscilla Presley on Oaks Day.

Sensis Digital Marketing

Theme \ The marquee designed by Valentina Jovanoska is inspired by innovation and technology.

Food \ Epicure Catering has created menus inspired by Tasmanian artist Paul Snell’s pieces, with sweet treats by dessert king Darren Purchese.

Highlight dish \ Croque monsieur with tarragon and mango chutney.

Something special \ Jane Seymour will lend a touch of Hollywood glamour on Melbourne Cup Day, while Natalie Imbruglia will perform on Derby Day.

Lavazza \ Birdcage Flemington

2016 Lavazza Marquee. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

2016 Lavazza Marquee. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

Theme \ Style guru Neale Whitaker’s Palazzo Lavazza design captures the mood of a sophisticated contemporary hotel, with a mix of romantic mid-century Italian design and modern glamour.

Food \ Italian fusion from Matteo’s Buddha Lo, dishes from Tonka’s Adam D’Sylva and traditional Italian treats from Melbourne institution Brunetti.

Highlight dish \ Buddha Lo’s beef cheek and mushroom tortellini with spring peas, parmesan and truffle sauce.

Something special \ The second level features a new curved brass bar, which will serve Lavazza coffee and other beverages throughout race days.

Lexus Design Pavilion \ Birdcage Flemington

Attica's Ben Shewry. Photo: supplied

Attica’s Ben Shewry. Photo: supplied

Theme \ Eco-warrior and designer Joost Bakker has created a sustainable three-level structure known as the Future Cave, with interiors by Studio Etic’s Emilie Delalande and inspired by the new Lexus LS.

Food \ Sweets by Nectar & Stone, produce selected by Attica’s Ben Shewry, dishes from Rockpool head chef Zac Nicholson. Also Lexus’ own Japanese-influenced gin with notes of ginger and wasabi will be served on level three.

Highlight dishes \ Baker Bleu bread, premium oysters and Noosa spanner crab.

Something special \ The Lexus LS will be unveiled for the first time in Australia at the marquee. Also expect to rub shoulders with Emma Freedman, Joost Bakker and Neil Perry.


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