November 8th, 2017
Inside The Birdcage: The Most Luxurious Marquees At This Year’s Cup Carnival

Ever wondered what life is like in Flemington’s Birdcage? Regarded as the most exclusive section of the racecourse, this is the spot to be seen (and to pop champagne alongside big-name celebrities).

If your invitation to this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival’s most luxurious marquees got lost in the mail, don’t fret. Forgo the heels and fancy frocks for a tour of the best marquees without even having to leave the house.


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Dubbed ‘Palazzo Lavazza’ the Lavazza Birdcage Marquee has taken inspiration in the form of a luxury Italian hotel.

The coveted marquee has a longstanding relationship with Australia’s foremost style guru and The Block judge Neale Whitaker and this year the marquee is going even bigger and bolder – standing taller than ever before with a split-level design.

Inside the marquee is a nod to the glamour and romance of 1950’s and 60’s Italian design, with family, food, coffee and art at its heart.

The space is layered with textures, velvet furniture, Amalfi tiles and finished with bespoke artwork by acclaimed painter Robert Doble, a pop-up gallery by Otomys and lush greenery by Jason Chongue of The Plant Society.

In what is thought to be the largest Melbourne chef line-up for a single marquee in Birdcage history, guests will be treated to a bespoke menu by Buddha Lo (Matteo’s and soon to be Eleven Madison Park in New York City), Gerald Achille and Giorgio Angele (Brunetti) and Adam D’Sylva (Tonka and Coda), including dishes like Lavazza coffee and black pepper cured kingfish on squid ink crisps, crispy King George Whiting wrapped in potato string, and a Lavazza Espresso Lollipop dipped in chocolate.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Palazzo Lavazza without the brand’s signature espresso martinis and Italian cocktails served to guests from the new curved brass bar on level two.

Images courtesy of Lavazza

Maison Mumm

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Having firmly established a reputation as the place to party, the Maison Mumm marquee is a sight to behold with an atmosphere to match. It’s hard to miss this marquee with a glamorous white yacht taking pride of place at the entrance.

Guests in the marquee are treated to world-class performances from party group Strut & Fret; who have hand selected their best entertainers from around the world, rivaling the excitement of the racetrack.

The Strut & Fret team consists of singers, dancers, acrobats, musicians & DJs, who will blow away guests with their daring performances.

Regarded as the best party in the Birdcage, guests are immersed in the fun vibes from the moment they enter the marquee, with high energy performances that can keep even the most unwilling of participants dancing.

In this marquee, it’s rude not to have a glass of champagne in hand at all times, and the renowned brand has more than stocked up to cater for thirsty guests. Maison Mumm predicts that a record-breaking 15,000 bottles of Mumm champagne will be consumed across Flemington this year, which is almost 90,000 glasses across the four race days.

Adding to the exclusivity, guests of this marquee will be the first in the country to sample the new Mumm Grand Cordon, which is set to be released in Australia early next year.

Images courtesy of Maison Mumm


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You can trust Emirates to go above and beyond…literally. Guests at the Emirates marquee will embark on a journey through the clouds as the marquee transforms into a Signature First Class and Business Class luxury lounge, connecting racegoers with Emirate’s onboard experience for the duration of the carnival.

Entrance into the marquee is through a towering 3D installation, which replicates a sweeping sky of clouds with a 12,000-piece, abstract facade and overhanging Emirates model aircraft, before Emirates Cabin Crew greet you to an oasis of style and luxury.

Guests also enjoy unsurpassed views of the Flemington racetrack from a sweeping veranda that extends the length of the marquee, continuing to transport guests into the clouds.

Further setting it apart from the other marquees, Emirates is the Birdcage’s only fully serviced, sit down restaurant offering guests a diverse menu showcasing a spread of cuisines from around the world. Showcasing series of food moments throughout the carnival including a raw fish and oyster bar featuring freshly shucked oysters from around Australia, and a gelato bar showcasing flavours from around the world.

In another special moment, guests attending Melbourne Cup Day will be treated to a wine tasting hosted by an Emirates Sommelier, sampling Emirates’ finest on-board wine selections from around globe.

In another Emirates-only perk, guests don’t have to leave the marquee for the bathroom. Inspired by Emirates’ world-renowned A380 onboard Shower Spa, the marquee’s pamper room, grants guests the opportunity to touch-up their hair and make-up in a tranquil environment. Celebrity hair stylist Joey Scandizzo and his expert team along with well-known make-up artist are on hand to offer marquee guests a beauty refresh.

Guests are also able to sample the carefully selected VOYA skincare products and exclusive Bulgari amenity kits, available onboard in the Shower Spa and First Class and Business Class cabins.

Images courtesy of Emirates