Party hampers for Melbourne’s spring races and Grand Final

Published on 15 October 2020

Photo: Curtis Stone Events is offering a range of party-ready boxes (credit: Jana Langhorst)

The AFL Grand Final and spring racing carnival might be different (to say the least) in 2020 but Victoria’s appetite for great food and wine with a side of sport is undiminished. Whether you’re tuning in to every race, from Melbourne Cup through to Stakes Day, or just casually watching the premiership scoreboard from a picnic rug somewhere, it’s easy to get in the spirit of things with these takeaway hampers, barbecue packs and fancy finger-food menus from Melbourne’s best caterers and restaurants.

Peter Rowland

You didn’t think a pandemic would get in the way of Peter Rowland’s chicken sandwiches, did you? While it’s true that the sandwiches are no longer just a fixture of the spring racing carnival, they undoubtedly taste better with a glass of Champagne in hand. In 2020, beyond the signature sandwiches there are beef and chimichurri pies, caviar blini and gin-cured salmon, as well as a more formal dining menu that requires a little bit of prep by you but for a lot of reward. The Everleigh has also created signature cocktails just for the Melbourne Cup.

From $110 for two. Order 48 hours ahead of your desired delivery day for pick up from Ground Floor Star Crescent, The District Docklands, and delivery is available to a wide range of Melbourne suburbs. Order at

The Builders Arms

Surf and turf might be controversial but in the hands of The Builders Arms, it’s straight-down-the-line delicious. If pork sausages from Meatsmith, scallops on sticks and Barnsley lamb chops aren’t enough to convince you, perhaps the green tahini and broad bean dip, Greek salad, and access to The Builders bottle shop will get you over the line. What are you waiting for?

$45 per person, with no minimum order size. Order from 19 Oct to pick up from 211 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Fri 23 Oct to Sun 25 Oct. Order on 9417 7700 or online at


It’s easy to keep up your tradition of celebrating at Stokehouse with one of the St Kilda stalwart’s new at-home feasts. Choose from one of three boxes, each designed so there’s minimal fuss or preparation required. In the seafood box, you’ll find prawn cocktails, lobster and oysters from Clamms Seafood, while the barbecue box is full of octopus, wagyu and more things on skewers, plus a selection of raw dishes. And the premium box? Get ready for spanner crab blini and kingfish with burnt citrus dressing, paired with Bollinger.

From $325 for four to six, available on 23, 24 and 31 October and 3, 5 and 7 November. Order ahead to pick up from 30 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda or delivery across Melbourne, Bellarine Peninsula, Mornington Peninsula, Daylesford and Yarra Valley, $25. Order at 

The Builders Arms' mixed grill (credit: Jo McGann)

Fair Feed

A social enterprise employing out-of-work chefs and supporting Victorian producers, Fair Feed is a great choice for everyone this Grand Final weekend. The barbecue-friendly pack includes everything you need for a sausage sizzle, including beef and rosemary sausages from Hansa, plus potato salad, Dillicious pickles, a beet salad and four Moon Dog tinnies, with the option to add on ribs or lamb shoulder if your household’s appetites run big.

From $30 per person. Order ahead for delivery to a wide range of Melbourne suburbs, Wed 21 Oct to Sat 24 Oct, $10.50. Order at

Spring racing boxes on Providoor

Whether you’re a duck-leg bao kind of house or you can’t go past MoVida’s beef cheek in milk buns, there’s a bevvy of spring racing eats to order from some of Melbourne’s top restaurants on Providoor. David’s is offering race day yum cha to get your Cup Day public holiday off to a strong start, while Bar Margaux is doing picnic basket-friendly French, and many restaurants are throwing in bottles of Champagne or prosecco with their menus. And if you need another bottle, it’s just one click away. Cheers to that. Be sure to check order cut-offs for each restaurant.

Various prices and packages, available for delivery within a 35km radius of Melbourne CBD, $16. Check website for order cut-offs, delivery times and to order:

Earl Canteen

Keep the party spread as bright as your race day outfit with one of Earl’s Spring Racing Celebration Boxes. Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus joins salmon rillettes, a tomato and fior di latte salad, and strawberry and vanilla panna cotta for some serious flat-lay action, with chive and parmesan scones, chicken skewers and a grain salad bringing heft. Add a bottle of Yabby Claw’s grenache rosé and you might just have the winning ticket.

From $170 for six. Pre-order 48 hours ahead of desired delivery day. Delivery available to more than 100 Melbourne postcodes, Mon-Fri 8am-4pm plus Sat 31 Oct and Tues 3 Nov. Order at

Curtis Stone Events

Who better to trust with your spring racing or Grand Final celebrations than one of Melbourne’s own? Curtis Stone’s catering arm has created barbecue boxes, picnic packs and more for a busy spring calendar, whether you’re at home or socialising outdoors. Keep things casual with the Barbecue Box and enjoy grass-fed beef, spring lamb and salads, or shoot for the top with a race day menu of miso-roasted kingfish, spiced beef short-rib and hazelnut and chocolate creméux topped with strawberries. Don’t want to set foot in the kitchen? The picnic box is for you. Bottles of Taittinger and cocktails are available to add on too.

From $150 for two. Pre-orders close at 3pm two days prior to your desired delivery day. Delivery available within a 30km radius of Melbourne CBD, Mon-Sat, charges apply. Order at

Stokehouse is offering luxe seafood boxes and more (image supplied)


Looking to add extra polish to your Grand Final day? How does asparagus with native thyme, a prawn cocktail with green finger lime, and beef short-rib glazed with honey and Dorrigo pepper sound? Team Attica can play casual too, if you prefer. Enter the Nacho Footy Loaf: hollowed-out Baker Bleu bread is filled with a beef and black bean chilli then topped with all the usual nacho accompaniments plus pepperberry pickled onions and extra sour cream for dipping the stew-soaked bread at the end. It’s a Shewry family favourite – and we can see why.

Delivery available to select suburbs or pick up from 72 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea, Mon-Sat. Additional delivery locations added on select nights. Find out more and order at

Box’d by The Big Group

Bruce and Chyka Keebaugh know a thing or two about throwing a party. Leaders in Melbourne event catering for 30 years, they’ve nimbly switched gears to put the tools for a great party in your hands. Or should we say in a box. Open up the Grand Final box for fun snacks like ham glazed with Carlton Draught, sausage rolls and a jam and cinnamon cake in the shape of a football. Spring racing celebrations come in four different options plus a box to keep the kids happy. You can also add styling kits, non-alcoholic cocktails, Champagne or a highly Instagrammable rainbow layer cake for dessert.

Orders for Grand Final boxes close Tuesday 20 October. Check website for order cut-offs for major race days. Delivery available within a 20km radius of Richmond, minimum order $100. Order at

Grand Final boxes on Providoor

Barbecue packs by Argentinian steakhouses. Sausage rolls Di Stasio-style. Veal parma subs. Whatever way you like to play your match day eating, there’s no shortage of choices from the restaurants on Providoor. French bistro dishes sit alongside classic pub menus, tacos and Southeast Asian banquets – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Be sure to check order cut-offs for each restaurant.

Various prices and packages, available for delivery within a 35km radius of Melbourne CBD, $16. Check website for order cut-offs, delivery times and to order

Sunda EXP

Sunda chef Khanh Nguyen’s lockdown creativity knows no bounds: from pastry animals to a cheeseburger roti, and now a very exciting selection of things you can eat with your hands while the game’s on. The party pies are filled with duck rendang, the sausage rolls feature Vietnamese black pudding and the chicken wings are glazed with tamarind and chilli. And there’s plenty of fun in the drinks packs too, whether you choose all six Sunda house cocktails or a trio of Jamsheed wines.

AFL Grand Final Party EXP menu, from $140 for two, available Fri 23 Oct to Sun 25 Oct. Order by 5pm Thurs 22 Oct for pick up from Hotel Windsor concierge, 111 Spring St, Melbourne, or delivery within a 15km radius of Melbourne CBD, charges apply. Order at


The names of the racing carnival hampers from Food4Good are almost as inspiring as what’s in them: The Classic Flavours of Race Day (chicken and artichoke sandwiches! salmon tartare with vodka aioli!), Uniquely Australian Fare (salmon cured with lemon myrtle! pepperberry beef cottage pie!) and An Endless Array of Flavour (wood-roasted lamb with burnt eggplant, labne and mint! roasted cauliflower, tahini, macadamia and wattle-seed dukkah!). And it’s not just the grown-ups that are getting looked after: get a load of the Keeping Hungry Kids Happy hamper. Grilled chicken, tomato, cucumber and yoghurt sauce baby pitas! Chocolate and raspberry lamingtons! Better still, Half Acre and Food & Desire, Food4Good’s parent companies, give five per cent of proceeds from orders to a variety of charities including OzHarvest and Melbourne Indigenous Transition School.

Hampers from $66 for Derby Day, Cup Day, Oaks and Stakes Day; delivery free within 20km of Melbourne CBD, from $25 for delivery to suburbs, Geelong and Mornington Peninsula. Order at

Bistro Guillaume

Just in time for party season, the burners are back on at Guillaume Brahimi’s Melbourne HQ. And no corners have been cut in the restaurant’s spring racing hampers. The prawn cocktail makes the most of Crystal Bay’s finest, the blini come with salmon cured in-house, the finger sandwiches are filled with Fraser Island spanner crab, and the roast chicken is sourced from Bannockburn. And that’s not even half the menu. Go on, order up, you know you want to.

From $225 for two and $550 for four. Available on 17, 24 and 31 October and 3, 5 and 7 November. Order 72 hours before your preferred race day, for delivery within a 25km radius of Southbank, 9am-noon on each race day. Order at

By Emma Breheny and Pat Nourse