Entertaining at home during the Spring Racing Carnival

31st October 2019

General News Design Tips & Tricks

Nothing says Spring in Melbourne more than the Spring Racing Carnival, bursting with colour, fashion and fun.  And what better way than to celebrate the most famous horse race in Australia, the Melbourne Cup, (apart from getting to Flemington), is to set up your entertaining area at home and invite family and friends for a day of fun and fascinators!

Henley’s very own Colour and Electrical Design Consultant, Abbie O’Connor, shares her tips on how to deck out your home to create the ultimate Spring Racing Carnival event.

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Outdoor oasis

According to Abbie, in the alfresco area, it’s important to have multiple sitting options as it is an informal occasion and generally others will be more focused on the race than others.

“High tables are always a great option as it allows people to stand and move around but provides a Spot to sit and study the form guide, have a drink and some nibbles.

“If you are going to have a sit-down lunch a long table is a more social option rather than round as its easier to converse across. For added spring racing vibes, place some picnic rugs on the ground just like you would if you were at the races. This is also great if kids come along!”

Bring on the games!

“The day shouldn’t be limited to just betting. Grass games such as quoits, croquet and bocce/lawn bowls, are great as multiple people can play and they can stop and start,” Abbie says.

“Make your own fascinator/hat section is a fun way to get everyone spirit and will keep the younger guests entertained.  Why not turn it into a Fashions on the Field competition? And of course it isn’t Melbourne Cup without drawing a sweep!”

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Let the indoors outside

Whether its rain hail or shine, the race must go on and so does the party at home! If weather permits setting up outside is a great option, but if it is not quite warm enough to bare a whole day outside, opening up the alfresco doors to let a breeze inside is a great compromise.

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Styling it out

Abbie says, “There's no such thing as too much when it comes to dressing for Cup Day. Think bright colours, bold patterns and big headpieces, this should be reflected in your décor.”

“Don’t go for your classic paired back neutrals in your table styling. This is the time to bring out your bright napkins and place mats out. Don’t be afraid to use unexpected items such as glitter or coloured confetti.

“It is important to consider your food and drinks as a part of your décor. As it’s a daytime event, why not start with a champagne breakfast and have a beautiful fruit platter complete with croissants and mini bircher mueslis. Once the races kick off, bring out a bright and colourful punch.

Do you have styling and (racing) tip to share?


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