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.
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).
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
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
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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