Go classy on Cup Day
THERE will be no shortage of comfortable vantage points from which to catch a glimpse of the race that stops the nation.
Ipswich's pubs and clubs have gone to great lengths to entice tipsy tipsters through their doors on the first Tuesday of November, with a wide variety of entertainment planned for the big day.
For those lucky enough to have more than just a few minutes away from work to enjoy the race, there are plenty of choices for Melbourne Cup lunches and after parties.
Although there are no races planned at the Bundamba Racecourse on the day, the Ipswich Turf Club is planning a huge buffet luncheon, with money raised from sweeps and raffles on the day donated to Ipswich Hospice Care and Ipswich speech and hearing impaired children.
For those looking to catch the action on a generously proportioned television closer to town, The Stumps Hotel at the top of town has put on a huge Melbourne Cup Day program.
Revellers can choose between a sit-down meal in the downstairs Coolamon Room or a more relaxed vibe in the Heritage Lounge, Pavilion Room or Platform 215.
Those who love the punt shouldn't be put off by the venue's lack of a TAB facility either, with a bookmaker to be on hand to take bets on the day.
Either way, manager Craig Ryder has promised an abundance of TVs for what will be the rejuvenated venue's first taste of Melbourne Cup day action.
"We have nine big-screen TVs - there's no spot where you won't be able to see the race," he said.
"This should be a lot of fun."
What are your Melbourne Cup plans? Leave a comment below; email firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS 04 07 088 442.
Purga Community Hall, 68 Purga School Rd: $10 a head, Alice in Wonderland-themed Melbourne Cup luncheon. Dress up for the Mad Hatter's Tea Party and cheer on the horses. The event will run from 11am to 3pm. Bookings essential, phone Nicole on 0417 797 552 to reserve your place.
Racehorse Hotel: Melbourne Cup lunch at $49 a head. Sweeps. Calcutta auction this Sunday at 1pm. Best-dressed competition. Heaps of TVs in the front bar.
Ipswich Turf Club: There is no racing at Ipswich on Melbourne Cup Day but there will be a betting meeting. Gourmet buffet luncheon for $65 ($60 members) 11am-3pm. Sweeps and raffles will raise funds for Ipswich Hospice Care and Ipswich Speech & Hearing Impaired Children.
Stumps Hotel: Sit-down function at the Coolamon Room. Three-course meal: $79 a head. Tapas in the Heritage Lounge and Pavilion Room: $15 entry. Tapas on ground level, free entry. A bookmaker will be at the Stumps Hotel for anyone who wants to place a bet.
PA Hotel: Sweeps and losing ticket draws in the Shaft Bar, open from 7am.
Jets Leagues Club: $65 entry, bookings essential. Fashion parade, guest punters, lucky door prize and mystery bets.
Brothers Leagues Club: Live entertainment from 11am. Lunch from 12.30pm in the O Bar. $32 for members and $37 for non-members. Games and giveaways. Bookings essential.
Ipswich International: Lunch from noon to 3pm, $75 per person. Sweepstakes, raffles, best dressed, best hat, best decorated stiletto competitions and fashion parade.
Drift at Brookwater: Three-course lunch $89 from noon with free after-party from 4.30pm. Live entertainment includes music and drag queen show.