Stakes Day at the Melbourne Cup Carnival 2017: straight from The Birdcage

The sun was shining and the weather was glorious for a fantastic end to The Melbourne Cup Carnival at this year’s Stakes Day. Known as the family day, it was fantastic to see celebrities and punters lucky enough to attend bring their well-groomed children along for a day of entertainment. In fact it turns out 68,000 people got to enjoy the sunshine trackside.

Stakes Day Cup rounds out this year’s season of racing, fashion and food. The team at TPO did the very hard work of finding the best events happening both on and off the track. Read on for our full coverage of the best marquees at this year’s Birdcage.

Hosting the who’s who of the Australian fashion and entertainment scene, The Birdcage is the must-visit hub of the racing carnival. As our team entered the VIP area, we made sure to keep an open eye out for some celebrities, as well as what delicious treats and entertainment each venue was showing off.

The Lavazza marquee radiates stunning Italian style, and is the place to be seen. Italian prosecco, espresso martinis and of course, coffee inspired canapés were all on offer here. We particularly loved their attention to detail with some beautiful (and comfy) couches, tasteful art and plenty of leafy plants adding some vibrancy to the space.

GH Mumm’s impressive $2 million luxury yacht was hard to miss on Millionaires Row. Rising high above the surrounding marquees, the waiters of this lux venue made sure never to leave a champagne glass empty. Lively dancers and performers kept the crowd entertained with special shows throughout the day. We also couldn’t help but notice the crowd here was easily the most fashionable on the field.

Sensis once again had the best lineup of live music in the Birdcage. Headlining the day was The Rogue Traders, which had the crowd up and dancing. Melbourne group Jakubi were an exciting local addition to the marquee and we love that Sensis chose to support some up and coming musicians as well as established bands over the Carnival.

Some of the private corporate marquees were equally impressive. Tabcorp held one of the most sought-after views of the day, with a huge open deck, oyster bar and stunning floral roof.

Boags was the place to let your hair down and have a great party. As the DJ spun 80s and 90s throwback songs, the lively crowd could watch the races live on the balcony, or take a seat in the Australian themed bar (complete with gumtrees!) for some excellent people-watching opportunities.

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Schweppes continues to be a highlight of TPO’s carnival experience. Once again they showed off why Melbourne’s hospitality scene is one of the best in the world. Bartenders from world-famous Melbourne venues such as 1806, Madame Brussels, and Black Pearl were kept busy, mixing up cocktails for thirsty fans. With a 6-cocktail menu on offer, as well as a canapé menu inspired by the Schweppes offerings, it was a great way to see the versatility of their range. After the big races ended, this was the place to continue the party with a live saxophone jamming with the DJ’s party tunes.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival has wrapped up another year of impressive events with the most glorious weather. Now it’s time to start planning your wardrobe for next year!

– Tomas
Tomas Zagoda is a filmmaker, writer, coffee addict and tall person who does not play basketball. You can follow him on your social media channel of choice @TomasZagoda.

The Melbourne Racing Carnival is over for this season, however it will be back in 2018.
The venue is accessible. 

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of the Victorian Racing Club.
Image credit: Supplied, Getty Images via Victorian Racing Club, Lavazza, Hausmann.