Published 27 October 2020

Gather at the starting gate – it’s spring racing carnival at home and the fashions are on the front lawn, and the marquees are out the back.  Dress to impress the neighbours over the back fence and put on a Cup Day celebration that has all the ingredients for a great day out/in.

Even though we can’t be trackside, there’s still plenty of ways to toast the winners circle, have a flutter and finesse the fascinator–at home.  Spring racing carnival is perfectly matched with the Yarra Valley’s best food and wine, and your winning position could be a picnic in a fabulous garden (how’s your iso garden going?), a BBQ in the backyard or a breakfast with sparkles on the balcony. You know it’s a day/ weekend/carnival worth celebrating so get in front early!

Catering sorted with a picnic pack

Take it easy and order in – a grazing box, or bespoke picnic pack from a local restaurant or café is a hassle-free way to enjoy the day with a curated selection of our region’s best cheese, produce and condiments.  Nibbles for the day, those cute little chicken sangers, race day is all about indulgence (bet you’ve already planned your cheat day!). Go simple with baguettes, or glam it up with a cheese platter that will make you truly happy. We’ve curated a great list of picnic pack options for you here. And a little inspo for outdoor picnic destinations to enjoy here.

Go out to a restaurant (Wow, can you believe it!)

With the reopening of restaurants and cafes from October 28, take the lead early and book a table (inside and outdoor dining options are available) at your favourite ‘missed you so much’ destination. But you’ll need to be quicker than Vow and Declare (and within your 25km zone) for a Cup Day Booking. See our blog of what’s open here.

Don’t forget the sparkles (the beer, the cider.)

Is it ever too early to pop the sparkles? And us Melburnians have earnt a congratulatory toast or two! It’s the season of rosey rose, creamy bubbles and palate lifting Rieslings - ordering Yarra Valley wines are the first thing on your ‘things’ to do list’. Our curated Spring Carnival Wine 6 pack is here – an impressive selection of the region’s pretty in pink best roses, sparkles and whites perfect for the day. What else are you drinking? The region’s craft beers and ciders are brews worthy of the winners circle too. Discover a new ale here.

Spring carnival 6 pack features the following epic wines: Coombe Farm – Sparkling, Soumah Estate  – Savarro, Mac Forbes – EB52 Rose, Innocent Bystander – Arneis, Greenstone Vineyards – Gusto Pinot Grigio and Seville Estate – Estate Riesling. Where to begin!

garden party pack

Bring the Cup home

This is the year to style up the patio and make your own DIY hat. Stop the nation and create your own ‘birdcage’ at home. Bring out the fancy chairs, hang the festoons, cut some fresh flowers and set a table or picnic blanket with all your finest things. Set up a sweep with the neighbours and Zoom party the race.  And there’s no Uber home – you’re already there!

Get across the latest restriction changes here and stay safe! Social distancing, mask wearing and limits on gatherings help us all achieve a new Covid normal.

TOP LINKS to get you sorted now:

1. Picnic packs & catering ideas

2. Order your Garden Party 6 pack from the Regional Pantry here

3. Inspo for more hamper & indulgence ideas 24/7 here