How to: your Spring Racing picnic

Ed Dixon Food Design Spring Racing Melbourne Cup Carnival catering picnic top tips

How to: your Spring Racing picnic

Whether you’re enjoying the carnival trackside or at home with some friends, your Spring Racing picnic experience can be delicious, festive and fun! Here at Ed Dixon Food Design we’ve been catering for the Spring Racing carnival for years and we’ve come up with the below tips to ensure race day success!


  • A grazing style menu is always best for a Spring Racing picnic. It allows your guests to eat as they please throughout the day – think artisan cheeses, cured meats, fresh crudité and crusty baguettes…yum!
  • Small salad bowls are also a great addition – use fresh seasonal ingredients and don’t be afraid to mix some fruits into your salads for a burst of sweetness, such as grilled stone fruits or watermelon.
  • Later in the day it’s also a great idea to serve some more substantial items to keep everyone’s tummies full! We’d suggest some delicious sliders or banh mi, vegetarian quiche and even some gourmet lamb cutlets.
  • Keep in mind that your guests will likely be dressed in their gorgeous designer dresses and suits, make sure the menu doesn’t include anything that is likely to spill & stain – avoid heavy sauces, drippy dressings, rich desserts, etc.
  • Good quality sparkling/champagne is a must! Cheap bubbles will not do your food justice and give everyone a headache the next day!


  • Consider that a race day is always a long event, make sure there are a range of chairs and picnic rugs for your guests to sit down and relax
  • The races are a Spring event – flowers are essential! Keep costs low by visiting the market and mixing premium blooms with foliage
  • Styling doesn’t need to be complicated for your Spring Racing picnic – we suggest choosing a simple colour palette and then matching your linen, florals and accessories back with this.
  • Having a few food stations means your guests don’t get crowded when selecting their food
  • Consider market umbrellas or a shade option in case it’s a very hot day


  • Make sure your food and drinks stay chilled and fresh
  • Opting for individual bottles of water/mineral water/soft drink saves on bringing extra glassware
  • Don’t forget sunscreen!
  • You can never have enough ice
  • Some background music is always a nice touch. We often play some French tunes for something different!
We can always take care of everything for you!
Check out our Spring Racing page for more details or contact us for more information.


Photos by Simon Schiff for Forever New and Ed Dixon Food Design