Rich cultural diversity met modern fairy-tale opulence in the Emirates Birdcage marquee at the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

This year Emirates celebrated their 11th year as main partners to the Melbourne Cup Carnival, completely transforming their two story trackside Birdcage marquee to take their guests on an unforgettable culture-rich journey through Germany, one of the airline’s most exciting destinations. I was lucky enough to pop in and see for myself what all of the fuss is about on Derby Day, Emirates Melbourne Cup day, and Crown Oaks Day and view the races from the best view in the birdcage.

The marquee reached a whole new level of luxury whilst channeling numerous German hot spots such as Munich, Hamburg and Dusseldorf. The structure was complete with flags, towers, and turrets, combining modern and fairytale Germany to replicate the iconic fairytale castle, Neuschwanstein Castle. Once stepping foot inside the castle doors, guests were transported to a jaw dropping elegant German wonderland surrounded by gorgeous flowers, statues, and frescoes.

With the option of exquisite indoor lounges, the Birdcage’s only fully serviced sit-down restaurant, and balcony seating and standing areas overlooking the final stretch of the racetrack, there was no other way for guests to enjoy the captivating races and live German entertainment other than to indulge in a flute of G.H Mumm in one hand, and a mouth-watering canapé in the other.


Overseen by the careful eye of Head Chef Tony Cimmino who began researching and planning the menu months in advance, 10 outstanding chefs channeled their efforts into treating Emirates guests over four days to a culinary journey of German inspired delicacies, including the likes of Hamburg panfish, honey roasted venison, and kartoffelpuffer with caviar. Oh, and I must not forget the enormous mouth-watering sweet pretzels served with a chocolate and salted caramel dipping sauce.
To put into perspective how much the Emirate’s guests enjoyed their time at this years carnival, over 6, 000 flutes of the official carnival champagne, G. H Mumm, were served over the four days in the Emirates marquee. Thank goodness for the careful planning of the heartier canapés, also known as “the soak,” to be offered later in the day to compensate for all of the bubbly obliviously consumed by guests.


The extravagant marquee also hosted an impressive pamper lounge, treating guests to various indulgences from hand and foot massages (perfect for those such as myself who chose to disregard the advice to not wear stilettos),  to touch-ups by professional makeup artists at the Lancôme lip and eye bar. In line with the relaxing and sophisticated buzz of the marquee, the pamper lounge provided an absolutely perfect 5 minute getaway for guests in need of some relaxation and bliss, leaving you looking as fabulous as the start of the day!

The carnival wouldn’t be complete without a visit from an Emirates special guest or two, and this year flying direct from Paris Fashion Week was American it-girl, supermodel Gigi Hadid to watch the race that stops the nation from the luxurious Emirates marquee on Emirates Cup Day. The American beauty showed her love for Aussie designers, donning a vibrant and eclectic pink Alex Perry frock, looking absolutely flawless. Fast forward to Emirates Cup day and the lady of the moment was the drop dead gorgeous Ann Kathrin Brommel, German football WAG and model donning a soft pink Scanlan Theodore piece. Along with the two beauties, countless celebrities, fashion icons, and important guests were hosted, with the fashion of guests being as expected…out of this world. Me and my Maticevski pieces were right at home within the sea of fashion forward guests donning favourites including Dolce & Gabbana, Josh Goot and Camilla & Marc.

Overall, the Emirates marquee rose above their outstanding reputation and reflected the airline’s core image of whether on land or in the air, transporting visitors to remarkable destinations. Exclusive guests were given the ultimate Birdcage experience in sheer and utter style, sophistication and glamour, so it is no wonder that the marquee was named the Best of Melbourne Cup by the Age.


10965360_10153101434599470_1670659106_n (1)









Dressed by Toni Maticevski

Clutch by Bvlgari

Diamonds by Anton Jewellers

W by White Wolfe