It wasn’t quite Flemington but we enjoyed it all the same. Melbourne Cup for our Seniors group, was at the Esplanade Hotel in Busselton this year.
Although many places in Perth were going all out with functions for the big race day, Busselton only had a few places dedicated to celebrating the big event We decided that having a TAB on site was much more important than canapés so with fascinators sitting comfortably, we set off for lunch at the Esplanade.
And it was a good choice. The TAB was in the busy bar, we had a television right in front of our table at the hotel Bistro and the food was good. The locals sitting next to us brought a flavour of Flemington with artificial grass, toy horses and a cardboard copy of the Cup itself to decorate their table. We took part in the hotel’s sweepstake and placed our bets. Not quite the last of the big spenders, my $25 landed me zero winnings but my husband scooped the table pool by having the first three horses, alas not on a Trifecta, but $371 is not a bad return for $30! One of our group also won $35 on the hotel sweepstake.
After the excitement of the race, we turned our attention to the food. The specials board was full and we chose a variety of meals from there and the menu: a full rack of pork ribs, cob chowder, grilled fish, steak, beef and vegetable pie, crab linguine and confit duck – all in the $25-$35 price range. The meals were served with chips or potatoes and salad in good-sized portions. Verdicts were big thumbs up for the linguine, grilled fish, duck and pork ribs; average for the cob chowder, pie and steak. Food is ordered at the bar and brought to the table. Service was very good, friendly and helpful.
The public bar boasts two pool tables, multiple televisions and a touch screen jukebox. A terrace area outside the Bistro is a pleasant place to enjoy after-dinner drinks or coffee and is a popular venue for locals and visitors.
Catering for a wide range of accommodation needs, the hotel has motel units, family rooms and apartments. There is a bottle store next to the hotel and parking is available on site and across the road. It is very close to the Busselton Jetty and well within walking distance to the Town Centre.
The Esplanade Hotel has nailed it – a venue that can seat 350 people, accommodation, a mixture of seating inside for all age groups, a public bar, a TAB, good food and friendly service.
Address: Marine Terrace, Busselton
Phone: 08 9752 1078
Opening hours: Public Bar: Seven days, 10am until late. Bistro: Lunch, seven days: 11:30-2:30. Dinner: Monday to Thursday 5:30 – 8pm, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 5:30-8:30.
Gluten-free options: Yes
Vegetarian options: Yes
Restrooms: Clean and accessible
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