One of the great things about the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington is the variety of ways you can experience a day at the races. From the prestigious and glamorous Birdcage to the magnificent Members Grandstand, Flemington has so many options for racegoers and the Nursery Carpark is just one of the many great places to set up for the day. Known as one of the best locations for a big party on any raceday, the carparks provide a less formal atmosphere that gives you room to move, encourages mingling and is ideal for picnics. Aside from the basics like a big lush picnic rug, an eski and some chairs, here’s what we’re packing for a picnic at the races…
With champagne tending to flow freely in the Nursery, it’s going to be important to not only keep hydrated and drink plenty of water, but to also make sure you balance your drinks with some yummy no fuss food. When deciding what to pack in the way of food, try and go with a balance of savoury and sweet foods that are easy to eat with one hand. This way you can eat, drink, wander and mingle all at once!
A big cheese board is always a hit, and can be arranged when you arrive and topped up throughout the day. Select a couple of hard and soft cheeses so your guests have a bit of variety, then add some cured meats like prosciutto and salami and some quince paste and grapes to balance the flavours. A selection of dips is another simple snack option – serve with a fresh crusty baguette torn into pieces and some mixed olives.
As the day rolls on, your guests will no doubt be looking for something a little more substantial. Mini quiches, rice paper rolls and mixed sandwiches and rolls are all easy to prepare ahead of time and can be packed into containers to be easily transported to the track. As a general rule of thumb, allow for about 8 or 9 pieces of finger food per person – after all, it can be a very long day!
For something a little sweeter, simply spoon some natural greek yoghurt into a few picnic tumblers and top with fresh mixed berries and some tiny mint leaves. Serve with a teaspoon and watch these delicious little desserts disappear in a flash.
Picnic Staple Recipe: Scones
One of our favourite staples for a race day picnic is definitely a batch of fresh home made scones with jam and cream; the perfect accompaniment to a glass of bubbles. Your friends and family will love the home made touch and won’t be able to resist them if you stick to our easy and foolproof recipe:
3 Cups of Flour
1 Cup of Cream
1 Cup of Lemonade
Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees and grease a flat tray.
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and stir until combined.
Roll mixture out to a 4cm thick dough, then using a cookie cutter, cut 12 even scone shapes.
Place all scones on tray, so they are touching and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and place on a cake rack and cover with a damp towel for 5-10 minutes.