Melbourne may be the sporting capital of Australia, with stadiums dedicated to cricket, football, rugby, soccer and basketball. But even in Melbourne, croquet is seen as a niche sport, something for the upper class. This couldn’t be further from the truth at the Royal Croquet Club happening at Birrarung Marr.
Melburnians are lucky that a great big park like Birrarung Marr is situated right across the road from Flinders Street Station; it’s the perfect place for an event such as this to take place where people from all over this big city of ours can come. I was lucky enough to get an invitation to the VIP bar, and boy did I have a good time. All the great wines, champagnes and beers simply flowed, as well as all the great grub on offer from the mini burgers to the lamb cutlets from the likes of Meatmother, Miss Chu and Miss Chu. There’s also ice cream in small soup cans I stupidly mistaken for actual soup (even stupider of me as it was a hot night). It was delicious though.
And of course, there is the croquet. At first I had no idea what the rules were, but after they were explained to me, I could see many of the players didn’t seem to get it either. Doesn’t matter, I think everyone was too busy socialising and drinking to care about proper croquet etiquette. In fact, it’s safe to say the event is more about the drinking than refining your croquet skills.
So even if you’re not a croquet aficionado, don’t dismiss this as some old fashioned lame sport. It’s a really fun night out, and even if you don’t care to play croquet, there are plenty of drinks and laughs to be had.
Originally published here at milkbarmag.com on Friday 23 January 2015