People dressed up in fancy dresses with hats to match, pre-fixed lunch menus, and betting stations with lines out the door. It’s just another day back in the states, but here in Australia, it’s Melbourne Cup day.
The Melbourne Cup is referred to as “the race that stops a nation”, and in Melbourne itself that’s completely accurate since it has been deemed a public holiday (too bad we are in Brisbane). The Melbourne Cup is most similar to the Kentucky Derby back in the states, but from what I have gathered, it’s actually a bit older historically, and the race itself is a bit longer. I personally believe the Kentucky Derby doesn’t “stop our nation” though, so in that sense, I would compare it to our Superbowl.
Now for the hype…Over the past few days the aforementioned pre-fixed lunch menus have been pushed out via social media, newspapers, deal sites, television and blogs – you could get a two or three course menu, with a drink (obviously alcoholic…I mean c’mon mate, we are in Australia), and a “great view of a television” for a price anywhere in the $35-$200 range. What a bargain! But no really, out here, the lower number would actually be considered a deal. I would have to believe that it’s not the food you are paying for though, it’s the atmosphere. Many of these restaurants are doing raffles, betting pools, door prizes, and competitions for the best dressed gal. Which leads me into fashion…yet another area where it is very similar to the Derby. Beautiful dresses, customary hats and headpieces, and killer shoes. It’s a day for women to make a statement. I actually contemplated buying a hat the other day, but then decided that I will save it for next year when I attend the Cup. Yes, I said it, I WILL attend the Cup next year. I’m determined. It’s clearly an important day in Australian culture, so I must partake at least once. Anyways, back to fashion, Myer (what I feel to be the equivalent of Lord & Taylor back home) does “fashions of the field” which is a fashion show that allows the finalists of the national competition to sport (no pun intended) their looks on the field in one final competition. Very cool. Who wants to design me an outfit for next year?
Okay, enough said, I wont bore you anymore. Im off to put on a cute dress, and place some bets. Yes, I am going to place a little bet, what’s the harm? I’ve listened to at least 5 experts discuss the favored horses on the news over the last few days, so I’m somewhat educated right? Too bad I’m not listening to any of them. My money is on Sea Moon! Wish me luck!
Over and out,
An American Girl in Australia