The first major event of Melbourne’s annual social calendar, the Alfa Romeo Portsea Polo is more than influencers in coveted sunglasses and horses galloping by the sea. Instead, it’s a fabulous day out with your friends or colleagues, replete with chic marquees, delicious food, fashionista-watching, and, naturally, polo.
Now in its 18th year, the event will draw socialites and corporates to the Mornington Peninsula on Saturday, January 13. Naming rights sponsor Alfa Romeo will this year be debuting its all-new Stelvio SUV for the first time in Australia.
If you’re unsure of what to expect at such an affair, we’ve devised our humble case for why we think you should experience the Alfa Romeo Portsea Polo this year.
1. Polo. (But what is it?)
That scene in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts is in that cute brown polka dot number? She’s at the polo. The Alfa Romeo Portsea Polo event features three exhilarating matches of the team sport, where the objective is to move the polo ball down-field, hitting it through the goal for a score. You might even equally enjoy half time, as spectators are invited onto the field for a social tradition called “divot stomping”. Your job will be to replace the mounds of earth – divots – that are torn up by horses’ hooves during the game.
2. Summer style in spades
If people watching and high fashion are your two favourite pastimes, gear up for a parade of summery dresses, smart tailored suits, and marvellous hats. Just don’t become so distracted you miss the actual polo. The event’s official dress code comprises a whole paragraph: “For the ladies, flowing dresses and wedges or sandals are the norm (heels best left at home)… a summer hat or accessory can be an excellent way to finish off an outfit. For the gents, a tailored shirt matched with dress shorts or chinos, together with loafers or boat shoes achieves a polished yet casual look for the day.” Oh, and sunnies are a must-have accessory in sunny Portsea, so pack ’em.
3. Portsea is a serious networking opportunity
The event attracts more than 6,000 people each year, so the likelihood of striking up a conversation with someone who might become vital to your business journey is sky-high. Make a conscious decision to break the ice and foster new connections. When it comes to networking (and anything in life or business, really), you have to use every opportunity that’s presented to you, even if it may seem a little confronting at first. Making new connections is what, if we’re honest, will really make the trip.
4. Two words: Mornington Peninsula
If you’ve already been, we need not convince you. If you haven’t? Your time has come. The venue at Point Nepean is approximately 100km from the Melbourne CBD and takes 90-120 minutes by car during the busy summer holiday season. Not surprisingly, the drive is a beautiful one and no doubt cruising through the countryside will relax and rejuvenate any die-hard workaholic. Also, if one of your New Year’s resolution is to try new experiences, let this event be your first home run.
5. Take your pick of a chic marquee
Enjoy the generous hospitality of your chosen marquee, either public or private, on the eastern or western side of the ground. There, you might choose to entertain clients, host your work colleagues, mingle with polo players, or live it up with your closest friends. Some marquees sell out quickly, so browse your options and prices here. Whichever you choose, rest assured the energy and buzz will be off the charts.
Should you wish to get a closer peek at the Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV before its arrival in March, look out for the Alfa Romeo hero marquee. Visit portseapolo.com.au