Top ideas for a Melbourne Cup party at home

23 Sep 2019

Held on the first Tuesday in November, the Melbourne Cup is almost upon us (crazy, we know!). If you’re looking to host your own shindig at home, but are struggling for inspiration, perhaps one of these ideas will get you off and racing.



This idea is perfect if you’re looking to go all out and impress your guests this Melbourne Cup.

Invite a manageable number of friends and ask them to dress in their race day best. Choose a theme and then decorate accordingly – there’s no better time than spring for fresh blooms so why not go to town and deck your room with tulips, ranunculus, peonies, primrose and lilacs? They’re inexpensive this time of year and readily available. Pair your freshly cut flowers with elegant white table cloths and simple crockery, cutlery and glassware.

Plan to have your guests arrive before race time (midday here in WA – 3pm in Melbourne) for a pre-lunch drink. Once the race is over, invite everyone to sit down for lunch. Rather than slave away in the kitchen and miss all the action however, have your event catered. The Black Truffle offers a wide range of hot meal options including perfectly seasoned roast and pulled meats, traditional sides, meat and vegetarian pasta dishes, fresh seasonal salads, exotic curries and more.

Finally, what’s a party without music? Because the Cup is run so early in WA your guests will want to linger long after the race is over. Light, upbeat tunes will help retain the party atmosphere well into the afternoon. In fact, both Spotify and iTunes have dedicated Melbourne Cup playlists.



Looking for a simple, laid-back alternative to the swathe of swanky Melbourne Cup functions out there? Take things down a notch and throw a casual backyard Melbourne Cup barbecue instead.

Pack an esky full of your favourite drinks, fire up the barbie, throw on a few snags and enjoy Perth’s generally spectacular spring weather while watching the big race in the back yard with your mates.

Preparing for this party idea is simple too. Simply hose down the patio, wipe down the table and chairs, mow the lawn and make sure your hot plate is clean. Marinate your meat, lay out your condiments and pre-make your salads. Better still, have The Black Truffle make them for you. We have an incredible range to choose from but some of our favourites include:

  • Rocket, roasted pumpkin, goats cheese feta and candied walnuts
  • Spinach, zucchini ribbons, sundried tomatoes, grilled halloumi and toasted pine nuts
  • Fennel slaw with green apple and radish, creamy dressing
  • Basil pesto pasta salad with broccoli, green beans and shaved parmesan
  • Greek salad with all the traditional bits of Kalamata olives and feta (GF)
  • Roasted vegetable, chickpeas and cous cous with a Moroccan vinaigrette



What better way to capture the essence of spring than with a garden party?

Fill your garden with extra floral arrangements, lush foliage, race-themed bunting and festoon lighting. If you’re entertaining inside, create a garden atmosphere by decorating the space with green walls (faux is fine!), bouquets of flowers and rae-themed decorations.

A cocktail party requires bite-sized food, but this can be tricky to serve if you don’t have wait staff. Instead, create an abundant grazing table covered from one end to the next in your favourite goodies.

At The Black Truffle, our grazing tables includemixed olives, marinated artichokes, a combination of both hard and soft cheeses, charcuterie including prosciutto, salami and wagyu bresaola, lavosh, fresh baguette, grissini, dried and fresh fruits, nuts, cornichons and more.



Start early to finish early by hosting a Melbourne Cup brunch. Being WA-based on Cup Day means by lunchtime, the race is all over so take advantage of the time difference and combine the race with a Champagne brunch.

Serve a breakfast spread including:

  • Bacon and egg tarts
  • Cream cheese and smoked salmon bagels
  • Yummy, buttery plain, almond or chocolate croissants
  • Homemade muffins
  • A platter of fresh fruit
  • Individual cups filled with chia pudding with toasted almonds and berries; or a muesli and yoghurt trifle topped with a berry coulis.
  • A selection of tea, coffee, juice and of course… bubbles!



Victoria may be kicking their heels up on the first Tuesday in November but for many of us here in WA, it’s a regular ‘ol work day (unfair, we know).

But just because you can’t be track-side, doesn’t mean you can’t get into the race day spirit. A Melbourne Cup party in the office can be just as fun and is a great excuse to share some social time with your colleagues while enjoying delicious food and perhaps even a sneaky drink or two.

Planning a successful office party means being prepared. Make sure you email those invited (be that the whole office, or perhaps just your team or department) to ensure they mark the time and date in their diary.

Organise fun activities to keep everyone focused on the event – sweepstakes with modest prizes, fashions on the field, Melbourne Cup trivia and hat making competitions are all great ideas.

Most importantly though, considering catering companies are often flat out on Melbourne Cup Day, make sure you’ve got your beverages on ice and your food pre-ordered. Great lunch menu ideas include:

  • Substantial platters of elegant sandwiches and wraps
  • Individual lunch boxes for each staff member attending
  • Platters of share food including mini tarts, arancini, crumbed chicken strips, potato croquettes, meatballs, charcuterie, yummy cheeses, dips, crackers and fruit.



If you’ve got young, pre-school aged children in tow, chances are you’ll want to skip the fancy functions in favour of something a little more child-friendly. But instead of missing out altogether, why not include the little ones in the day? Plan to have a party in the comfort (and judgement-free zone) of your own home complete with Melbourne Cup-themed activities for kids.

Have a paper hat-making station, for example, and create horsie vegemite and cheese and peanut butter sandwiches using a sandeich cutter. You can help the kids create horse head masks using pop sticks, cardboard and wool (for the manes) and then let the kids have their own horse race.

Meanwhile, arrange a combination of parent and kid-friendly food including:

  • Platters of fresh in-season fruit
  • Gourmet sandwiches for adults to complement the horse-shapped sambos for the kids
  • Homemade sausage rolls and mini quiches
  • A selection of cupcakes and banana bread for the kids, and macarons petit fours for the adults
  • A chocolate cake topped with a mini faux trophy for everyone


Not sure who to turn to for elegant Melbourne Cup catering? The Black Truffle offers a huge range of options from entertaining platters to bowls of freshly made salads, hot meals, roasted meats, breakfast and sweet treats, and everything in between. Get in touch to discuss your Melbourne Cup catering requirements.