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Sydney

Wattamolla Beach, Royal National Park, NSW, Australia

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

One of the absolute best things about living in Australia is the stunning natural environment we live in. A hour and 15 minutes south of Sydney is a gorgeous spot called Wattamolla, located in the Royal National Park.

Wattamolla Beach Royal National Park

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

While it’s well-known as a spot to swim, snorkel, picnic and generally laze about, it’s also an historic area, with “Wattamolla” being the name the local Aboriginal people gave it many years before Europeans arrived.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

“Wattamolla” means “place near running water” – a highly appropriate name for an area that is a cove, lagoon and beach. In 1796 Matthew Flinders, George bass and William Martin came across the cove while exploring, and recorded its name as “Watta-Mowlee”, but is today spelt Wattamolla.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Today, Wattamolla is a popular spot for families, as well as groups of all ages, due to the wide variety of activities to do there. The beach has sparkling clear water, edged by rocks that are fun for climbing.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Then there’s the Wattamolla lagoon deeper into the cove, which is perfect for little kids to swim in. It’s shallow and calm, so kids of all ages can paddle, swim and play at its shore safely. Adults love to bring giant floats and canoes to the lagoon and wile away the day floating around.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

The pretty Wattamolla falls flows over the rocks at the back of the lagoon, and is a popular spot for daredevils to jump from into the water below, despite a large fence being erected and big warning signs cautioning people not to dive or jump from the rocks.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Tips For Visiting Wattamolla
Arrive early! Wattamolla is extremely popular and there is limited parking near the beach. We arrived at 10:30 and the parking lot was almost completely full. I would suggest arriving no later than 9:30 to enjoy the beach with few people there.

It’s a 250m walk from the car park to the beach along a narrow rocky path with lots of stairs.
There is no stroller access or paved path on the beach.

The lagoon is edged with plenty of trees to set up a blanket and picnic spot, but many visitors choose to bring their own tents with them.

There is no food available at Wattamolla, so bring a picnic with you down to the beach, or use the free barbeque areas near the parking lot to make your own lunch.

There is also no water available, so bring plenty with you.

While there are bathrooms at Wattamolla, they are located next to the parking lot so go before you walk down.

The beach is free to visit but entry to the Royal National Park costs $12 per vehicle per day and payment is cash only.

There is little to no mobile reception at Wattamolla.

The Royal National National Park is open 7am to 8.30pm but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, AustraliaWattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Royal National Park Wattamolla Beach
Royal National Park, Coast Track, Sutherland Shire NSW 2232
More info on visiting Wattamolla here.

Get more info on Royal National Park beaches here.

How to get to Wattamolla Beach
Driving is your best bet, although parking is tricky.
Get Directions here

Find more beautiful Sydney beaches to visit here.

Sydney’s Best Shows For Kids: Swamp Juice

Swamp Juice: Sydney's Best Shows For KidsThese school holidays, treat the kids to Swamp Juice, the award-winning show that’s toured the world and is now coming to Sydney this January.

Swamp Juice is a ridiculously fun shadow puppetry show for kids aged seven and up. It was a sell-out hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with theatre critics calling the show “ Innovative” and “memorable”, from the Times, and “Breathtaking… Wonderfully enchanting… A heartwarming, funny show for children of all ages”, from the Evening Standard.

Swamp Juice: Sydney's Best Shows For Kids

The show creatively makes shadow puppets out of bits of rubbish and household objects to tell the story of bickering snails, a neurotic snake and an opera singing mouse with a jaw-dropping 3D finale! This is a swamp like no other!

Swamp Juice: Sydney's Best Shows For Kids

Swamp Juice is presented in Australia by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, based at the Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre in Sydney. We’ve been seeing their excellent productions for the past two years, and are always impressed by the exciting, inventive and fun shows that they put on for kids.

Swamp Juice: Sydney's Best Shows For Kids

Monkey Baa is actually Australia’s widest-reaching touring company, having conducted over 25 national tours to 135 regional and remote communities across every state and territory of Australia, 3 international tours and over 2,500 performances, and engaged with 1.2 million young people. It’s Monkey Baa’s goal to provide young people with fantastic theatre experiences no matter where they live or what their economic situation might be.

The company is also passionate about showcasing Australian cultures and stories, and work hard to create shows that offer young people a truly multifaceted reflection of the world we all inhabit.

SWAMP JUICE

A Bunk Puppets production, presented by Monkey Baa Theatre Company

Where: Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre, Terrace 3, 1-25 Harbour Street, Sydney (opposite the Darling Quarter children’s playground)

When: 17 – 21 January, 10.30am & 12.30pm

Suitable for: ages 7+

Duration: 55 minutes

Tickets: $29 adult/child; $104 family of 4; $125 family of 5

More info: http://www.monkeybaa.com.au/shows/swamp-juice/

A Day In The Darling Quarter #darlingharbour #Sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

What’s nearby?

After the show, check out the Darling Quarter playground directly opposite the theatre and enjoy lunch in one of the area’s many cafes, or bring a picnic and enjoy it in the sun on one of the many green areas.

This article was produced in conjunction with the Monkey Baa Theatre Company. All opinions are, as always, my own. We genuinely love their productions and think readers will enjoy their new show.

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids here.

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day here.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney here.

Room On The Broom: Sydney’s Best Shows For Kids

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

Room On The Broom is a classic story, written by Australian author Julia Donaldson. The story has been adapted into a gorgeous stage show that has returned this December to the Sydney Opera House to wow children and their accompanying adults with its wit, joy and fun.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

The very simple story of a witch and her cat who are happily flying on their broom until a stormy wind blows the witch’s hat, bow and wand away is a lyrical adventure performed with clever dialogue and catchy songs by a colourful cast of endearing characters.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

This lively performance with gorgeous puppetry takes the audience on a delightful journey to find the lost things, make new friends, and come face-to-face with a dragon.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

Along the way, the characters learn the importance of friendship, sticking together and realise that there is, in fact, room on the broom for everyone. A very simple story with an important message for us all. No matter our kind or creed, there is room for us all.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

Room On The Broom is a highly engaging show for children ages three and up. Limited seats are still available to its two remaining shows.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

 

Room On The Broom
Sydney Opera House
Dates: 9 – 23 December
Prices: Standard $30 – $40, Insiders $24 – $32 (Booking fee applies per transaction)
Tickets: sydneyoperahouse.com

We were guests of the Sydney Opera House for reviewing purposes, and were under no obligation to write about our experience. Both the kid and I really enjoyed this show and highly recommend it.

Photos care of the Sydney Opera House.

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids here.

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day here.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney here.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney – LEGO Exhibition

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

If LEGO is your kids’ jam, then you simple must take them to see the new Brickman Wonders of the World LEGO exhibition in Sydney this summer.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

Brickman Wonders of the World features over 50 amazing LEGO sculptures of famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Arc De Triomphe and the Great Wall of China, taking visitors on a fascinating journey through history through time.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

The exhibit has been curated by the only LEGO® Certified Professional in the Southern Hemisphere (and one of only 14 in the world) Ryan McNaught and his team.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

While most exhibits are “look but don’t touch”, this one is incredibly well thought out and very interactive for kids. Several of the sculptures have large bricks pits built around their base, encouraging kids to build their own pyramid, race car or Leaning Tower of Pisa. I thought we would be in an our in an hour, but we honestly could have stayed inside building for most of the day.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

The sculptures feature are more than just statues, too. When looked at closer, they reveal amazing set ups with tiny LEGO people in the scenarios that are even more fascinating than the buildings themselves. We searched for “Leo the explorer” in each sculpture, with the aim to discover them all and enter to win a prize at the end, and in the process found ourselves swept up in the tiny detailed lives of the LEGO people in each creation. The level of detail is extraordinary.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

The only downside to the exhibition is that there are no bathrooms or food available inside, so you need to exit the exhibition for both. While they will allow children to exit and return again for “bathroom emergencies” when we asked if we could get some food for the kids and then go back inside again the answer was no. My advice: Go first thing in the morning or straight after lunch when kids can last the longest without food.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

Brickman Wonders of The World
ICC Sydney, International Exhibition Centre, Exhibition Hall 1
20 December 2016 – 5 February 2017

Open daily. Booking is advisable.
Tickets on sale now at http://www.ticketek.com.au
http://www.brickmanwonders.com.au
Prices: Adult $35, Concession $30, Family of Four (Admits 4) $95, Junior (age 4-16) $25. Kids aged 3 and under are free.

We were provided with tickets to see the Brickman show for reviewing purposes but were under no obligation to write about the experience. I genuinely enjoyed the show and am planning to return over the summer.

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

From the creators of the biggest-selling magic show internationally, The Illusionists, and the award-winning puppeteers of War Horse comes Circus 1903, a show that blends the best of both predecessors into a breathtaking performance inspired by the golden age of circus.

This all-age show features turn-of-the-century circus acts with a modern twist. Authentic period costumes and careful set design combined with dangerous and jaw-dropping acts left this theatre goer and her five-year-old daughter completely captivated, often gaping in awe, and occasionally hiding behind our hands when some of the more thrilling acts were being performed.

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

The cast of talented performers have been sourced from all over the globe – strong men, contortionists, acrobats, knife throwers, high wire and tumblers. So much incredible talent left our hands numb from clapping and cheering.

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

Traditional circuses of this era used live performing animals such as elephants – an incredibly inhumane practice that is thankfully dying out. Circus 1903 does an excellent job of paying homage to the magnificent animals that spent their lives entertaining the public through incredibly innovative puppetry.

To say that the moment with the enormous elephant puppets on stage is show stopping would be an understatement. The clever puppeteers did a tremendous job bringing these enormous pachyderms to life, creating true works of art that are beautifully nostalgic as well as exciting to watch.

This is a truly captivating circus extravaganza that is perfect for audiences of all ages.

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

TOUR FAQ

Q:  Is this family friendly?  Can I bring my kids?

A:  Absolutely.  This is a show for all ages!

Q:  Does Circus 1903 feature a live elephant?

A:  No. The elephants featured in Circus 1903 are puppets, brought to life by the talented team at Significant Object (the award-winning puppeteers from War Horse). Circus 1903 is a very unique show in that it takes aspects of the traditional circus but puts a fresh, innovative and more humane spin on them. One of those new directions is using carefully constructed and realistic puppets in place of actual animals.

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

CIRCUS 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus
Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
Sunday, December 18 – Thursday December 29, 2016.
Prices: Standard from $74.90, child from $48.90 (plus transaction fee of $5 – $8.50per order)
Bookings: (02) 9250 7777 or sydneyoperahouse.com
More Info: sydneyoperahouse.com/whatson/circus_1903 or circus1903.com

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

We attended the show as guests and under no obligation to promote or write about it. We generally absolutely loved the show.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition, Sydney, Australia

It was a colder than usual summer morning today inside the brand new Penguin Expedition exhibit at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. A chilly 6 degrees C is set to keep the brand new Gentoo and King Emperor penguins at a comfortable temperature in their new home.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

Visitors to the new penguin exhibition, which is inspired by Macquarie Island in the Southwest Pacific, can climb aboard a raft and sail around the rugged, sub-Antarctic environment. You might want to pack a cardigan if you really feel the cold, or snuggle up to the person sitting next to you. At the end of the ride there is a further viewing window to see the penguins up close.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

The penguins are quite spectacular when viewed in person – and larger than expected. King Penguins can grow up to 100 cm tall and weigh 11 to 16 kg, while the smaller Gentoos reach a maximum weight of 8.5kg.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

The Gentoo and King Emperor penguins recently moved up from SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium to start a dedicated penguin breeding program on site whereby marine biologists hope to produce some baby King or Gentoo penguins next year.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

The breeding program will provide insight and research into the way penguin colonies work and assist in their future conservation in the wild.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

As part of the new Penguin Expedition, visitors to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium will learn about the issues facing penguins in the wild and the simple ways they can make a difference, including reducing single-use plastic consumption. Education programs such as this are beneficial in inspiring the next generation to become healthy ocean ambassadors.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

Entrance to Penguin Expedition, including daily feeds and talks from dedicated keepers and trainers, is included in the cost of general admission.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
Aquarium Wharf, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Hours: Open daily from 9.30am
Cost: For the best deal, book online in advance. Walk-up price: Adults $42, Children (4-15yrs) $29:50
http://www.sealifesydney.com.au

We attended the launch of Penguin Expedition as a guest of SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.

Nubo Play Centre, Alexandria: Sydney’s Best Play Centres

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Today we checked out a gorgeous new play centre in Alexandria, Sydney, called Nubo. This space is like no other you will find in Sydney. While most play centres are a seething mass of running, crying sweaty children with parents either frantically trying to locate their wailing child or sitting having a coffee with their feet up, Nubo is a place of quiet and calm, even when filled with kids.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

What makes it so different? The purpose of Nubo is to let kids explore, create, rest and wonder. Each section of the centre focuses on a different purpose and activity that matches it, resulting in a space looks more like a children’s museum than a traditional play gym.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

While physical activity is certainly important and there are plenty of ways for kids to be active here, they can also build, get arty, indulge in pretend play and read books in the most gorgeous book nooks I’ve seen.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Parents must supervise their kids at all time, and the result is a lot more engagement with offspring such as building with Magnatiles, making a grand old play doh mess or reading a book to them.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Each area has a number of children allowed per activity and the physical ones have an age recommendation too. The whole centre caters for kids up to the age of 10.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Several of the smaller rooms in particular are geared towards older kids, such as the upstairs party room which was set up with Play Sticks and suggestions of what to build with them when we visited, and the large climbing structure in the middle of the space.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Younger kids can enjoy dedicated areas or play with the more complex activities along with an adult. With creative areas such as the Blue Room, set up with Magnatiles and Imagination Blocks, it’s the kind of play that parents can get into, too.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Nubo is really a space that adults can enjoy being at almost as much as their kids will. It’s bright and light and relaxing (yes, relaxing!), with a large cafe space and fantastic facilities such as a feeding room for nursing babies and a gorgeous (!) dedicated kids’ bathroom.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

The cafe at the moment serves very healthy basic snacks such as salads, sandwiches and smoothies. In the new year they will have a dedicated kitchen installed and chef to make hot food on site. Nubo serves only healthy food and drinks – you’ll find lots of raw and whole foods here and very little sugar.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

During the week, Nubo staff, who are mostly former child care workers, run activities geared towards the younger set of under fives such as story time and craft activities. On the weekends and school holidays these activities change to become suitable for kids aged up to 10.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

At the moment these activities are included in the cost of admission but as they develop these events further into workshops that are run in series, they will be charged separately. So, for example, a kid can come for a weekly workshop without also paying to use the play space, but they can choose to pay for a bundle of both if they wish to do so. On the cards for upcoming workshops as they grow are robotics and coding for all ages, even the under 5s.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

We highly enjoyed our time at Nubo – yes, that’s right, the both of us.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney
Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Nubo
2/160 Bourke Rd, Alexandria NSW 2090
(02) 9317 3206
Hours: Daily 9am-5pm
Prices: $10 for 0-12 months, $18 for ages 12-24 months, $38.50 for 2 years and over. For multiple children it’s $30 each. Current special promotion running: buy one get one free for general admissions and free workshops until 31 December.
Get Directions
Parking: If you can score a spot marked “Nubo” it’s free. Otherwise it’s pay and display ($3 hour weekdays and two hours free on weekends).

 

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

Every year since Cheese was born, I’ve printed photo Christmas cards for our friends and relatives. I love receiving gorgeous photo cards from our friends, and hope that they, similarly, enjoy receiving our holiday wishes for them in the mail.

This year, I designed our cards with Minted, a US company specialising in gorgeous stationary.

Minted has some excellent features that I really like and wanted to share.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

1. A large variety of cards to choose from
There are hundreds of cards to make a selection from. Literally too many to look through!

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

2. A personalised card preview tool
You can easily upload your own images to see what the cards will look like with your favourite shots in them.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

3. Photo manipulation
It’s super easy to zoom in and out and crop the images to suit the cards, and there’s an option for “auto enhance” too.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

3. Customisation options
Add foil, change the colours, change the text from “holiday” to “Christmas” greetings. There are so many options for each card.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

4. Save and review later
One of my fave features, you can save all your designs and then view them all at once so it’s easy to compare them and choose your favourite.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

5. Free recipient addressing
It’s really easy to upload a spreadsheet with your family and friends’ addresses in them, and they are printed on the envelopes FOR FREE! My handwriting is appalling, so I really appreciate this.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

6. Digital proofing service
This is great for the nervous orderers among us – when you’re printing a lot of expensive cards, it’s reassuring to know there is someone looking over them and checking you haven’t made a silly mistake. If you choose not to use the proofing service you get a $10 discount and get your order 2 days faster.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

7. Frequent discount offers
When I ordered mine they had a 20% off sale, with the code in a banner across the top of the site.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

8. The quality is gorgeous
I’ve ordered from Minted before and the quality is just stunning. When you compare them to much cheaper places you can get cards from, there is no quality comparison at all. You get what you pay for – which is, in this case, gorgeous cards your family and friends will keep long after the holidays are over.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

9. International shipping
I was stoked to see they shipped to Australia! It costs $20 for their standard international mail, but that’s pretty regular for getting something shipped all the way Down Under.

I can’t wait to get my cards! I will show them off on social media when they arrive.

Wanting to order your own gorgeous holiday cards? Make sure you do so while there is still time at Minted.com.

Thanks to Minted.com for the complimentary voucher to try their card ordering service. I’ve ordered from Minted in the past and have always been extremely happy with their quality and service so was more than happy to share my experience with others.

The Tearoom QVB: Sydney’s Best High Teas

Afternoon Tea at the QVB: #hightea #kidfriendly #Sydney via christineknight.me

No high tea pilgrimage is complete without an afternoon tea at the QVB Tea Room. Located in what was once the original Grand Ballroom of the landmark Queen Victoria Building, The Tea Room oozes style and grace. The addition of custom designed Baccarat crystal chandeliers in 2014 gave the interior a burst of glamour and sparkle.

Afternoon Tea at the QVB: #hightea #kidfriendly #Sydney via christineknight.me

Tea at The Tea Room is served on on authentic British silverware and classic Royal Albert china. I particularly love the heavy silverware. It feels very old world and classy.

Afternoon Tea at the QVB: #hightea #kidfriendly #Sydney via christineknight.me

The Tea Room serves three kinds of afternoon teas – traditional, Oriental and gluten free. We chose the traditional, but with a twist. Mine had to be vegetarian, and my dad’s needed significant adjustments due to his dietary restraints. Our server was one of the kindest, thorough waitstaff I have encountered. He went back and forth between our table ad the kitchen several times to make sure that my dad was being given a full afternoon tea that suited his diet. I wish I’d asked for his name to commend him to The Tea Room afterwards. He made the experience hassle free, while also ensuring that my dad was able to enjoy the tea entirely. Most importantly, my dad wasn’t make to feel like his requirements were a hinderance or annoyance, so the whole experience was very enjoyable, before we’d even tasted the tea.

Speaking of the tea, it arrived quickly in large pots. Once we’d poured all of our tea, helpful staff returned sporadically throughout our meal to ask if we would like a hot water top up in our little teapots. Very thoughtful.

Afternoon Tea at the QVB: #hightea #kidfriendly #Sydney via christineknight.me

Our selection of savoury and sweets came shortly afterwards on tiered platters. My dad’s arrived on its own platter (pic above), and the others all combined on another.

Afternoon Tea at the QVB: #hightea #kidfriendly #Sydney via christineknight.me

The vegetarian tea was very similar to the regular one. The only difference was the sandwiches – mine were cheese and tomato chutney and cucumber and cream cheese, while the regular sandwiches included ham.

Afternoon Tea at the QVB: #hightea #kidfriendly #Sydney via christineknight.me

The sandwiches were delicious. Fresh, light bread, and tasty fillings. We were offered extra sandwiches later on and were given an entire extra serving, including egg (yay!). The egg was actually my favourite. Also on the sandwich plate were a little cup of XX and truffle oil, and a bite of pastry with explosively tasty tomato and avocado on it.

Afternoon Tea at the QVB: #hightea #kidfriendly #Sydney via christineknight.me

One large scone per person was allocated (my dad scored two with his special menu). The scones were a mix of plain and sultana.The scones were warm, right out of the oven and the delicious mixed berry jam and thick cream were generously portioned. Also on the scone plate were spinach bites in pastry. Freshly cooked and so good.

Afternoon Tea at the QVB: #hightea #kidfriendly #Sydney via christineknight.me

Onto the sweets. Four tiny perfect desserts: a berry macaron, chocolate mousse square, berry tart and mango and strawberry mousse square. All four were perfect. Light, elegant, beautifully presented, and all bursting with flavour.

Afternoon Tea at the QVB: #hightea #kidfriendly #Sydney via christineknight.me

I couldn’t fault anything about our experience. From the staff to the food, it was perfect. This is why we will be back, and keep on coming back, year after year. Thank you Tea Room for making this such a special afternoon for me and my family.

Afternoon Tea at the QVB: #hightea #kidfriendly #Sydney via christineknight.me Afternoon Tea at the QVB: #hightea #kidfriendly #Sydney via christineknight.me Afternoon Tea at the QVB: #hightea #kidfriendly #Sydney via christineknight.me

Afternoon Tea at the QVB: #hightea #kidfriendly #Sydney via christineknight.me

The Tea Room QVB
3, Queen Victoria Building,
455 George Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9283 7279
Prices: $$$
Hours: Daily 10am-5pm
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Reservations are recommended.

 

Sydney’s Best High Teas: The Radisson Blu Hotel

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High Teas

In the heart of Sydney’s CBD lies the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney, housed inside a gorgeous 1850s Beaux Arts property. It’s old world elegance at its finest, including the Lady Fairfax lounge area where we were seated for our high tea.

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High Teas

The room is lovely and spacious, with large windows allowing plenty of light to stream in. It’s the perfect spot for a quiet afternoon with family and friends.

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High Teas

We enjoyed sampling both the Traditional and Festive High Teas at the Radisson Blu, both served on a classic silver-tiered stand. The Traditional High Tea is available year-round, but the Festive High Tea is a limited edition, and only available until January 3.

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High Teas

Traditional High Tea

Savoury Items
Cucumber and dill cream cheese sandwich
Feta, ricotta and spinach roll
Smoked salmon toast
Chicken curry puff
Barbecue pork filo pastries
(Because I’m vegetarian, I was given an extra cheese sandwich, tomato and avocado sandwich and a mixed vegetable sandwich as a substitute for the meat pastries.)

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High Teas

The sandwiches and savouries were among the best we’ve had of any high tea in Sydney. They were just delicious, with fluffy bread, delicious fillings, and pastries that were mouthwateringly good. Often high teas are all about the sweet, but I find I really need the savouries to be a strong component too, or I get sugar overload.

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High Teas

Sweet Treats
Double chocolate cake
Citrus tart
Spiced cake
Salted caramel swans
Decadent chocolate mousse (with mint)

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High Teas

Vanilla scones with cream and preserve

The scones were served hot, fresh and fluffy with vanilla bean cream, which was a really refreshing change. Each of the sweets was a perfect bite-sized portion, with the salted caramel swans as the stand out item on the platter. Not only did they look amazing, they tasted exceptional, too.

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High Teas

Festive High Tea
Celebrate the Christmas season with a Festive High Tea from 1 December until 3 January.

Savoury Items
Roast turkey sandwich
Ham and cheese sandwich
Chicken curry puff
Pork, apple and thyme roll

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High Teas

Sweet Treats
Chocolate mint mousse
Fruit Mince Pie
Christmas cookie
Spiced cake
Christmas chocolate slice
Rum balls

Vanilla scones with cream and preserve

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High Teas

The sweet treats served with the Festive High Tea had the cutest hand-made sugar decorations attached, such as a santa or snowman. You can see my daughter’s delight as she spots them when they arrive.

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High Teas

We found the mint in the mousse a refreshing change, quite a bright, strong flavour, that was a good contrast to the sweetness of the other items on the platter. Often the sweets are all so sugary that you can feel quite ill after eating them, so having this mint mousse, and also savoury fruit mince pie on the Festive Tea and the salted caramel swans on the Traditional Tea, were very welcome components to balance out the sweetness.

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High Teas Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High Teas
Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High TeasBoth high teas are served with a choice of handcrafted teas from La Maison Du Thé. There is wide range of teas to choose from, from a standard English Breakfast to some exotic varieties of black and white tea with fruity and flower flavours added in.

Prices:
$49 per person with tea or coffee
$59 per person with a glass of sparkling wine
$69 per person with a glass of Champagne

The Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel also serves a Kids in the City High Tea which we will be trying on our next visit. It’s described as including ham and cheese sandwiches, dotty blue fairy bread, sparkling lemon meringue, laminations, mini sausage rolls, mini beef pies, seasonal jelly shots, a specially mixed ‘Out of the Blu’ mocktail, marshmallowy hot chocolate and freshly squeezed fruit juice for $25/per child.

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney
27 O’Connell St, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: 02 8214 0000
Online
Reservations required: communications@radisson.com or 02 8214 0400.
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Produced in partnership with the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney. All opinions are our own.