Friday, November 27, 2009

Polo In The City : Melbourne

In a complete contrast to the gorgeous Sydney weather for the Polo in the City event (see the post here), Melbourne was about as removed from Sydney weather-wise as a Vegan from a medium rare rib eye. While Sydney enjoyed/suffered the 41 degree heat, Melbourne had torrential rain, strong wind and a top of 20 degrees. Of course, in real life, it felt a LOT colder, especially with wind and rain in your face and mud under, and around, your feet.

Obviously, with the beautiful Flemington being converted to a somewhat muddy pool with some grass thrown in, there was no way you could play polo in that. Mud wrestling yes. Polo no. Not if you want to damage hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Polo equipment. (No, not Ralph Lauren, but them horses).

Of course, this being Melbourne, it wasn’t much of a surprise and since the rain was much needed, the festivities were moved “indoors” to the VIP marquee. Considering the vast majority of the guests did not bother to show up, the VIP marquee did the job all right. A little cramped, but with enough Mumm champagne to floor 3000 or so people flowing, I think the 4-500 odd that did brave the weather, didn’t mind at all.

Torrential rain and gusty winds didn’t stop the ladies from parading around in their summer/clubbing dresses, and the number of ladies far outweighed the gents. Unfortunately, the polo play-yas (Um… I mean, players) got all the attention from the drunken ladies. Actually, that’s no bad thing either… Why, I hear you ask. Well, the young, tipsy ladies were content to sway/shake to the music, whilst the *ahem* cougars honed in on the, um… ponies…

The extremely funny MC for the event

The quick-witted commentator, whom everyone agrees has quite a wicked sense of humour, entertained us, and since we were in the VIP marquee we could actually hear him, and appreciate his humour. There were the usual charity auctions and silent auctions, all for good causes, live DJ, and Jaeger-LeCoultre watches (who has a proper association with Polo, as their Reverso range was designed specifically for polo players back in the 30s) on display.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Display

Items up for silent charity auction

The weather did break long enough for the organisers to squeeze some penalty shoot-out and “see-who-can-hit-the-furthest” activities into the mix and that was also quite engaging. Obviously, there’s not much action happening, but with enough alcohol in the blood stream, almost anything could be constituted as entertainment.

I think Audi probably got the raw end of the deal. With everyone piled into the VIP marquee and the rain coming down bucket loads, no one could see the cars… Whereas in Sydney, the Audis took centre stage with a selection of their greatest - the R8, the S5, the Q7, etc, all I could see was a lonely Q5 which took some beating from Zeus.

Can you spot the Audi?

Should mention the food shouldn’t I? General quality was up compared to Sydney. Especially the stuff the VIP marquee attendees were getting. There is a distinct difference between the qualities. You could tell which canapés were meant for the lowly peasants and which were destined for the pretty and important people.  

The highlight would have to be the delightfully rich and creamy chocolate/cherry dessert. Perfectly balanced flavour without being too sweet, I think I had 3 too many of these.

Overall I think the weather was a blessing in disguise. That is, for those who would not normally be admitted into (and possibly thrown out of) the VIP marquee. Not sure how the um… top of the pyramid feels about sharing and mingling with the lesser-special people…



Anonymous said...

Well at any rate the food looked good!

Was there any charity auction at the Sydney event?


The Sydney Tarts said...

Yes there were charity auctions at the Sydney event, but as these were held in the VIP marquee, we didn't see it...