Inside an exclusive culinary feast hosted by Stella Artois on the eve of the Portsea Polo

It's the first official event on the summer social calendar, where Melbournian's emerge from their New Year vacations and weekend escapes, frock up in their day-drinking best (wedges absolutely necessary!) and flock to the shores of the Melbourne Peninsula. The Portsea Polo showcases three international polo matches as guests  watch on (more or less) with a cold Stella in one hand and a soft-shell crab slider in the other. In typical Melbourne fashion however, the weather too chose to put on a show with dark clouds threatening hourly down-pours that opened up in blissful intervals to give show-goers a kiss of Melbourne's January sunshine.

Rain, hail or shine Stella Artois know how to throw a party, hosting 50 celebrities and VIPs on Friday evening (January 12) for a pre-Polo soiree to launch the brands' sponsorship with The Portsea Polo. Taking up residence at the brand spanking new Jackalope Hotel, guests such as supermodel, Abbey Lee Kershaw, E! host, Ksenija Lukich, Vogue Australia editor, Edwina McCann and NewsLife publisher, Nick Smith sipped on a crisp glass of Stella while mingling under a stunning display of over 10,000 industrial lights overhead.

The Jackalope seamlessly blends contemporary art, dining and world-class design; characteristics so synonymous to that of the nights' host. Guests were treated to a decadent dinner at the hotels' famed restaurant Doot Doot Doot, featuring a bespoke multi-course joie de vivre menu designed by executive chef, Guy Stanaway. Click through the gallery above for an insider look at the decadent night: 

Food with finesse: inside a lavish pre-Polo dinner